Mental health and empowering women

It was great speaking to Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki last year on mindfulness, well-being and equality. Openess around burnout, stress and our experiences, I feel can make a massive difference to our profession. To hear the full interview, access the link below;

A mindful reset: why we need a retreat for Dental Profs

I have a confession. I am a mindfulness junkie. After a divorce, experiencing depression and burnout, I fell into mindfulness by chance. My life challenges had landed about the same time as the wave of mindfulness was beginning.

Mindfulness felt like the ultimate mind massage. A feeling of joyful relaxation. As though I had come out of the deepest and most restful of snoozes. Its bliss. Thats why when I first started mindfulness, I was hooked. I started mindfulness during a difficult period of my life and feeling exhausted by a constant mental chatter. It was a way of pausing. Connecting with the mind and body. A stop from replaying the past. Now its an energising life force. I use it regularly to invite more stillness, calm, energy, focus, clarity, joy and better health.

My first mindfulness retreat was last year. The thought of spending days on meditation was pure bliss to me.

It was a gift of slowing down that appealed. Me time minus the expensive spa treatments. The perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of everyday.

With my mindfulness teacher training, I booked on 3 retreats. Each time we explored different areas of well-being- from breathing and relaxation to gut nutrition, yoga and goal manifestation. And each time, I left with a step in my stride. Optimism of the future. An excitement to continue my entrepreneurial journey. I also felt myself letting go of old, unhelpful mental naps that just didn’t serve me. I noticed personal growth each time. This re-energisation spilled into the weeks post retreat. A beautiful impact of a retreat, is its ability to spark new intentions. I have dedicated a lot of time on ny mind but less so on my body. Retreats remind me of the powerful mind body connection and the significance of prioritising physical exercise.

The world of Dentistry is currently one of isolation, low morale and high levels of burnout. We are constantly attending courses on how to better our dental skills but why not spend time to nourish ourselves? And with this thought in mind, I am currently working alongside Hoda Sepehrara to bring you a retreat of our own for dental professionals. It will be a forest bathing retreat, combining mindfulness, nutrition, life coaching and Positive Psychology.

I am convinced of their utter magic in sparking growth, letting go of old mental maps and limiting beliefs and connecting with others. Its experiential learning. I love it! We look forward to bringing you something new and innovative.

Maternity leave & Dentistry

By Dr Yasmin Shakarchy @dr_shakarchy

From Emeline Roberts Jones to Jeanne Sinkford, females have played a pivotal role in the evolution of dentistry. Coupling their momentous involvement with the conception, birth and rearing of multiple children makes their accomplishments all the more impressive. The foundations of illustrious women have continued to this day. Modern female dentists manage to balance personal and professional matters when forging impressive careers, and this is a topic close to my heart.

Having practiced for eight years, building both my dental ability and reputation within an area, I decided to enter the journey of motherhood. The pregnancy itself was difficult towards the end, requiring multiple weekly trips to the hospital for scans and a few scares along the way, but despite this I managed to work until a few weeks before my baby daughter’s birth. I even managed to attend, and won the Young Dentist of the Year award (Midlands) while heavily pregnant. Admittedly dentistry occupied my thoughts and time during that period, planning how to finish my orthodontic cases, smile
makeovers and leave patients safe.

The sheer fast paced nature of that time meant I had not fully understood what was about to happen. It was only after my baby girl was born that I realised I had spent that last nine months not understanding how much my life was about to change. There was the initial struggle of sleep deprivation, a period I like to remember as ‘survival mode’. Such was the difficulty, that it made the hectic schedule of navigating patient treatments and my own career seem like a walk in the park.

Raising a child has been the greatest accomplishment of my life, and Liyanna is the most beautiful gift this world could have afforded me. It requires patience, determination, emotional discipline and a lot more patience!

By the time I had returned to a state where dentistry could once more have a place in my life, it felt like it had drastically changed. From the nature of photography and digital dentistry, to the delicate alterations to improve outcomes.

I actually spent the last month before returning to work, reading incessantly about all of the latest modern innovations, catching up with the world I had missed. Thereafter balancing my life as a mother and my career in dentistry, requiring forward planning when it came to childcare and her routine. It needed the understanding and co-operation of my
husband, and larger family. It demanded the trust to allow my most precious girl to be left in the care of others. And, most importantly it required my own faith that I could rise higher than before.

Motherhood changed both me and my career. But, in truth it made me stronger, better. Coming back to the world of dentistry, I plan to to return with the strength to create something not only for myself but the girl looking at me as I type this so lovingly. To be
someone she could look upto.

