Archive for November 2014

The Five Year Burnout

Sunday, November 16, 2014

This is my fifth year as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Many studies have reported that nearly half of teachers quit by their fifth year.  I can see why.....

I am not going to lie, last year was rough. Being an SLP is not all sunshine and roses. Seriously.  I felt like I was on the verge of giving up on this profession. I felt I wasn't being listened to, I was overwhelmed, and taking far too much work home. I became Rachel the SLP at work and at home. SLP 24/7.  I stopped doing things I enjoyed on the weekend because I had to write reports. Even when I wasn't working, I was thinking out it. All. The. Time. Even with all the SLP media, facebook groups, TpT, and blogs. It's everywhere! I find it very hard to believe that being an SLP is on the top 10 LEAST stressful jobs, really? I beg to differ.

I lost sight of who I was as a person. I was in a struggle for regaining balance in my life. I am not just Rachel the SLP. I have a husband and an adorable puppy. I have friends and family. I have a life.  I love crafting, crocheting, painting, glitter, and creating. I actually like to exercise! I enjoy walks on the beautiful beach a few miles from my house, especially during the day, outside, getting fresh air. I love reformer Pilates, who knew!? I like to meditate to help me calm down, especially listening to visualization tapes.  I missed my friends! I enjoy baking. Many hobbies I left by the wayside because I was "too busy" or became too stressed and anxious. I was exhausted (and I still am sometimes).

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I think we all have to be nicer to ourselves, especially those of us working in the public schools. We are great at what we do, but that doesn't mean it has to become us. It also doesn't mean we have to take on the world and everything thrown our way.

Here are some things I have done that help:
  • Our work will never be done, so create boundaries.
  • Plan ahead so you don't have to work from home. I mean this, I really do. It will change your life.
  • Make time in your schedule to get things done at work, yep bigger therapy groups.
  • Ask for help!  
  • Breathe.
  • Don't feel defeated or like you are not good enough if the workload is too much. 
  • Change your perspective and negative thinking. This one is HARD for me. I get so stuck in my "twisted thinking".  Love this quote....
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  • Take your lunch and actually eat it, in peace. 
  • STOP feeling guilty. 
  • You are enough, you do enough and it will be okay. 
  • The work will still be there in the morning.
  • Disconnect from your computer for a while. 
  • Disconnect from everything SLP related for a while, including social media. 
  • Leave your laptop at school one night, it's freeing! 
  • Simplify! Are your reports too long? Could you make your life easier? How? Think about it and brainstorm ideas to make a change.
  • Take Breaks (check out all these great ways to take breaks)
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  • Talk to someone, yes therapy. It helps. 
  • Listen to good music. 
  • Talk to colleagues and share ideas. What are they doing that could help you? It also helps to commiserate and know you are not alone.
  • Take a mental health day if you need to, that is why they exist!
  • Use aromatherapy in your office (as your school allows), it helps bring me peace.
  • Consider a job change. I know I am...private practice? Clinical supervisor? Professor? New school? Who knows...there are options!
  • LOVE yourself, you are imperfect and a wonderful human anyway.
  • Write in a journal-nope not a blog. A real paper journal, a pretty one and write with fun colored pens. I found I really enjoy it. 
  • One of the best things I realized about our job is no matter how many students we have, WE are responsible for trying to make it work in a way that best works for us and the students we serve. If it's not working out, look over your schedule (I know it's hard), but maybe there is wiggle room you didn't see before.
  • Know that you are NOT stuck, you have options and you create your destiny.

My list will keep growing as I grow and learn. Having a career isn't always easy. I am grateful I have a fabulous job, great pay and time off to relax. However, I think we can get caught up without realizing it. You wake up one day and realize work has taken over.

Take this quote to heart and live it. 
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What do YOU do to help you maintain balance in your life? Do you have a favorite hobby or activity? What is it?

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Oh hello there November!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I'm back! I took an inadvertent break from blogging. Let me tell you it was nice to have a little break! I love the holiday season and I thought it was time to come back and start sharing again. I have been creating, go check out my new Thanksgiving product!

Here is a great mini-book from Figuratively Speeching SLP It's called LEAVES! This is just perfect for my preschoolers. I have 12 preschoolers this year, which is double what I normally have! Having extra resources is nice!

Step 1: Prep your books. Copy, cut, and staple together. I pre-cut the leaves because it would take to long for the little hands to cut, color and glue in a 30 minute session (I should mention it was a session of 3 girls who LOVE to color).
We practiced saying all the fun sentences that are included in the book and the leaves are on everything! Great thing is you can just practice putting leaves on and off with a pocket in the back to store the leaves or you can actually glue leaves onto the pages. It's up to you! 

We read a book about fall leaves and I showed the girls this page for a reference of colors to use, but using other colors like purple and pink was okay to ;)

We had so much fun!
Thanks Jessica from Figuratively Speeching SLP

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