Ugh… I am GRINDING my teeth.

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

Here’s a crazy one. I was walking with a plate of cookies (anything to diminish the stress of this chaotic time) and I tripped.

I must admit, I would have eaten the whole plate of cookies while watching the election results, or rather the inconclusive election results.

In any case, tripping is common and really no big deal, right?

Happens to everyone at some point.

However, as I tripped the plate hit my tooth, and damn, it broke.

Not the plate, my front tooth!

So off I went to my dentist to get it handled and he asked me if I have been grinding my teeth when I sleep.

I have no idea what I do when I sleep, cause, duh, I’m asleep.

However, I now need a night guard for my teeth and the dentist told me I must learn to stop clenching and grinding. He said that the stress I am feeling is becoming way too common these days and at least I’m in a very large category of the general population.

I know you are discussing a lot about how to handle stress more effectively so please, I need help.

Oh, by the way, it’s impacting my relationships with my colleagues (I am annoyed when they ask too many questions and I’m pretty short with them).

And one more, oh, by the way, my teenage kids are also showing signs of stress by chewing too much gum and grabbing for anything they can find that is filled with sugar.

And my wife, that’s for a whole other day!!!

Thanks for some advice.


Enough Already

Dear EA,

Sorry about your broken tooth although glad it led you to get a nightguard.

Between pandemic and politics, it seems everyone is like a cat on a hot tin roof. We are all feeling unsafe and unsure.

While most of us are still working from home and are not sitting in rush hour traffic clenching our fists and snarling at drivers who cut in front of us, most of us are, in fact, gnashing and grinding our teeth that leads to headaches, jaw pain, and that awful feeling of uncertainty.

I decided to pivot from my traditional work with leadership development and executive coaching to put together a program to master stress, or at least, find some ways to get through the day with less stress.

I’ve started a fun way of handling stress called The Sanity Challenge that you can do for free. Go here to sign up.

It’s great for you to do with your whole family, even the teens are getting into this.

Anything to get rid of the old stress monsters, right.

And once you finish The Sanity Challenge you will have some excellent ways to relax before you sleep and before you eat.

Time to limit the collateral damage from feeling at the mercy of these times when we, none of us, know when the pandemic will end or politics will stop being front and center in our lives and when we can get back to normal life.

Just one tip right now. Before you go to sleep listen to some calming music, especially sounds from nature like gentle rain, waves coming to shore or the sounds of birds. Do this for about twenty minutes before you close your eyes and hopefully, that will help.

One more, get some lavender essential oil and put it on your pillow (no it’s not just for women, it’s good for everyone).

The one thing about today’s stress is it is as infectious as the virus yet, and it’s good to be proactive to feel better so you don’t need a whole new set of teeth!

To your success,


P.S. I have put together an online program that will help you understand and know what to do about the 4 types of stress that need to be tamed. You can check out The Stress Busters Program here.

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Sylvia Lafair