To end, I wish to leave you with my advice. There is a saying in the middle east which says every flower has its own fragrance. It means that every aspect of life should be enjoyed. That period after graduation building your career, the pregnancy developing life in your womb and of course the challenge of raising a tiny human. During those months of maternity leave, if you’ve manged to leave your work safely, I would focus purely on those moments of motherhood. I would embrace and emerge yourself in it, and try to enjoy it all. Once you feel ready, slowly start returning to the world of dentistry, reading about changes and improvements, allowing this to gather pace until finally returning to work full-steam ahead, rising to a station higher than before.

Dr Yasmin Shakarchy graduated from The university of Birmingham in 2011. She is a member of the Royal College of Surgeons and a qualified cosmetic dentist, specialising in smile make-overs. Her talents have garnered praise and awards nationally, including winning Young Dentist of the Year (Midlands). She also focuses on a wide range of non-surgical treatments and is the co-founder of a specialised Facial Aesthetics Clinic based in Birmingham.

How can we practise gratitude daily?

I recently wrote on the many ways we can practise gratitude for The Muslim Vibe. A massive thank you for this platform for allowing me to explore the findings from Positive Psychology and the psychology of habits. It can be difficult at times to practise gratitude consistently without getting bored. In the article, we explore gratitude in its full context.

Click on the link to access the full article;

How to enhance joy through practising gratitude

Too busy for feelings?

We live in a society, at least in the West, that values ‘doing’. No surprises there that millennials have been dubbed the “burnout generation”. Even if we wanted to enhance our emotional awareness, how do we go about it?

One technique is asking yourself daily how you are feeling and why. Hone into your emotions. This can be done verbally, or reflections in a journal in prose or bullet form. And then ask yourself, if you do feel disconnected and low, what can you do right now to help. You may not be able to solve your problem but just beginning to brainstorm what helps YOU feel better, loved and appreciated is the idea.

Emotional regulation can make a massive impact directly on your behaviours so exploring emotional intelligence is worth dedicating regular time to.

Strengthen Emotional Resilience

I wanted to share information on my new course combining Positive Psychology, neuroscience and mindfulness 🧠💪 A year in the making and I’m excited to see this course come to fruition. A massive thank you to Dr Pippa for her beautiful illustration and capturing the essence of mindful practice.

Does stress ever get the better of you? Have you lost your motivation and joy? Do you dip into unhealthy habits to cope? Do you want to harness your emotions? Are you ready to open your mind? Are you looking to create healthy habits?

If any of these questions resonate, join me at Stillpoint Spaces in Farringdon on our flagship well-being course: Strengthen Emotional Resilience. You’ll learn vital tools to enhance emotional resilience, emotional intelligence, focus and govern stress.

This 5 consecutive week course starts on Thursday evenings 7-830pm from 5th March to 2nd April 2020.

You’ll explore Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, CBT for anxiety and goal setting, Neuroscience and Positive Psychology.

The 5 sessions include;
🌟 Psychology of well-being
🌟 Neuroscience of well-being
🌟 Understanding thoughts and behaviours

🌟 Using CBT to reframe thoughts
🌟 Mindfulness and mindful living
🌟 Role of exercise in well-being
🌟 Enhancing compassion and connection
🌟 How to cope after a fall
🌟 Psychology of habits and motivation
🌟 Growth mindset
🌟 Future proofing yourself

The course uses well-being raters to help you track your progress. This is based on 3 established psychological scales. Strengthen Emotional Resilience was created with the guidance of expert Health Psychologist, Prof Tim Newton; UK’s leading psychologist for dentists.

The 5 week course is currently priced at an introductory offer of £270. We have limited spaces, and I’m looking for a group of 6. The sessions will be interactive, lots of group mindfulness, discussions on well-being and applied positive psychology.

100 years of women

My book review of 100 years of women in the dental profession by the very awesome Janine Brooks is in this months BDJ in Practice. We were fortunate to have Janine speak on this great topic at our conference in November. This book houses lots of stories of empowerment, lessons learnt and female role models to get you inspired and energised for the new year 💫

Practising gratitude

A simple but effective practise of gratitude is writing down 3 things you are grateful for and why. Have a dedicated journal to jot your gratitude reflections daily. To help remind you of your new habit, leave visual cues such as your journal on your bedside table.

Ultimate mindful morning routine

Have you ever tried a mindful morning routine? Morning routines are important in setting us up for the day feeling energised for the day ahead. In this video, I explore different elements of a mindful morning routine. Introducing these really made a big impact on my enjoyment of my morning. Definitely give it a go and customise yours to suit your interests.