Stay Calm and Be Kind
Can you believe it?! It has been six months since the coronavirus hit the United States and we had to shut down our dental businesses and the entire country. How did this sudden turn of events affect you and you practice? Is it still affecting you? Are your patients showing up to their appointments? Have you lost employees who don’t want to be in dentistry anymore? Were you able to get access to a PPP loan, or is that a hill you’re still trying to climb?
There have been so many stressors thrown into our lives; the questions above only address how we as professionals have had to pivot in our industry. Our personal lives have just as many questions and fears trying to understand who we are exposed to, and wondering about who our loved ones are around.
With the continued phasing of “reopening” our society, it is easy to get frustrated and upset. We come from a country that allows its people to be free to go and make their own decisions, however now we are constantly being told what to do, what not to do, when and how often to wash our hands, and not to see our loved ones. This new way of living is very challenging for all Americans because after all - we are the land of the free, right? We have all heard the phrase - we are all in this together… it really is true. We all are going through this strange and difficult situation, not knowing who or what to believe. We really must remember to be kind to each other.
When stress starts boiling over, it becomes easy to snap at someone, or start and argument over something small and petty. I would like to encourage you to try to be a little more self-aware of when you are feeling angry or frustrated; acknowledge the way you are feeling by taking a few deep breaths. Give yourself that moment to calm down, because when you are able to stay calm in a tense situation it will become infectious to those around you and they will be able to stay calm as well. When another person approaches you in a harsh and negative tone, take a moment and remember that they have stressors in their life that you cannot understand. Give them that moment of empathy and try your best to stay calm and with a smile on your face.
I cannot tell you how many times I have called USAA (my insurance company) angry because someone damaged my belongings. In those moments that I am calling them my rage is so strong that I would have doubts my own mother could calm me down. Yet somehow the person that answers maintains their composure, I can hear a smile on their face, they are giving me empathy for the terrible situation I’ve been thrown in. Then they help me find a resolution to my issue. No matter how angry I am, they always calm me down because not only do they say they care about me, they find ways to show it.
Right now we need to show each other how much we care about one another. We need to find ways to be kind to our families, friends, co-workers and the strangers on the street. With masks on our faces it’s hard to see a smile, but people can hear it in your voice and see it in your eyes. It’s challenging but every morning I challenge you to wake up and think of 5 good things happening in your life. Be grateful for them and thank your lucky stars that you have them. It is simple and cheesy but an easy way to help bring a little more happiness into your day. Today I am grateful for my health, my supportive friends and family, the roof over my head, the love of my dog and that fall is starting to remove some of the humidity out of the air in Houston.
I know for all the parents out there this has been the longest and most exhausting spring break in all of history. Lord knows this has not been easy for the GTS team, we are used to traveling all over this beautiful country. Personally, I have not been on an airplane since February and I am usually on a plane 4-5 times a month. In a typical week I would interact with hundreds of people (visiting clients, traveling the airport, attending a conference, socializing with friends and family), and now I can count on my hands the number of people I have spent more than 5 minutes with, without a face mask on, in the last six months.
Our world changed suddenly with the hopes it would be short lived and now it appears we are still in the early phases stages. However, in the midst of these challenges remember that we only get so many trips around the sun, and 2020 is one of those trips. It’s not the way we would want to take this trip, but here we are and we must deal with it. Please remember to be kind to each other, find something to smile about and walk away from each human encounter with a grateful heart. My wish is for our new normal to somehow have some semblance of the old normal. At the very least that hugs are allowed again.
Chris Ciardello, Consultant
Chris Ciardello joined Global Team Solutions as a consultant in 2013. As a practice management consultant, Chris is passionate about sharing his expertise in the areas of technology and marketing as it pertains to the dental office. Chris has a distinctive knack for understanding the needs of an office and he communicates those needs to the team, which creates a cohesive, productive atmosphere. He is a member of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants and Toastmasters International.
He can be reached at: Chris@GTSgurus.com.