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Dental practice owner — How to stay positive

 “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” — William Shakespeare.

With all the news about the COVID-19 outbreak, it is only normal to worry about your safety. All over the world, people are living in panic, not knowing how long the virus will continue to affect their businesses and dictate their movements.  

From grounded flights to company closures, there is also fear about the rising economic fallout from the outbreak. Will businesses thrive again when the pandemic has run its course? Will the economy collapse? As a dental practice owner, in such a frightening and unpredictable time, how do you keep yourself on an even emotional keel? How do you remain optimistic?

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Here are a few practical things you can do to cultivate positive emotions and remain hopeful during these unprecedented hard times.

Be informed, not consumed

Everyone appears to have their own analysis of how things will end up; however, opinions are always expressed in distress, anxiety, and fear. It is advisable that you do not get carried away with unconfirmed news about what the future has in store for businesses. In short, limit your exposure to hearsay, rumors, and bad news. 

Hearing too much of these can dominate your thoughts, making it hard to remain positive. If you start getting fearful, depleted, or agitated when watching news, then it is time to take a break.  Watch your favorite program on TV, read a business magazine. Listen to your favorite podcast. These are all simple tricks to keep your mind enthused and positive!  

Savor the small moments 

Even during a crisis, you still have lots of small moments to savor or relish. The smell of well-brewed coffee, the fresh air around you, the feeling of warm water beating on your skin, and so on.  

When you start relishing these moments, rather than let them rush on auto-pilot, you are offering your brain an opportunity to process the pleasure, which boosts your emotions and mood. They say, the more you think, see, and do things that reflect happiness, positivity, and peace, the more it can influence your outlook.  

Never worry too much over what you can’t control 

Just as you cannot have control over the weather changes, you can’t control the job market or the economy in general. The financial situation of a nation changes regularly, and there is little you can do about it. So, as opposed to stressing over the situations you can’t control, concentrate on what you can control.

For instance, personal goals are within your realm of control. Focus on how you can easily achieve them. Avoid distractions and find time to work on your goals. This strategy will help you boost confidence while reducing stress.  

COVID19 handout dental practices pdf file

Do not bottle your disappointment and frustration

As a dental practice owner, you have emotionally invested in your business; thus, it is natural that when things don’t go as expected, you will experience some feelings of frustration, despair, or anger. It would be best if you didn’t alarm your staff, but all together, it is also vital that you express your feelings.

Talk to a family member, a friend, or your support network — people who can listen and provide advice. An acquaintance that isn’t emotionally invested in the situation can be better positioned to view the crisis from a different perception and can help you land on potential solutions.

When you reach out to individuals you respect and trust, you feel more grounded. More so, sharing with these people can help you control your anxiety and stress. So, take time to video-call that relative or friend you trust. Share your thoughts, worries, and whatever business-related concerns you have. 

Stay flexible

Always remain flexible with everything you do. Usually, there are various ways to arrive at a specific target; therefore, don’t be negative and object to the different ideas thrown to you.  

Rather, be flexible and open to new things, because you may unearth a better and more productive trick to get things done. Apparently, this will be as a result of your positive attitude and the fact that you were keen to try something new as opposed to dismissing it.

For instance, with the economic decline combined with future uncertainty, dental practice owners can capitalize on online hiring platforms instead of their in-house way of recruiting, to source top dental contractors or staff as and when the need arises.

The dental temp workers available on these platforms can allow your office to be flexible in how it reacts to slow and busy periods brought about by the current uncertainties. In short, you can hire workers as they are needed.  

Again, let’s say, a dental assistant has departed suddenly either because of sickness or COVID-19 related fears, hiring a replacement via these digital platforms can make the transition painless, and there will be no loss of productivity.  

Have a plan in place ahead of time

Crisis or pandemics will always come, it is, therefore, vital to always have a plan when things don’t go as planned, and even rehearse it (just like a fire drill).

For example, what would you do if your practice experienced a mass resignation of staff?  What would you do if one of your staff tested positive for Coronavirus disease? What if you have a shortage of PPE in your office?

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Preparing for the unforeseen head of time will allow you to sail through the challenges much more smoothly. As opposed to making decisions on the fly, you will be all set to handle all the issues with poise — and a level head.  

Final thoughts

The ability to remain hopeful and optimistic in difficult times can feel impossible. More heartrending changes, such as loss of business, can throw you off even worse. However, when your brain is prepared to stay optimistic in negative situations, even tragedy can’t destroy you.

Basically, with the power of positive thinking, you can learn to put undesirable situations in perspective and to handle them as they arise.  

What do you do, or what have you done to stay optimistic in these difficult times? We would like to hear your views and tips.