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Making Waves: The Exploration Beneath The Surface

Before delving into the depths of dentistry, let’s embark on a journey beyond the clinic walls with Dr. Sonia Lee. Beyond her role as a dedicated dental professional, Dr. Sonia’s life is a tapestry woven with diverse interests, adventurous pursuits, and a commitment to personal growth.

In this exclusive interview, we uncover the passions and adventures that shape Dr. Sonia’s life outside of dentistry.From the exhilarating depths of the ocean to the strategics challenges of computer gaming, join us as we explore the multifaceted world of Dr. Sonia Lee beyond the realm of dental care.

Q1. What are some of your favourite hobbies or interests outside of dentistry?

Outside of dentistry, i find solace and inspiration in a diverse range of pursuits that enrich my life. One of my favorite pastimes is immersing myself in the world of computer games, where i can explore new realm and engage in strategis challenges.

Additionally, i enjoy delving into the depths of historicalk documentaries, particularly those focusing on world leaders, wars, astronomical events, life hacks, and the fascinatting world of trading. In th culinary realm, i relish the opportunity to e-periment with new recipes, blending flavors and textures to create memorable meals for family and friends. This craetive outlet not only satisfies my palate but alsoallows mw to express my culinary passion.

Furthermore, i am constantly pushing my boundaries and challenging myself both physically and mentally. Whether it’s through rigorous exercises that test my strength and endu ance or recently diving into the great depths of the ocean, these experiences not only provide relaxation but also fuel my creativity and passion. They serve as a means to challenge my state of mind, helping me confront and overcome fears while expanding my horizons.

Q2. Could you share with us any memorable adventures or travels you’ve experienced recently ?

I would say setting up my own dental clinic, Clarity Dental together with my partner has been definitely a memorable and ongoing adventure. Not just growing as a practitioner, but also learning the “real life” business, taxes and learning to juggle my time as together. Which thought me how to learn to find some time out of work. During a recent spontaneous diving trip to Pulau Wey in Bandar Aceh, I embarked on an adventure that truly tested my limits. Despite my fear of the deep sea and the inherent vulnerability we land mammals feel underwater, Imade the conscious decision to embrace the opportunity as a means to escape from my demanding schedule and restore my mental wellbeing, which had been weighting heavily on me. Stepping out of my comfort zone was both challenging and liberating. As i descended into the depths as deep as 40 meters, grappling with my fears and uncertainties, I found a sense of empowerment and freedom that transcended the physical realm. The underwater world, with its mesmerizing beauty and transcended the physical realm. The underwater world, with its mesmerizing beauty and transquil allure, provided a much-needed respite from the chaos of daily life.

Ultimately, the experience served as a poignant reminder of the transformative power of facing our fears head-on and seeking solance in the wonders of nature. It was a journey of self- discovery and renewal that left an indelible mark on my psyche, reinforcing the importance of prioritizing mental well-being amidst life’s relentless demands.

Q3. With your demanding schedule of teaching and clinical work, how do you prioritize and make time for your hobbies and adventures?

Balancing a demanding schedule of teaching, clinical work and also managing my own practice, expecially with an ADHD diagnosis, can be a real a challenge. But, hey hey, i enjoy sharing what i have learned which fules my dedication to overcoming these challenges.

I rely on a physical year planner to keep myself on track. Writing down and visually seeing my schedule helps me stay focused as dateline approaches. Its really daunting to see/refresh everyday’s “todo” list, but things will get done.

Despite the hurdles, my ADHD mind is a blessing as it is wired with numerous circuits that allow me to approach tasks with “abnormal” functioning speeds and duration.

Q4. Have you found any particular hobbies or activities that help you unwind and recharge after a busy day at work?

After wrapping up work, I turn on youtube to stay informed by catching up on daily world news and the latest updates in the economy. It helps me stay connected with global events and trends. To unwind, i often end the night with a bit of gaming, which allows me to relax and enjoy some leisure time.

Q5. How do you maintaina balance between your professional responsibilities and personal pursuits?

