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A few student leaders from the Pacific Dentists Exercising Towards Overall Xcellence (DETOX) Club shared their top tips and personal New Year's resolutions to stay happy and healthy in 2015. Read on to see how they’re working towards personal health and well-being while in dental school.

Pacific DETOX Leaders
Pacific DETOX hosted dietitian, Alexandra Caspero, for a lunch-and-learn session. From left to right: Trevor Fujinaka '16, Navid Torabian '16, Alexandra Caspero, Daniel Hoffman '16, Courtney Sutherland '17, Nisa Goshtasbi '16, Tiffany Nguyen '17.

Nisa Goshtasbi, DDS 2016, Pacific Detox Co-President
Even though dental school may appear as the busiest, most chaotic time in our lives, I know that as we graduate and settle into our careers, our responsibilities will only grow. That’s why I force myself to adopt a balance in my life, educationally, socially, and physically. For me, I work hard during the school week to be efficient and effective in my learning. Once Friday evening comes around, I give myself a break. No studying for me on a Friday night -- that is my time to unwind. Saturday and Sunday mornings, I eat a light breakfast like a banana and head to the gym. Since these are the only days we are off, I find it essential to fit in gym time on the weekends. Saturday, I work out the stresses of the previous week, and Sunday, I set myself up for success for the upcoming week. The hardest thing about working out is getting started, but push yourself to get there, and you will thank yourself later. So my message to you, is to find YOUR balance, figure out what works best for YOU, and set reasonable expectations to achieve your goals. I know that the last place I want to be after a 10-hour school day is the gym. That’s why on school nights, I opt for 10-15 minutes of either pilates or yoga in my apartment. By setting realistic goals, and always having the big picture in mind, I am confident that we can all find our personal balance and create a positive environment to thrive in.

Trevor Fujinaka, DDS 2016, Pacific Detox Chair of Activities
My New Year’s resolution is to find time to be active everyday, whether it be at the gym for a workout, walk around the neighborhood, or stretching. Although it seems like there isn’t time to take a break from the grind of dental school, it is important to take the time to get out and get moving and not put it off until “tomorrow.” A little bit of exercise is enough to clear the mind and be in touch with your body, which occasionally gets sacrificed both mentally and physically. So, this year I am going to set a time each day dedicated to being active. No matter how important a test is the next day, it’s more important to take care of yourself first.

Yoga
Pacific DETOX holds yoga classes for the school community on Mondays evenings.

Daniel Hoffman, DDS 2016, Pacific Detox Treasurer
Every year during the first few days or week of the new year, people bombard each other with a question regarding their New Year’s resolution. Most of the time these resolutions are fulfilled relentlessly for the first couple of weeks or optimistically for a couple months. Then, when life becomes busy, free time disappears and stresses of life take over, our resolutions drift out of our head without us even noticing. This happens to me too. Instead of trying to instill a New Year’s resolution, I try embody habits that will last me a lifetime. I recently read a book called “The Compound Effect,” in short it explains that everything we do in life is a choice, and no matter how small they seem, after a decade or two they compound to have profound effects – effects you couldn’t imagine if you looked at the simple choices individually. This year my goal is to be mindful throughout each day in the choices I make and interactions I encounter. When we slow down and contribute even an extra 5 seconds of thought to a decision, our logic can be utilized and impulses retracted. I want to apply this specifically to diet and time management. When I see a bag of chips out of the corner of my eye and start to salivate, am I actually hungry? Do I need these chips? Or are my senses promoting a craving that will dissipate with the next sensory impulse I receive? This crosses all borders of life, like watching TV or going on Facebook because it is a habit, not something I actually desire or care about. I believe that by making mindfulness a priority in my life as a “New Year’s resolution,” I can make my life healthier physically, mentally and emotionally.

Courtney Sutherland, DDS 2017, Pacific Detox Fundraising Chair
My number one tip for staying healthy: SLEEP! I know, I know, old news. But now that I’m forcing myself to sleep at least 7 hours at night, I feel so much more alert during the day, and positive about life in general. My boyfriend recommended that I listen to a podcast on the importance of sleep, and halfway through, I swear, I took a nap … not because it was boring! Seriously, guys, sleep is so awesome for you. Try it. Another “must” in my life is yoga. I start every day with at least half an hour. It allows me to begin my morning with clarity and intention. I truly believe that everyone who tries yoga will discover just how wonderful it is. And lastly—green smoothies! There’s no better way to nourish your body than with some amazingly delicious nutrients in the form of fruit and veggies. When given the option of a salad or a green smoothie, I will always rock a smoothie.

Yogaedited