If you follow any of the large Facebook groups focused on speech therapy (there are lots of groups and you should definitely join them — they are immensely useful), you find that there is a large number of people who complain about this and that. I imagine if you were to have a conversation in person about speech with anyone feeling overwhelmed this time of year, they would couch that kind of rhetoric with a “but I still couldn’t imagine doing anything else!” On a forum it’s easier to lay your grievances out for others to see for support and advice. Then everyone hops on, leaving any readers to wonder if there really are tons of dissatisfied speech paths in this profession! Not true!
Even though we all enjoy being SLPs, important work can be draining — especially at this time of year! Mountains of paperwork to complete before the year is over, meetings and evaluations still hanging over your head, and packing up your office for the summer so nothing gets stolen. I’m going to be opening the vault and sharing my secrets to surviving the hectic scramble that is the end of the school year.
- I Fake a Smile — If you have a tough parent or a challenging session coming up, fake it. If you’ve been just getting by, put a smile on your face and pretend that it isn’t that bad. That’s how I do it. Even putting a fake smile on my face can actually calm me and make me feel ready and confident for what’s next.
- I Have ONE To Do List — No need for a fancy planner, but I would definitely abandon the post-it notes. Grab a basic legal pad and write everything down. You can organize it by “Meetings” “Evaluations” “Reports” and “Misc,” but you must write it all down. Once it’s out of your head, it magically looks doable. Then you have some brain space left too!
- I Break Out No Prep Activities — When you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to break out the NO PREP products including crafts, computer-based or iPad-based activities, or easy printables from TpT. Don’t be a perfectionist about your therapy when you are feeling strained.
- I Baby Myself — From packing my favorite lunch to buying a fancy beverage, I’m all about upping my self-care skills when I’m busy at work. I deserve it (and so do you!). I even stop at a local chocolate shop every so often. Yum!
- I Get Outside — Yes, you do have time for this. You can stop eating lunch hunched over your laptop and sit on a picnic table outside in the sun. Or after work you can take a walk around your neighborhood, local park, or forest preserve. It is guaranteed to lift your spirits and remind you that summer is coming!
So if you are still feeling down, keep in mind that the school year is almost over. You are almost there! You can do it! 🙂