Take Control of Your Dental Day With One Simple Routine

Fern White, BDSc


Do you ever wake up and the first thing you start to think about is your work? Stressing over a staff member? Or replaying that bad surgical case?

You sleep with the phone behind you and wake up to its alarm clock, only to see some messages come in from the team.

Someone’s running a bit late.

Someone’s had gastro during the night and won’t be coming in. 

Maybe someone also quit over the phone.

And while you’re there, you quickly rummage through your email, just in case.

Before you know it, you’re sucked into the vortex of technology. 

You’re feeling frantic, moving at a million miles an hour, reacting to every message, email, and call. 

You message your other staff members to make sure they’re aware you’re short staffed today. 

You start replying to all your emails, just a quick one here and there. 

You check your social media. Who’s been active on your Facebook page lately? Any more likes?

There might be a few comments there, so you quickly reply to them because if you don’t, you might forget. 

You’re already ticking off your “to do” list, and your feet haven’t even touched the floor yet!

And so, despite being in the spiral of technology, you wolf down some food and coffee and speed off to work.

Time to rifle through the appointment books. 

You see that a patient has cancelled and straight away you start thinking about how you could fill that gap today. 

You click through the appointment book for the rest of the week and notice there are quite a few gaps! Why did that patient cancel his crowns? You thought he was convinced! 

Your stress levels are rising. 

You start barking at your team. 

“Who’s this!?”

“Why didn’t this person call?”

“Why has this person cancelled?”

Before you know it, the day is looking chaotic. 

Staff left, right, and center. Patients in the waiting room. You’ve started late.

Now your whole day looks like it’s going to run late, and you’ll be constantly trying to make up time. You’re exhausted even before you start your work day.

Before you go any further, stop. It does not have to be like this.

What if you could start your day on time? Not just on time, but refreshed, revitalized. 

What if there were a few little habits you could put in place that would completely transform your day?  

What would happen for you if you could implement these few simple things that would give you back total control of your day? 

It starts off with not sleeping with your phone! Swap it for an alarm clock.

The problem with sleeping with your phone, apart from all of the electromagnetic toxins that it creates around your body, is that it gets you sucked into the technology first thing and you’re wired straight away!

In fact, start to turn off all screens at least one hour before you go to sleep, as blue light interferes with your sleep and stops you from moving into deep rest states that are critical for your body’s repair.

Start your day by hydrating yourself. Drink two glasses of body temperature water as soon as you get out of bed. This replenishes your body and invigorates colon action, so you can release the waste in your body! 

Next, create a simple 10-minute morning routine. I call this a ritual, as it is “me” time. 

This will have a profound impact on your day because you’re just starting to clear all this excess “thinking” energy out of your brain.

If you allow it, the brain will run wild and get wrapped up in all sorts of stories. The body doesn’t differentiate between a real or perceived threat, so the stressful thoughts you tell yourself release the same chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol in your body as if you were there in that stressful situation. 

This body is then primed to fight, flight, or freeze. And it won’t allow rational thinking! 

So, to stop worrying about work, it’s time to condition the body and brain differently. 

Start by moving your body in some way shape or form. 

Five minutes of easy movement, dancing however you are feeling, to music you love.

Then, five minutes of sitting. Just doing nothing. Meditation has huge health benefits alongside the fact that the brain is malleable and can change itself. Regular meditation has been shown to shrink the amygdala region—the fight, flight, or freeze center—so it doesn’t have to control your life. 

If you’ve never done this before, just sit and use a timer so you can fully relax. No special postures, no lotus poses necessary to start. Just five minutes of sitting and watching your brain.

Start off small so that you can build the habit. 

Make it so hard for you not to start. 

Sit and breathe and visualize.

“What does my day look like?”

“How do I want to show up?” 

“What do I need to call in for myself?”

“How do I want to feel?”

See yourself moving through your day as the best possible version of yourself!

See it already being done. When you set the intention for the day, you start to create your day, rather than be controlled by whatever comes your way.

And feel in your body three things you are grateful for. There are always three things you can be grateful for: your warm bed, your loyal staff, the fact that you’re a dentist and in a privileged position. This will release dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) into your bloodstream—the antidote to stress.

So, your 10-minute routine consists of five minutes of movement and five minutes of mindfulness.

When you arrive at work, create the same ritual with your team. This will have a huge impact on how your clinical day starts. 

Get the staff together and run them through something that keeps them mindful and in the moment and something that gets their body moving. 

You don’t have to be an expert at yoga or meditation. It could just be dancing or squats or planking.

Then, have the staff visualize their intention for the day.

What do they need to call in for themselves? How do they want to feel?

This is the most efficient way to get all your staff together and starting the day right! This will absolutely give you back control of your day. 

I challenge you to try this for the next week, and you will see your day completely transform!

You’ll love it so much you’ll begin to wake up earlier to be able to incorporate your morning ritual.

But beware. This might even grow to be about 30 minutes or so, not just 10 minutes.

Don’t have time, you say? 

You’re going to enjoy this so much that you’ll make time for it! 

Dr. White is a mother, dentist (graduate of Melbourne University), practice owner, yoga and embodiment teacher, entrepreneur, speaker, coach, and growth aficionado. She founded the first online empire for dental women to help them remove the stress of dentistry and take back control of their lives. Dental women find their freedom through her online programs, master classes, and daily doses of V-log inspiration with a global audience. Hundreds of women dentists worldwide have already transformed their lives and careers by going through her Practice Your Passion program. She also will be one of the speakers at Ultradent Products’ Icons of Dentistry: A Workshop for Women, June 22-23 in South Jordan, Utah. She can be reached at drfern.com.au and hello@drfern.com.au.

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