I love Christmas, it’s my favorite time of year, however to some, the thought of Christmas fills them with dread and that can be for the most trivial of things like a hate for shopping and those busy shops during the festive season or it can be for greater reasons such as having lost a loved one recently, a poorly family member, or being homeless. Every one of us has a story and that story will have an impact upon how we feel towards the festive season.
I’ve already completed most of my Christmas shopping and we aren’t even into to December yet! My daughters’ advent calendars are at the ready for the opening of the first window on Sunday and they are bursting with excitement for the early morning chocolate hits that are only ever acceptable at this time of year, but what they are more excited about is the ‘random acts of kindness’ advent calendar that I’m running alongside it. This idea came from a friend who had found it in a kid’s magazine and shared it in our ‘Mummyhood’ WhatsApp group. I love the concept and it’s all my girls keep talking about, they have said after their random act of kindness they will then reward themselves with a chocolate from their advent calendar and they cannot wait to get started. What better way to teach your children to be kind than to show them first-hand how good it feels doing kind things for others.
But why should these random acts of kindness stop at my children? We have decided as a practice to run random acts of kindness during the working days of advent and we would like you to follow us in our journey as we share each random act of kindness that we perform daily on our social media.
For me personally, it has made the lead up to Christmas even more exciting, I get great pleasure from seeing people’s reactions to the gifts I buy for them at Christmas but the thought of lighting up a strangers day especially when their story could be quite dark, that for me, is what makes the world go round. Helping others is what we should all strive to be about. The more we help one another, the more we help the world, treat everyone with respect and they will treat you with respect and this revolving door approach to kindness is what we need to see each day. Kindness takes shape in many forms; it can be an action that surprises a stranger, or it can be a smile sent across the room.
How great are our team going to feel carrying out kind gestures not just for our clients but for the wider population of Ipswich? We might only have an impact on a handful of people during the lead up to Christmas but imagine if this idea inspired others to do the same and the kindness spread further afield.
My favourite things in life are meeting new people, animals and walking. My last holiday to Peru included all these things and was truly amazing.
I flew into Lima where I met up with the other members of the group. There were 11 of us in total, all like minded so we hit it off from day one.
We started our first leg of our journey to the Amazon Rainforest. After a long journey by small boat along the Amazon we arrived at Cayman Eco Lodge, right on the banks of the river. Here we stayed a few days enjoying the sights and sounds of the jungle. We did day hikes, night hikes, and canoe rides at sunrise to see the macaws on the mineral licks.
The animal life was amazing and we didn’t have to go far from our lodge to see monkeys, sloths, and capybara just to name a few. There were lots of colourful birds and insects and of course the dreaded tarantula spiders! We took small canoes looking for anacondas and jaguars along the riverside, thankfully we didn’t see any but did see evidence that they had been there recently.
The next part of the journey was the 4 day long Inca trail, the highest pass was 13,828 ft. The 17 porters that travelled with us set up and took down our camp daily, cooked our meals and still had enough energy to run past us with their heavy 20 kg packs while we puffed and panted to Machu Pichu. The eldest porter was 63 years old, they were all amazing!
After us celebrating reaching Machu Pichu we arrived at another very different part of Peru; Lake Titicaca. We visited the locals that made their homes on floating reed islands no bigger than 20 metres across, which housed 4 families. The reeds from the lake were used to build their houses and boats and to burn for cooking. They mainly ate waterfowl and fish. They took us out on their reed boat which was surprisingly very stable, to fish and cut the reeds to repair the island and their home.
We then went to a ‘proper’ island and stayed with a lovely Peruvian couple who opened their modest house to us. Our guide advised us what to take as a gift, chocolate and sweet things were forbidden as there were no dentists on the island! We took food provisions with us as a gift and whilst there helped to dig the land and prepare meals in the small wood burning stove, no electricity or modern showers just the lake! I was blown away by their kindness, everyone we met were happy and had beautiful smiles and teeth, probably the lack of sugar!
I will never forget the people and their country……. where shall I go next year???
In dentistry, it is very easy to get caught up in fixing smiles and the running of the practice that we lose track of whether we are still providing you with that ‘Wow factor’ patient experience. This is when our 5 star google reviews come into their own, they stop the whole team in their tracks because we love to hear your positive comments about the service that we are providing and that our hard work is paying off.
We want our clients to have the best experience here at Christchurch and have invested a lot into making sure that you leave the practice happy and raving about us to your friends and family.
You are not just our clients; you are our raving fans and our shop window. We don’t do paid advertising and rely on the experience we give you bringing in word of mouth referrals so go and tell everyone about how great Christchurch is and what makes us stand out above the rest by writing us a google review. Many of our new clients who found us via google will say the chose us above other practices in the area because of our positive google reviews. One patient said recently that she googled ‘The best dentist in Suffolk’ and the search and reviews led her to us.
If you are an existing client who is a raving fan and haven’t done so already; then we would be very grateful if you could start spreading the Christchurch word.
So how can you spread the word?
• Tell your friends about your positive experience with us.
• Write a google review.
• Write a Facebook review.
• Like our Facebook page.
• Follow us on Instagram.
• Comment on our posts.
• Share our posts.
These positive reviews mean so much to us as a team and a business as they reflect that we are offering the 5-star patient experience that we strive to deliver here at Christchurch. The reviews boost our team morale and the reputation of our practice. There is nothing like positive feedback from a client.
If you haven’t yet visited us and want to receive our 5-star patient experience and join our raving fans, then contact our reception team on 01473 250977 or [email protected]. We can’t wait to meet you and show you what all the hype is about.
I decided that today would be the day that I write my next blog. So far this morning, I’ve made several phone calls, dealt with my growing inbox and had 3 cups of tea all with my next blog ticking away in the back of my mind, hoping that at some point I would have a eureka moment on what exactly to blog about but no eureka moments today. This could have easily made me put it off for another day but instead I’ve decided to blog about ‘nothing’.
Wouldn’t it have been easy to just put it off and focus on one of my many other tasks? Of course it would! I would still have a sense of fulfilment as I ticked more jobs off my list but the blog would still be looming over me.
I find we are all guilty of that, from leaving the washing up to leaving that cavity that the dentist found at your last oral health check. The problem is that the washing up will continue to build up and that cavity won’t be getting any smaller either. In dentistry we often find that what starts off as a very small problem in the mouth and that you didn’t even know was there, can very quickly become a larger and more expensive problem. The point of view from the client is that it’s only small, it can wait. However, then they are too busy to attend their next oral health review or book that filling appointment and by the time they come back again that small problem has grown or they are booking in for an emergency appointment because now they have toothache and don’t just need a filling now, they need more extensive treatment.
The one good piece of advice that I can give you today, is don’t put it off, my blog would have been even harder to write tomorrow, the pile of washing up will take longer tomorrow and if you have been putting off that filling you might be waking up with toothache and a larger dental bill tomorrow.
Being practice manager, I spend little time in surgery these days but when I do I often hear ‘I only brush once a day, I’m too tired in the evening so skip brushing before bed’, ‘I have a sweet tooth’ or ‘I don’t floss as often as I should’. Does any of this sound familiar?
The thing is, these are all things you can control. You can control your attitude and your effort, sometimes it takes making some changes to your routine but it’s all achievable.
The expression ‘one step at a time’ can be applied to most goals and we’ve all been told to take things one step at a time at least once in our life time.
The idea is that small changes can all add up to big differences, but is this really case? After all, wouldn’t it be better to just go big or go home as this will help you achieve your goals faster?
One of the major problems with big changes is that you often end up needing to alter your daily routine or your lifestyle in order to accommodate them. This can be incredibly difficult to do and mean that it is harder to keep up with them, as other things will get in the way.
This increases your chances of not achieving what you set out to, which can ultimately see you give up. However, taking things one step at a time means that small changes can be slotted around your daily schedule so you aren’t having to make large changes to accommodate them.
Let’s take interdental cleaning as an example, if you routinely sit down at 7.30pm to watch Eastenders, then why not sit down with your interdental brushes or floss and do a bit of multitasking at the beginning of the programme.
I went to church last week to see my daughters perform in their Easter service and the prayers that the children were saying really pulled on my heart strings, they were praying for their families health and happiness, praying that the sea doesn’t drown in plastic, apologising for the pollution in the world, praying for world peace.
Some of these things are controllable like lowering pollution and plastics in the sea, even world peace, and relatively speaking they make not brushing teeth twice a day or not flossing sound incredibly minor. Thing is, if we can’t even make the effort to alter our routines in order to do the small things then what hope do these children have when it comes to answering their prayers.