Early in my career, I was on a fast-paced trajectory, eagerly absorbing knowledge and saying yes to every opportunity that came my way. However, this relentless pace took a toll on my mental health and overall happiness.

Enrolling in post-grad studies at the National University of Singapore was a pivotal moment that brought me back to perspective and grounded me. The guidance and support of my professors, mentors, family and friends around played a crucial role in my growth and maturity during thsi time, for which i am immensely grateful.

These days, I prioritize maintaining a sense of grounding by setting clear boundaries, learning when to say no, and recognizing the importance of downtime to recharge mentally. Balancing work and personal well-being is key to remaining focused and achieving longterm success.

Q6. Are there any specific skills or lessons from your hobbies that you find applicable or beneficial to your work in dentistry?

Absolutely!!! My hobbies play a significant role in enhacing various skills that are directly applicable to my work in dentistry. Gaming, for instance, not only sharpens my quick thinking and strategics abilities but also fosters a bridge between different generations, facilitating engaging conversations.

Moreover, delving into historical documentaries and staying informed about world events allows me to understand the current economic landscape, which in turn helps me relate to the experiences and concerns of my patients. This knowledge not only enriches conversations but also fosters a deeper connection with those i work with.

Lastly, diving serves as a powerful tool to challenge my mindset,confornt nerves, and cultivate a sense of calmness. These experiences are invaluable in maintaining composure and resilience, essential qualities in the demanding field of dentistry.

Q7. Can you tell us about a particularly challenging time when you struggled to find time for your personal interests, and how you overcame it ?

“A” particular moment may seem underestimated, but in reality, it encompresses countless instances throughtout my career journey as an ambitious individual with aspirations.

As mentioned earlier, I was caught in a whirlwind of a fast-paced trajectory, always eager to say yes to every opportunity. However, this relentless pursuit took a toll on my mental health and overall well-being, challenging me daily.

It was during my time at the National University of Singapore pursuing my post-grad studies that i found grounding. The structured environment, guidance from mentors, support fromm family and friends and the opportunity for self-reflection allowed me to step back, reassess my priorities, and regain balance in my life. This period of introspection was pivotal in fostering resilience and nurturing a healthier mindset, paving the way for personal and professional growth.

Q8. In what ways do you believe having diverse interests and experiences outside of dentistry enhances your overall well-being and effectiveness as a practitioner and educator?

Dentistry os indeed a challlenging yet incredibly rewarding career that revolves around extensive people interactions. Having diverse interest and experience outside dentistry helps in effective communication and the ability to interact with patients from diverse backgrounds, interests, cultures, and personalities.

Q9. What advice would you give to other dental professionals who struggle to find time for themselves outside of work?

Understanding ourself and remember we do not fit into a single social mould. Every individual is unique, priorities and circumstances varies which would shape the experiences.

Mental health is a critical aspect of overall well-being, especially in demanding professional like dentistry. Experiencing challenges with mental hurdles is not uncommon, and seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

As dental professionals, we often prioritize the care of others, sometimes neglecting our own mental health needs. However, it’s crucial to remember that we can’t effectively care for our patients if we don’t take care of ourselves first.

One important message I would like to share is: You are not alone. Many dental professionals face stress, burnout, anxiety, or other mental health concerns at some point in their careers. It’s vital to reach out for help, whether it’s talking to a trusted colleague, seeking support from a mental health professional, or accessing resources and support services available throught professional organizations.

Creating a culture of openness, empathy and support within the dental community can encourage individuals to seek help without fear of judgment or stigma. It’s okay to ask for help, take breaks when needed, prioritize self-care, and establish healthy boundaries to protect mental well-being.

Let’s support each other, remind ourselves that it’s okay not suffer alone and don’t forget to pamper yourself.

As i descended into the depths as deep as 40 meters, grappling with fears and uncertainties, I found a sense of empowerment and freedom that transcended the physical realm. The underwater world, with its mesmerizing beauty and tranquil allure, provided a much-needed respite from the chaos of daily life.

– Dr. Sonia Lee

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