Do you drag yourself to work and find it hard to be motivated once you arrive? Do you become irritable or impatient with employees or patients? Do you lack the energy to remain productive throughout the day?
These could be possible signs of work-related stress. And let’s be honest, we’ve all been there.
Tradeshow season for our industry is almost coming to an end (for a few short months at least). During the month of March, I travelled to Vancouver, Germany, and Italy –– all within two weeks for tradeshows. Disclaimer: Italy was a personal trip, which means that I probably shouldn’t complain or categorize it into a work trip. But inevitably, fatigue caught up with me. Stress filled my body. And panic set in once I arrived back in the office to endless unopened emails and the deadlines that are always looming.
This is life, adulthood, and having a career you love. But what happens when you can’t help but feel defeated?
It all begins with recognizing the warning signs: lack of energy, poor time management skills, trouble maintaining healthy habits, interrupted sleep, physical pain, or perhaps even feeling overwhelmed and unfulfilled, just to name a few.
Ironically, jobs devoted to improving the well-being of others can be stress-inducing themselves. As you are all aware, they require problem-solving and time management skills, as well as a great deal of sensitivity to people’s needs. How does one eliminate stress in the field of dentistry, or any industry, without sacrificing the quality of care and work?
Think about bringing awareness to the forefront and asking yourself, “How am I feeling in this moment?” By doing that you can then ask yourself, “Can I act differently to get a different outcome?” By shifting things within yourself, it can lead you towards a different perspective, and even help your mood.
Our careers have such high demands on our personal time that they practically become a lifestyle. We need to remember that it’s all about the work-life-balance. The pressures and unpredictability of our jobs can make it difficult to find time to relax. It’s important to take control and make a habit of bringing to mind the things we are grateful for. This helps to put things in perspective when the workload feels impossible. If you think positively and take charge of situations as they come, it can definitely contribute to our overall well-being.
We also need to be mindful of accepting things we cannot change. We need to recognize what we don’t have control over and focus our attention on areas where we can have a strong influence and make a significant difference.
What I’m personally working on lately is not taking work home with me. To be clear, it doesn’t mean I’m not answering my emails, but if my day doesn’t go exactly as planned, or if something occurs that negatively effects my mood, I try to be consciously aware of the benefits of leaving that mood at the office. Though we are married to our careers, it’s important to remember that we have lives that begin once the workday ends. Having a positive evening at home will inevitably lead to a positive morning once back in the office.
Stress will always be a factor but it’s our job to be aware and to deal with it accordingly. And if being aware isn’t the solution, isn’t that what wine is for?