I don’t think it’ll surprise anyone to learn that I’m pretty “Type-A” in my personality. I’m definitely a go-getter! I feel better when I’m moving, and sitting still for too long (either literally or figuratively) makes me stress out. I need to do things, go places, meet people, learn skills, find experiences, and discover new parts of myself. That’s how I feel like I’m living. And all of that is good! …And sometimes you just have to slow down if you’re avoiding burnout in dentistry!
In 2021, I hit it hard.
All that pushing myself, professionally? It paid off in huge ways.
In April, I became a Forbes contributor. My Forbes piece was about how your success as a practice owner is linked to taking care of your well-being. In the article, “Your Bottom Line Connects to Self-Care,” I encourage readers to get to know themselves, evaluate and uphold their boundaries, and (of course!) take excellent care of their teeth.
Forbes must have liked the article, because in July, I got to publish another one! In “How Altruism and Abundance Can Coexist By Implementing Three Simple Steps,” I talk about the importance of profitability and philanthropic contributions in your practice.
The three steps are: figuring out what you’re amazing at, packaging it up into a shareable format, and filling the gaps with dual-purpose systems. I really believe that more abundance leads to more opportunity for impact. (Don’t you?)
And then, in September, Dentistry Today published my article, “The Endodontic Renaissance and Modern-Day Root Canals,” where I gush about the technology that’s making such a difference for patients and dentists everywhere. You can read all about it here.
And then, the biggest moment of my year… giving a TEDx Talk! I prepared for it all year, and when I was invited to speak at TEDxFarmingdale, I was ready. I know my message is for the entire world, so I spoke about dentistry, public misconceptions about it, and some simple facts everyone needs to know to care for their oral health, You can learn all about my TEDx Talk, “Modern Day Root Canals: Saving Teeth Will Save HealthCare,” here and my experience of prepping for the talk here.
It was an awesome year. And…
Too much do-ing can lead to burnout in dentistry.
It’s important to remember that everyone needs to slow down sometimes, though. Not stop, necessarily (I don’t know if I could do that), but tap the brakes and coast for a little bit.
When things slow down, it gives you a chance to look at things differently. I’ve been reading up about how relaxation techniques can affect one’s physical and mental health, and here are some of my biggest takeaways:
- Relaxation and relaxation techniques take practice. It feels like it should be easy, but they’re skills just like anything else. You’ll get better at them the more you try.
- Not everything works for everyone. Some people really like aromatherapy, for example, but that might not do anything for someone else, who would better benefit from yoga or meditation. Try things, and see what works for you!
- Good relaxation techniques will calm both your mind and your body. They lower fatigue while increasing concentration throughout the day.
- Even in little bursts, small doses of relaxation can be helpful. If you’re in a time crunch, finding a quiet room to do a couple minutes of deep breathing can make a world of difference.
- Boundaries are self-care. If you have a people-pleasing streak, it can feel like boundaries are just mean. After all, you’re saying “no.” But remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. (That’s you, when you burn out. You’re the empty cup.)
I’m also reminding myself of my own wisdom from that first Forbes article. Here’s a little snippet:
“Choosing a lifestyle before work is what created the biggest change for me and that decision has allowed me to design my life so that my work fits into my lifestyle — not the other way around.“
Lifestyle > work. Make work fit your lifestyle. Another way to put it: Make your work work for you.
Is that something you’re doing right now? Be honest with yourself.
Are you actively avoiding burnout in dentistry?
My resolution and intentions for 2022
I bring up all of this to say that I want 2022 to be a year where I prioritize boundaries. And my new year’s resolution is to relax and connect with people I love with intention.
I want to slow down, while continuing to move forward. I must trust that the pieces I’ve put in place (in my business and my life) will bring me the right opportunities when I need them.
It’ll be good for keeping my mental health in a good place, as well as the effectiveness and profitability of both my endo practice and E-School. Like I wrote, your bottom line is directly tied to your self-care.
If you’re like me and you feel like you always have to be on, I invite you to step back, too, and get more intentional about how you’re spending your time! Even just a little bit, if the idea of slowing down too much gives you anxiety. Everything helps.
I want what’s best for you, and I’m a big believer in preventing burnout before it happens. Sound good? Bring it on, 2022.
I’d love to hear about your 2022 Word of the Year, intentions, and resolutions. Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for writing such a great blog! My intention for 2022 is to enjoy life to the fullest while still creating an impact. I love this line, “Choosing a lifestyle before work is what created the biggest change for me and that decision has allowed me to design my life so that my work fits into my lifestyle — not the other way around.” This means so much! We have to design our lives first, and then make work fit that. Trust the design, and enjoy the journey. Lovely writing and important lessons, Dr. Chopra!
Thank you for reading and your continued support!
100% agree! Burnout in dentistry is so real! This new year I am focusing on spending more time in prayer & reading my Bible, my family, yoga, and self care. Cheers to 2022!
Thank you for sharing Rachel!
I am glad u are choosing relaxation and self care as ur priority this year . I felt that movement two years ago . I have three kids I feel they need me more now than they ever will . I want to let u know ur course has helped me to provide better care for my patients
Have great year
Those kids sure will teach you some lessons won’t they? I am so happy you found Eschool helpful!