Ways to Engage in Self-Care for the Speech Therapist


"It's not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make yourself a priority.  
It's necessary."  -Mandy Hale

Do you take care of yourself emotionally, spiritually, and physically?  I will admit (with shame) that I do not engage in enough self-care.  All of my time and energy goes to my family, friends, and students. This year, I am making myself a priority.  After all, if we do not take care of ourselves and our needs, we will burn out, face health issues, and have nothing left to give to others. 

Need some ideas on what you can do to rest and relax?  Here are some of my favorite personal self-care activities!
  • CUDDLE UP WITH MY LOVED ONES - Husband, daughter, and fur babies!
  • ENJOY FAMILY GAME NIGHT.
  • LIGHT CANDLES, PLAY SOOTHING MUSIC and USE MY DIFFUSER with MY FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OILS. 
  • BINGE WATCH MY SHOWS WHILE DRINKING MY FAVORITE DRINKS.
  • BAKING WITH MY DAUGHTER.
  • SPEND EXTRA TIME IN BED WITH A GOOD BOOK.
  • PAMPER MYSELF WITH A SPA DAY WITH or WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER (Sometimes, my daughter hosts spa day at home where she does my hair, makeup, nails, and sometimes gives massages too.) 
  • TAKE A POWER NAP!  (This is one of my favorites since I have suffered from insomnia since I was a child)
  • TAKE A WALK OUTSIDE.
  • DANCE IT OUT! (My childhood best friend and I use to always dance it out when life got to be just 'too much'.  Since she has passed, these days my dance partner is usually my daughter but sometimes I can get the husband to indulge me).
  • TAKE A RELAXING BATH (I am a bath and body products connoisseur.  Seriously!  I love it all - bubble baths, bath bombs, body scrub, body butter, body oil, etc..)
  • MEDITATION
  • SAYING "NO" (I'm still learning to be okay with saying no to my family. If my husband or daughter asks something of me, my first response is to give up on what I have planned to make theirs happen.  Lately, I have been reminding myself that it is okay to put my needs first sometimes).
Do not forget about engaging in self-care at work too! We spend so much of our week working and it is just as important to take the time to treat ourselves kindly there too!  Check out my work environment self-care hacks below.

  • FIND A PLANNER THAT WORKS FOR YOU INSTEAD OF THE OTHER WAY AROUND.   It helps if you think it is pretty too.  Some friends like planners that have a place for them to doodle or color.  I was never any good at coloring inside the lines on paper or off, so for me I need a planner that allows me to write lists.
  • TAKE OPPORTUNITIES TO CHANGE YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT.  This could be as simple as putting a diffuser or potted plant in your workspace, decorating with seasonal and/or holiday trinkets, or moving furniture around to make the workspace appear different.  This could also be changing up your setting (preschool groups to a high school setting, etc..) if you are feeling brave or have the opportunity. 
  • MOVE AROUND. If you find that you are spending the majority of the day sitting down, take the time to enjoy those brief walks down the hall to get kids or incorporate movement activities into your therapy.
  • TAKE MENTAL BREAKS. If you are fortunate to have a 5-10 minute break written into your schedule, shut down your work brain for that time.  If you are not that fortunate, then at least enjoy your break.  I am horrible about this.  For so many years, my lunch break consisted of my shoving food in my mouth while doing paperwork. I am actively taking my lunch break now.  Not only do I eat my lunch during this time but sometimes I even take a mental break by pulling out a book for enjoyment! 
  • SAY "NO" Do not volunteer past your capabilities.  Yes, do your job but if you can not handle taking on more than do not be the first one to jump out of their chair to sacrifice their health and sanity for the job. Be okay with saying 'no' when needed.  If you are burning the candle at both ends of the wick, you are not helping yourself or anyone else in the long run.

How do you take care of yourself?  Do you have a hard time allowing yourself to engage in self-care at home and at work? What goal(s) for self-care do you have for 2020?  I would love to hear in the comments below! 

"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare."   - Audre Lorde

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