Wellness countdown to 2022 — 8: Take a breather from life’s chatter | American Dental Association

Wellness countdown to 2022 — 8: Take a breather from life’s chatter

Editor’s note: Here’s to a healthier 2022!

Let’s face it…it hasn’t been an easy year, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact day-to-day lives.

In August 2020, an ADA Health Policy Institute survey on the impact of COVID-19 on dentists under the age of 35 found that 87% reported experiencing anxiety and 55% reported experiencing depression. In the same survey, 55% were not familiar with mental health and other supportive services; and over 30% were not comfortable seeking out mental health services for themselves or team members. Early indications from the 2021 health survey show continued mental health concerns for dentists, including anxiety and depression.

Let’s count down the last busy days of 2021 by highlighting wellness resources and tips the ADA has to offer— from toolkits on workplace wellness and videos on ergonomics to webinars and fact sheets on mental health.


8: Take a breather from life’s chatter

During the busy holiday season — whether it’s during a full schedule in the dental practice or crossing off items on your shopping list — it’s important to take a moment to breathe.
   
According to Harvard University Medical School, breath control encourages full oxygen exchange, which can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure. In other words, it can help you quell errant stress and relax.
   
Try this box breathing technique when you start to feel the pressures of daily life.
• Inhale 4 seconds.
• Hold it for 4 seconds.
• Exhale 4 seconds.
• Hold it for 4 seconds.