Working as an SLP in schools is extremely rewarding but can also be exhausting. Like anyone in the helping professions, we need time off to rest and take care of ourselves. And because we work in the schools, many therapists can use the summer to make that happen. When school is out, therapists and educators get a chance to rest up and digest all that we’ve learned over the past year and focus on other areas of our lives that fuel us back up.
Here are some suggestions for self-care and reflection that work for me and many of our therapists:
- What Went Well? Think of a few situations during the school year that went well and why. Write them down to keep in mind for the year to come.
- Journal- Keep a journal as a way to process your thoughts and feelings. Write whatever feels important to you—lessons learned, hard moments, future goals, a letter you might or might not actually send.
- Clearing- Spend 10 minutes, three times a week cleaning out something that needs attention (a kitchen junk drawer, closet, car glove compartment, etc.).
- Foundational habits- These are the basics that keep us going, like getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and taking time for calming activities like mindful breathing, yoga, and/or daily exercise. Here’s more on these ideas: https://www.cfchildren.org/blog/2019/03/3-self-care-tips-for-teachers-and-educators/
- Explore nature! Walk in the woods, your neighborhood, on the beach, etc. Being outside is soothing, uplifting, and good for your health: https://my.happify.com/hd/the-nature-rx-take-2-walks-and-call-me-in-the-morning/?et=ef3320f0-80b2-4b00-9777-e25c1f5f7e1b
Article by Elizabeth Sautter, M.A., CCC-SLP – Speech Language Pathologist & Executive Director of Communication Works