Congrats! You?ve made it into dental school! But have you forgotten all about your own well-being? Staying healthy in dental school can be a challenge. I know what it?s like to have class after class, endless material to study leading to sleepless nights, and of course, the never-ending amount of lab work that has to be completed to perfection!
This sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it doesn?t have to be. Being healthy is a choice. Now that you have chosen your career path, it?s time for you to choose to be healthy. Remember that if you aren?t well, you won?t be able to be your best self when it comes to taking care of others.
Here are some ways I created healthy habits in dental school.
- Prepare your meals ahead of time!!
??????????? This is so important, and it really goes a long way. The dental school schedule is no joke. Sometimes a whole day will go by before you realized you haven?t had a sip of water. Dedicate some time to go grocery shopping and to prep and pack your meals/snacks ahead of time. This way you will know exactly what you have to eat, and you won?t get to the point where you are so hungry that you will just eat anything. Not eating for hours and hours can lead to low energy and even poor brain function. Keep snacks everywhere so that you never feel deprived of food. I used to keep my snacks in my lunch bag, in my school locker, in my car, and in my gym bag! Make sure to pack healthy, balanced meals and snacks so that you can feel your best. Kick the protein bars that are loaded with sugar to the curb.?? Those won?t add any nutritional benefits to your diet, and besides, you?re becoming a dentist, you want to preach what you will teach! Instead, snack on things like almonds, apples, and berries.
2. Exercise regularly! That doesn?t mean you need to set aside an hour a day for the gym. If you can, great, but if not, take every opportunity to exercise. Park in the furthest parking spot and walk to class. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take 20 minutes at home at the end of the night to do some squats. I actually had bought 2 sets of weights. 5lbs and 8lbs and I would do a ton of exercises in my apartment during my study breaks. I also kept a jump rope in my car and in my apartment, and any chance I had I would use my jump rope!
3. Do something that makes you happy EVERY DAY! It doesn’t have to be for long, and it doesn’t have to be elaborate. It could be as small as sitting outside for 10 minutes and enjoying a nice hot cup of tea. Or it could be getting home at night and instead of studying, you sit down and watch your favorite show. Whatever it is, pick something every day that will make you happy and do it! Being healthy doesn?t just mean keeping your body healthy; Your mind also has to be healthy. Surround yourself with positive people. Moods are contagious. If you are surrounding yourself with individuals that are positive, motivated, and happy, it will rub off on you. The opposite is also true. So if you find yourself feeling down, or having anxiety that you can?t control, don?t wait to get help! Your health is the key to your success! Make sure to put yourself first.
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