To start with, I thought I should provide a little information about who I am. My name is Bianca and I am a second-year dental student at The University of Sydney in Australia. I run a website and Instagram called The Sydney Dentist, where my aim is to promote proactive health and educate on the importance of oral health. I post articles about my journey through dental school, suggestions about how to stay healthy, and tips on dental and oral health. This includes everything from how to correctly brush your teeth to information on periodontal disease and oral cancer.
However, today I’m putting the dental jargon to the side, as I realize not everyone reading this may be interested in the nitty gritty details of caries and dental implants! Instead, I’m going to focus on how to stay healthy whilst living a busy life. Whether you are a nurse, doctor, dentist, or aspiring health professional, “busy” is an understatement! There seems to be an undeniable correlation between health professionals and never having enough time for oneself. We live busy, demanding lives. We are out there, looking after others, providing care for those who need it; yet we are generally stressed, over-tired, and not eating correctly. This needs to change! In order to provide the highest quality of care to those who have entrusted us with their health, we need to be looking after our health and well-being.
So how can you stay healthy whilst living a busy and demanding life?
By taking a proactive role in your health!
What does this involve? Proactive health means taking control of your own well-being.
The first and most important step is to change your thinking. Your body is your best and most
valuable tool. It is also your most important investment. This means that instead of looking at diet and exercise to fix something, you need to look at health as a means of preventing such things and furthermore, as a means of providing optimal performance. With a healthy lifestyle, the right nutrition, and some exercise, we are setting ourselves up to achieve. Once you have achieved your first step and adjusted your thinking, the rest is easy.
Here are my four tips on how to take ownership and control of your health when you are busy kicking goals.
- Only have healthy food in the house. Health is made in the kitchen and the kitchen is made in the supermarket! Limit your options. This is a necessity for me. If there is chocolate at my place, you can expect it to be gone in 24 hours! Therefore, I only buy it when I have consciously planned to
- Prepare. Meal prepping sounds boring and to be honest, it is, but who cares? I’m too busy during the week to worry about my lunch being a 5-star culinary experience. Instead, every Sunday I set aside a couple of hours and make my lunches for the week. Usually, it is my satay quinoa or a big salad with tahini dressing. When lunch time rolls around not only do I save money and time by not having to purchase something, but I also take the decision out of I don’t have to face the internal debate between craving a burger and a healthier option- I just eat the healthy meal I have already prepared. I also plan all my dinners for the week. When I do my Sunday shopping, I buy all the ingredients I need, which prevents mid-week, hungry, and tired trips to the supermarket. Anyone who has shopped hungry and tired knows that it is a recipe for bad decisions!
- This is a big one. Wake up at the same time every day. Don’t press the snooze button. Go to sleep at the same time every day. Workout at the same time every day. Routine once again removes decisions. Yes, this sounds boring but it is all about optimizing your time and your mind. If you remove unnecessary decisions out of your life you have more time to commit to the important things. Why waste time thinking about when to wake up, when instead you could be using that time and energy to learn about the latest dental biomaterials or the most advanced way to administer a medication or the latest neurological research?