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Inside Dental Hygiene
May 2020
Volume 16, Issue 3

Practical Tips for Surviving Social Distancing

How to remain positive while self-quarantined

Tiffany Stark

Recently, dental industry professionals were presented with the challenge of exercising social distancing for an indefinite period of time due to the threat of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19.

Virtually a foreign concept to most prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Johns Hopkins Medicine defined social distancing in a recent article as "deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19."1

Although the prospect of having an unlimited amount of time at home once was the equivalent of a vacation for those working long hours, now many are struggling to find their "new normal" in their daily routines. Consider the following tips to remain positive, active, and productive during this time.

Set Realistic Expectations

At first, the prospect of spending an extended period of time at home may create pressure to tackle overdue projects, such as cleaning, organizing, or home improvement. Compiling a lengthy to-do list will only create additional stress. Condense your list into one project a week. Allow yourself to focus on necessary tasks, and don't overwhelm yourself with additional chores or projects.2

Identify New Ways to Connect Socially

It may be tempting to scroll through social media or to spend time on group texts, but doing so can leave you feeling drained and disconnected. Search for free video conferencing apps and watch online tutorials on how to easily set them up on your phone or computer.3

Exercise Your Mind

The more amount of time you spend out of the office, the more likely that you will begin to miss utilizing your clinical skills. Engaging in online continuing education is a great way to remain connected to your profession, while exercising your brain. Many online providers of continuing education are currently offering discounts or promotions for free courses.

Give Back from a Distance

The inability to volunteer in person creates a challenge for those that want to find a positive way to help others while social distancing. Engage your family in creating cards or writing letters to healthcare workers, emergency response teams, and residents of local retirement communities.4

About the Author: Tiffany Stark received her B.A. from West Virginia University and J.D. from The University of District of Columbia Law School. She is currently the host of IDH Weekly, the Brand Manager of Inside Dental Hygiene, and Senior Project Manager of Inside Dentistry's Product Talk.

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