Tips for balancing life with career, family, friends and self.
See part 1 on balancing life in a previous blog! Julie Gillis, DDS, AAACD submitted this article to the American Board of Cosmetic Dentistry to keep the membership abreast of what’s happening in the world of credentialing. Dr. Gillis notes, “I am far from an authority on balancing life or life management but I do work on this daily and have found the following bullet points useful.” These ideas are intended to assist dentists who wish to improve their cosmetic dentistry skills by pursuing accreditation in the AACD, but I think the general principles apply to most of us. Hopefully you will too!
- Make time for family and friends.
Wake up each day and put a smile on your face. Stretch in bed if it feels good. Each day is a gift. Smooch your spouse or significant other. Hug your children. Maybe bring them ‘room service’ by bringing a treat to their bedroom. Toss a ball for the dog. When you come home from work take a breath before you drive into the driveway and enter your home with a smile. This is family time (for me) time to hear about their day, what happened at school or sports, time to enjoy dinner. If you talk about work, share positive stories more often than annoying ones.
I’ve never been a big fan of ‘quality time’ but there is something to be said for doing something unique and special on a regular basis with the ones you love. Too often we miss out on the fun of the simple things in life.
- Appreciate the little things.
That good grade your child received, the sparkle in a smile, bubble baths even if the dog jumps in, the extra chocolate chunks in the cookie you are eating, the sunrise, how handsome your spouse is, how well centered your 1:2 retracted photo of Case Type 1 turned out . . . Oh my goodness, I could go on and on. Tiny special moments if appreciated, will fill your life with joy.
- Simple is better, people are important, always strive for improvement.
This simple saying has made a difference in my life and I try to live with this philosophy daily. I’m not sure who said this first, but for me it is a great quote!
- Exercise with purpose sometimes and other times just for fun!
This is huge for me! I exercise just about every day and I am always glad that I did even though sometimes I have to talk myself into it. Choose different types of exercise from easy to hard. Don’t let exercise be the thing you do ‘if you have time’. You will only have time for the things you make time for. I believe that your physical and mental health will be better with regular exercise. I currently enjoy running, hiking, biking, swimming, paddle boarding, yoga, photography, cross training, and weight lifting. Is cooking exercise? I get outside for exercise in all types of weather and I almost always have fun. I think this makes me a better dentist, wife, mom, and friend. I have more energy to get things done and it feeds my personal and mental health needs.
- Eat well.
I like this Greek saying that was inscribed on one of the temples I visited there. It said “Naught in Excess”. (It was in Greek and this is how it was translated for me!) I think this applies to all things (food, exercise, work, play, alcohol, etc.) So I try to eat foods that are good for me, tasty, interesting, and varied. I remember the difficulties of feeding my family and trying to please my husband, my children and myself while selecting ingredients that were good for us. Even harder to do this while wishing you had the evening to yourself to work on your accreditation cases! The answer seems to be balance. Sure, have some dessert, a beer or two, and some salty chips but drink a healthful smoothie daily, eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and remember ‘naught in excess.’
- Periodically ask yourself, “will this matter in a day, in a week, in a year” How you plan your time and focus your efforts should be related to this.
You cannot do everything so some things will fall behind and that is ok! Just apply the principle above often and I think you will find this useful. For example, going to your child’s recital or soccer game. Hugely important if it is important to your child. Cleaning your house? Maybe this can be delayed. Stressing over a patient who left your office? Not that important. Ponder for a minute whether this matters in a day – maybe. In a week? Less so. In a year? Not at all. You really don’t have to stress over every detail when it comes to accreditation either.
- Finally, have something to look forward to, have someone to love and spend time with, and do rewarding work.
So there it is, or there they are, the things that help me try to keep balance in my life and achieve goals. Maybe some of these things will be useful to you. I hope so. Accomplish accreditation in small bits at a time, use your mentors, appreciate your team, love and appreciate your family and friends, Have fun! Run or walk in the rain. Go for your goals and if you are a dentist, I do hope accreditation in the AACD is one of them! Our office would love to hear your thoughts!
Yours for better health, Julie Gillis DDS, Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles