April 2020

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Not All Heroes Wear Capes: Good Deeds During the Coronavirus Pandemic

No matter the circumstances, it’s always a good time to focus on good deeds.

“Little candles throwing their beams.” That’s how William Shakespeare defined good deeds.

We’re all walking through a pretty dark time right now, and we need those candles more than ever. Thankfully, they’re burning brilliantly.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rattle the globe, everyday heroes are emerging from the shadows. Instead of capes, they’re wearing scrubs. Instead of shields, they’re carrying bags of food, medicine, and paper products for their neighbors. They’re fighting despair with hope and delivering joy where it’s desperately needed the most.

Today, we’re taking a look at some of the most inspiring acts of kindness and bravery to emerge over the last few weeks, proving just how brightly humanity can shine.

Restaurant Owners Feeding Schoolchildren

The crisis has forced millions of children across the United States to stay home from school. While the move is necessary, it can be devastating for students who rely on cafeterias as their only reliable meal source.

In response, many school districts have put plans in place to continue providing those students in need with access to food; however, it doesn’t stop there.

Seeing a need, many local restaurant owners are also stepping up and opening their doors. As national mandates restrict how they can serve customers, they’re turning their business models upside down and giving food away instead.

Take NY Deli and Catering in nearby Tannersville, for instance, or Corona Cafe in Scotrun. Then, there’s Pizzaro’s Pizzeria and Vinny D’s Deli in East Stroudsburg.

All of these restaurants have made public announcements on their social media pages, urging families with children to contact them if they need food assistance. At a time when few have much to give, they’re using their resources for good and making a major difference.

Patrons Tipping Servers Above and Beyond

As restaurants, bars, and stores shut down across the nation, hourly workers are some of the hardest hit. With many forced to stay home indefinitely without access to sick days and salaries, the financial impact is significant. To help them weather the storm, some generous patrons are reaching deep into their pockets.

In Ohio, just hours before Gov. Mike DeWine announced that all dining establishments would be closed to dine-in patrons, one patron at Columbus’ Coaches Bar & Grill decided to take advantage of his time left in the booth. On top of a $29.75 tab, he left a staggering $2,500 tip, along with a note. The money was to be split equally between the five staff members employed at the restaurant to help ease the strain of the next few weeks.

This incredible act of generosity comes on the heels of similar stories popping up around the country, including one couple who left a $9,400 tip on a $90.12 bill at Irma’s Southwest in Houston.

Football Star Opening Hotel to NHS Staff

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville co-owns two hotels in Manchester, England: Hotel Football and The Stock Exchange. In the wake of the pandemic, Neville closed their doors but not for the reason you might think.

He made them available for free to any National Health Service (NHS) workers who may need to be separated from their families while they fight on the front lines of this health crisis. Now, all 176 beds in the two hotels are occupied by NHS staff and other local medical workers.

Neville also vowed to ensure that all hotel staff members would be able to keep their positions, along with their incomes, over the next few months.

“Caremongering” Taking Over the Internet

When Darrell Blakeley passed away on March 13 after coronavirus complications, his family didn’t want flowers. Instead, they set up a Wall of Kindness in Blakeley’s honor.

The Facebook page is designed to be a catch-all space for people around the world to share the ways they’re helping their communities during this time. Family members urged web visitors to go shopping for their elderly neighbors, call someone who’s struggling, send a card, or perform any other kind of good deeds possible.

This online space joins thousands of other similar ones set up to bring neighborhoods together. Around the world, people are creating Facebook pages designed to serve as community forums, where residents can share uplifting stories, post identified needs, explain what they’re doing for others, or request assistance themselves.

Known as “caremongering,” the organized movement started in Canada and has quickly spread, with most users relying on hashtags to organize their efforts.

Curb Service Offering Hope to Grocery Shoppers

One of the most talked about acts of kindness recently has been Twitter user Rebecca Mehra’s offer to go grocery shopping for an elderly couple who was afraid to enter the store in Bend, Oregon.

In the tweet, which has been seen by more than 11 million web visitors, Mehra reveals that the couple was nearly in tears asking for help and had been waiting for nearly 45 minutes before she arrived. She did their shopping and thought the good deed was over, but its impact would continue to echo.

In response to her story, people all over the country are paying it forward, one grocery trip at a time. One pre-med student at the University of Nevada, Reno even created a local volunteer network of “Shopping Angels” that’s now spread into a national movement.

Celebrate these good deeds and smile!

There’s plenty of negativity everywhere we look lately.

It can be easy to shrink into the darkness, overwhelmed at what lies ahead. However, these good deeds prove that it’s far more productive and fulfilling to step up and give back, even (especially) when chaos swirls all around.

As we move forward into our new normal, may we all look for new and creative ways to join forces with these superheroes. A candle can shine on its own, but we’re far more radiant when we light up the ones around us.

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Uplifting Books That Will Bring Comfort During Hard Times

Books have the power to uplift us during this challenging time.

As we reached the end of March, the government, following the CDC’s recommendations for flattening the curve, decided we should continue to stay at home as much as possible until the end of April.

This is a stressful time, and many of us are finding ourselves with more time on our hands than we know what to do with! That’s why the team at Bentz Dental has come up with a list of uplifting books to improve your spirits.

Bibliotherapy is a form of therapy that relies on reading to support positive mental health. While reading any book can help calm the mind and promote relaxation, uplifting books in particular can be a great way to go right now.

Read on to find out which books you should add to your shelves or your e-reader today!

Books That Make Us Laugh

Sometimes the best way to break the emotional cycle of stress and negativity is to have a good laugh!

David Sedaris’s book, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, is hilariously funny. Over the course of 22 essays, he covers topics from getting locked out in the snow by his own mother to the traditional Dutch Christmas story.

If you’re looking for a work of fiction that will crack you up, consider Douglas Adams’ novel, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It follows a man named Arthur Dent as he learns a new way of life in outer space and gets into all sorts of side-splitting mishaps along the way.

Books That Teach Compassion and Empathy

In times like these, it’s easy to become focused on our own problems and our own families. These books will remind us to look outside of ourselves and feel compassion toward those who are also suffering.

In Anne Lamott’s short work of nonfiction, Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy, she refers to mercy as “radical kindness.” Lamott does her best to teach us how to forgive ourselves and others and create a better world along the way.

Toni Morrison’s debut novel, The Bluest Eye, is as tragic as it is beautiful. Morrison allows us to learn more about the struggles accompanying racial and class lines through the eyes of young girls. You are guaranteed to finish this novel with a renewed sense of compassion.

Books That Bring Us Hope

It’s important we remember that even in our darkest hours, there are reasons to remain hopeful. These books are guaranteed to refresh your feelings of hopefulness and even joy.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith follows an impoverished young girl through early 20th-century Brooklyn. Though her life is filled with setbacks, she, like the Tree of Heaven that continues to grow in spite of its hardened surroundings, does not lose hope.

Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights is a short piece comprised of the poet’s own “essayettes” about the things he finds delightful. This book will bring a smile to your face while teaching you how to find delight in even the smallest things.

Books That Give Practical Tips for Coping in a Crisis

Sometimes the best way to cope with a crisis is to confront it directly. These books don’t shy away from the subject of difficult times but, rather, embrace them and teach us how to grow from times of crisis.

The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday renews the Roman philosophy of stoicism in a way that feels accessible—and necessary—in the modern day. He teaches us that it is not the obstacles in life that define us, but instead, it is the way we respond to them. Challenges are unavoidable, but we can learn to persevere in the face of hardship with the help of this book.

Brené Brown’s book, Rising Strong, starts from a place in which adversity has already occurred. Brown’s goal is not to teach us how to avoid failure or pain but how to get back up when these hard moments in our lives have overcome us. She covers painful human experiences from loss to shame and presents us with powerful coping mechanisms to push through any crisis.

Books That Increase Our Faith in Humanity

Due to social distancing and hard-to-stomach, 24-hour news stories, we may feel a little bit distant from others right now. Reading is a great way to reconnect with humanity as a whole and remind ourselves that when people do good things, they have a huge impact on the world.

If you haven’t picked up Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird since high school English class (or ever), now is the time to give this book a read. Set in 1930s rural Alabama, we follow young Scout’s awakening to the prejudices that harm the people around her. Fortunately for her and for us, her father, Atticus, provides a moral light that reminds us that we have the power to make a difference.

The Power of Kindness by Piero Ferrucci is a nonfiction work that will remind you that you have the power to make a difference. His work focuses on the positive transaction that occurs when one commits an act of kindness: It betters the world around them and fills their life with joy and tranquility. Ferrucci reminds us that making the world a better place isn’t as hard as we think.

Fill your shelves with uplifting books.

In times of high stress, it’s important to have a stack of uplifting books to reach for. We hope we’ve inspired you to employ some bibliotherapy and get to reading!

In case of a dental emergency, we are still available to help! Go to our contact page and call the phone number at the bottom of the screen.

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10 Tips for Self-Care to Help Relieve Stress & Support Your Health

Take advantage of these stress-relieving self-care tips today.

It’s no secret that our lives have been upended lately.

We’re all working to adjust to a new normal where “social distancing” and “quarantine” are household words. Your world got a lot smaller a few weeks ago, and the change can bring about both social and physical stress.

While it’s important to implement self-care of our minds and bodies all of the time, it’s especially critical during times of heightened anxiety, like the ones we’re walking through right now.

Today, we’re sharing 10 tips for self-care that can help boost your mood, strengthen your immune system, and help you navigate the coming days with clarity and fortitude.

1. Feed your body well.

Quarantine snacks are real, and they are necessary!

That said, resist the urge to reach into the bag of potato chips every time you get a craving. Good nutrition is essential for a healthy immune system, and you need yours to be as strong as possible right now.

If there was ever a time to get creative in the kitchen, this is it!

Using the ingredients you have on hand, see what kind of nutritious meals you can come up with on the fly. If you need a little inspiration, some of your favorite restaurants and celebrity chefs are dishing up easy, make-at-home recipes to get you through this time!

2. Get enough sleep.

Your schedule might have cleared up significantly, but this isn’t the time to burn the candle at both ends.

During this trying time, you need more sleep than ever. While you doze, your body is hard at work, repairing your muscles, organs, and other cells. If you aren’t getting the recommended seven hours minimum, it can be tougher to bounce back if you do get sick.

Find yourself tossing and turning more these days? Stress-induced insomnia could be to blame. These tips, which include ditching the evening coffee and turning down the A/C, can help you drift off more easily.

3. Soak up the sun.

You might be stuck at home, but in most cases, you don’t have to stay indoors. When you need a mental break, go outside and soak up some vitamin D.

Take a stroll around the backyard, take the kids on a scavenger hunt, or bring lunch outside for a change. Whatever you do, use this time to connect with nature and give your eyes a break from the screen. Exposure to sunlight can trigger your brain to release serotonin, the feel-good hormone!

4. Try an at-home workout.

Gyms around the world are temporarily shutting their doors, but you can still get your sweat on at home. For a daily reminder to get moving, download a fitness app! A few of our favorites include:

All of these offer guided workouts designed for any skill level. In addition, many brick-and-mortar gyms are now offering virtual workout classes for free! A few of the top ones to check out include:

5. Draw a relaxing bath

Is there anything a good soak can’t fix? When the weight of the world is weighing heavy on your shoulders, sometimes the best solution is to dim the lights, play some soft music, and sink to your chin in a warm bath full of bubbles.

While we know they feel great, researchers show that there’s a scientific reason why baths are so relaxing. The warm water increases blood flow to your skin, improves lung capacity, and loosens your muscles. Draw one tonight and wash the worries away.

6. Declutter your space.

Take advantage of your new free time by organizing your home and getting rid of any extra clutter. While the idea of tackling this chore can seem overwhelming, remember there is no rush.

Keep it simple and try to clean one room per day. If you find anything you don’t need or use, decide whether to toss or recycle it. When you take it slow and approach it meaningfully, this exercise can be a therapeutic one, bringing peace and tranquility to your environment.

7. Practice mindful meditation.

Chances are your mind has been racing in a million different directions lately. There are certainly plenty of things to think about!

With mindful meditation, you can finally let it rest a little. This is the practice of focusing fully on the present, being acutely aware of everything you experience with your five senses. When performed for as little as 10 minutes, it can be like pressing the “reset” button on your day and mood.

You can meditate from any quiet place at any time. If you need a little help, apps like Calm and Headspace are filled with thousands of guided exercises. You can also use this time alone to pray, journal, or listen to soft music.

8. Exercise lightly.

You don’t have to emerge from self-quarantine ready to run a marathon or try out for the Olympics. This isn’t a time to push your body to the extreme but, rather, a season to nourish it.

That said, seek to move for at least 30 minutes per day.

Find a light exercise you love, and it won’t feel like working out. This might mean dance parties in the kitchen, walks around the neighborhood, or backyard soccer games with the kids. Get your heart rate going, your blood pumping, and your spirits up.

9. Stay in touch.

Social connection is a major part of self-care. If you’re feeling isolated, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends and family members.

Though physical distance might separate us, modern technology means we’re never more than a click away from the faces and voices of those we love. Hop on FaceTime and chat with your grandparents, schedule a Zoom meeting with your co-workers, or Skype your best friend in your pajamas.

Technology might get a little burdensome at times, but in this case, it’s a major blessing.

10. Schedule video therapy.

Taking care of your mental health is paramount, especially when you’re in the midst of a crisis. Understanding this, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional therapist if you need a little help adjusting right now.

Whether you visit one regularly or this is your first time, you can connect in seconds to a virtual provider ready to listen and share advice on ways to care for yourself. There are also myriad therapy apps available to help, offering everything from text-based support to professional online counseling.

Practice these tips for self-care today.

It’s natural to crave connection, harmony, and a healthy dose of normalcy right now.

While we all learn to adjust and lean on one another from afar, remember to listen to and respect your personal needs. These tips for self-care can help restore your sanity, renew your mind, and reset your mood.

If you need anything from our office during this time, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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How to Set Yourself up for Success in a Post-Pandemic World

Despite the circumstances, you success is within your reach!

Has your daily routine changed dramatically over the last few weeks?

Maybe you’re used to working in an office every day, and you’re suddenly logging into video calls from your living room. Or perhaps your job was temporarily put on hold as your company grapples with the economic effects of social distancing. You might have even lost your job amid the current crisis.

Either way, there are plenty of ways to use this setback to set yourself up for success.

Today, we’re sharing a few ways to stay calm, recenter, and emerge from this challenge stronger and more ready for success than ever before.

Grow your skill set.

Now is a great time to build your resume!

Is there a skill you’ve always wanted to learn but never had the time to? There are plenty of free or reduced-cost resources that are making it easier than ever before to grow personally and professionally.

Hop online and search for your topic of interest on sites like Lynda, Udemy or edX. From coding to fashion design, there’s course material for every kind of subject under the sun.

Use this time at home to dive deep into your industry and pursue advanced certificates that could make you valuable to future employers, or discover something radically different than you’ve done in the past! Either way, don’t pass up this opportunity to grow.

Fine-tune your resume.

When’s the last time you looked at your resume? Especially if you’ve been employed for a while, it’s likely been longer than you think.

Go through and update it, adding in your most recent responsibilities, along with any new qualifications you’ve earned along the way.

If you’re an entrepreneur, your resume might not require as much adjusting. In this case, work on your elevator pitch. This is the 30-second synopsis of your product idea that you can use to pique the interest of customers, partners, and investors. These tips can help you craft one that compels!

Create a goal map to set yourself up for success.

We don’t have to stop daydreaming just because we grow up.

This is an ideal time to reflect on where you’ve been and plan your dreams for the future. With this blank slate in front of you, what do your next steps look like?

Start by considering where you’d like to be in three months. Then, expand it from there. What do your life and career look like one year from now? What about five years?

Sketch or doodle your biggest, boldest ideas and dare to break them down into small, achievable steps.

Take advantage of online webinars.

It isn’t hard to find thousands of examples of people pitching in and helping out during this crisis. For many, this means taking to the internet to share their gifts and talents with the world, free of charge.

One resource to tap into? Free online business webinars.

Career experts are hopping online in droves, offering their sound advice on ways to navigate these next few months to position yourself for success. In just a few clicks, you can learn helpful tips on ways to manage your career, run an online meeting, and even work from home with young kids.

If you can’t make the live meetings, most recordings are available to stream afterward on your own time. Check out these webinars from SCORE to get started.

While you’re at it, why not practice your own webinar skills? This post shows you how to be an excellent online host.

Discover your true passion.

The silver lining with any job obstacle is that it gives you the opportunity to redirect your path. There’s a chance you might have stayed in your current position for years, feeling burnt out and unfulfilled. Now, you have the chance to chart a new course.

What are you really passionate about? If it’s your current field, that’s wonderful! Dive into it and learn as much as possible during your hiatus. If it isn’t, use this time to discover what really brings you alive.

Start by considering what you talk about the most. This is usually a strong indicator of where your interests lie! Maybe you excel in project planning or helping teams grow. Perhaps you’re strongest in a sales role, or you might be a behind-the-scenes technical wizard.

Maybe you have no idea and need a little help. These career-focused tests and quizzes can help you uncover years of uncertainty to reveal your true calling.

Find inspiration for success between the pages.

Did your company require your team to read Who Moved My Cheese years ago? If you said you read it but never did, now’s a great time to download the Audible version.

In this season of slowness, many people are rediscovering their love of reading. You can do the same and help your career at the same time by focusing on self-growth books designed to inspire and motivate you to professional greatness.

A few of our recent favorites include:

  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
  • Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead to a Career You Love by Ken Coleman
  • Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning by Leslie Odom, Jr.
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Rest your mind and body.

Amid all of the job searching and professional development, don’t forget to rest! Spending hours a day frantically clicking online will only exacerbate any stress you’re already feeling. As you make a plan, take advantage of this unexpected break and indulge in all the rest you can.

Need a little help prying your eyes from the screen? Set a timer and actually pencil downtime into your schedule. For 10 minutes, look outside at nature and just be still. Watch the clouds change shape or a bird perched on the feeder nearby, allowing your thoughts to wander anywhere but to the office.

If you want to meditate during this time, use an app like Calm or Headspace to guide you in short meditations. These apps also have soothing music that can make it easier to fall asleep and wake up refreshed.

As you take time to be quiet, you can also pray, listen to soft music, or simply sit and enjoy the stillness. If you’re feeling sleep-deprived, take 15 to 20 minutes for a short power nap!

Create a Plan B.

Part of the anxiety you might be feeling is fear of the unknown.

As you dig deep into growing in your current role, it’s also helpful to create a Plan B. Essentially serving as a worst-case scenario, this plan might be unpleasant to think about at first, but it can be a surprising source of comfort.

Knowing that you have a back-up plan in place gives you even more peace in your day-to-day work. This can fuel a lifetime of positive thinking and position you to return to work stronger and more capable than before.

Setback or setup? You hold the power to write your success story.

There’s no denying the impact recent events have had on careers around the world.

If yours was negatively impacted, take heart. Setbacks occur in our lives for a reason, and there’s always a silver lining at the worst of times. One of our favorite sayings is, “There is no great loss without some small gain.” Your loss may merely be the loss of a familiar routine, or it may be as great as the loss of job security. Try to find the silver linings in those losses, however painful, and move in the direction the universe is nudging you in with confidence in your self-worth.

There’s never been a better time to take a deep breath, connect, and learn. This can be the first step toward the career you always envisioned for yourself or toward greater visibility at your current place of employment, so don’t be afraid to take it.

Need to talk to our office during this time? We’re here and ready to connect.


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