5 Things SLPs Need to Stop Doing this Year

We all start the school year off with great intentions, but sometimes we fall back into unwanted patterns and habits that take away from our happiness and productivity. This episode reviews 5 things that SLPs need to stop doing this year so we can avoid self-sabotage. Tune in below to learn more and don’t forget to check out the links and resources section at the bottom of the page!

Links & Resources

Full Transcript of Podcast: 5 Things SLPs Need to Stop Doing this Year

Episode 54: 5 Things SLPs Need to Stop Doing this Year

You're listening to the Speech Space Podcast, a podcast full of tips and resources for SLPs. I'm your host, Jessica Cassity, and this is Episode 54.

Hey everybody! I am so excited to be back to podcasting as we are wrapping up the summer and entering the school year. I know some of you go back in August, some of you go back in September, but I'm just really excited. If you're new to listening to this podcast, I record episodes on the first and the third Tuesday of each month. So twice a month, and the episodes go up at 7:30 AM, which hopefully for some of you will be in time for your commute. But like I said, the first and third, Monday of each month, and I'm just really excited to be back on here, chatting with you guys. I feel like even though you don't talk back and I'm just kind of talking here seemingly to myself, but I know that a lot of people are listening. You know, I feel like I missed you guys. It's been a while since I've been here with my microphone, kind of thinking about what we're going to talk about. And today we're going to be talking about some things that you need to stop doing this year. So I thought a little bit about this title and I was like, hmm, I don't know if this is too negative by saying, it's things that you need to stop doing this year instead of things that you need to start doing, but I just decided to roll with it. So I'm excited to talk about those five things. But before we do that, I wanted to let you know that this podcast is brought to you by The Digital SLP membership site, which is a site that features time-saving no print resources for SLPs. If you did not know, the membership has just opened back up and opened back up on September 1st. So if you're interested in learning more or in signing up, then you want to make sure that you head on over to thedigitalslp.com before the doors close up again.

So let's go ahead and talk some truth here, as we go over five things that you need to stop doing this year to make sure that you don't end up on the SLP burnout bus. So number one is to stop skipping out on self-care. So I feel like this is kind of a buzzword right now. Everyone's talking about self-care and you might be wondering, how do I do that? Or you might be thinking, I don't have time for this in my life. This is a big one. So if you missed Episode 53, I actually had my friend Abbie Stasior come on and we talked all about self-love and self-care. So if you don't know where to start, that would be a good episode to go back and check out. But in short, you need to make sure that you're working on self-care daily, if not daily, then at least a few times a week. In case you haven't heard that episode, that I'm referring to, I'm going to give you some really basic examples of some ways that I'm trying to add self-care into my life at the moment, but just please know that this is going to look a little bit different for everybody. And even if you only have five minutes a day to spare, that makes a difference. So for me personally, I've decided to get out of the house each evening. For me, evenings work better and ride my bike up to the beach and just sit there or go for a walk along the beach. So this is something, and it might be a lofty goal to think that I can do this every evening. So for right now, I'm doing weekdays and I might have to, you know, tinker around with the schedule, but that's my goal! And this of course is not practical for everyone, but there's lots of simple ideas that you could use to treat yourself. You know, you could do your favorite cup of tea each evening, or a relaxing yoga routine and maybe a 10 minute routine at bedtime to some quiet music. You could journal each morning. That's something that I'm actually also trying to do, but I don't want to set too many goals. So I'm starting small, but I'm hoping to incorporate journaling into my routine—into my morning routine, actually. Maybe it's to take a lunch break, like to actually take a lunch break and sit with some teachers or fellow SLPs and chat about non-speech related things, if that's possible while you're there during the day. But the idea is that it should be something consistent. Like I said, preferably daily, if not daily then a few times a week, but it shouldn't be something that you just do once a month when you remember. This is something that you want to incorporate into your routine. So it becomes familiar and natural.

All right. So the next thing that you need to stop doing this year is to stop comparing yourself to other SLPs. So like the famous quote says, from Teddy Roosevelt, "Comparison is the thief of joy". And this certainly applies to SLPs too. So if you're a new SLP then just have compassion for yourself, and don't worry, if you feel like you don't have the knowledge and the skills of a veteran SLP, you know, or if you're looking at them and you're thinking, wow, how did they plan their day in half the time that I am. Just know that you'll get there. And if you're a veteran SLP and you feel like you don't have the zest or the energy of a new SLP, then know that you have your own wonderful skills to bring to the table. So I think you probably get my point here and you understand that the grass might always be greener, but we might not always also be seeing the big picture. So we don't know everything that's going on in the other SLPs life. And they most likely are not showing that on their Instagram feed. You know, you're getting a snippet of their very best moments. So if you need to take a social media break or perhaps not talk to certain SLPs, you do what you need to do and put your blinders on and focus on you and your personal goals to be the best SLP that you can be.

The next thing that we need to stop doing as SLPs is feeling like an imposter. So as speech-language pathologists, we have to know so much. And I mean, seriously, there are so many different populations to work with, so many disorders to treat, so much research to keep up with. It really never ends, and it can leave us feeling like we fall short or we don't know enough. And as someone who has bounced around and worked in a variety of settings, I can completely relate to that feeling—a feeling kind of like a deer in the highlights. You know, I made a big switch from working with adults to working with paeds several years back. And I constantly felt like I was falling short and I just didn't know enough. So just know that if you start over, it's going to take time to learn and to catch up and as I note, you shouldn't let that fear of not knowing enough, hold you in a position that isn't a good fit for you. You know, if you're there because you feel like you have to be there, then it's probably time to start thinking about what some other options are. You know, if you're just really feeling like your skills are lacking, then obviously there are things that you can do about that. You can consider attending an ASHA convention or investing in some great continuing ed that you could just do online to help boost your confidence, with maybe some certain students that you have assigned on your caseload this year that you just, you know, maybe it is a little bit outside your comfort zone. However, I feel like a lot of the time with imposter syndrome, it's usually more about us and us feeling like we're falling short, even though we're not falling short. So that's something to keep in mind as well. I mean, you can be in the field for 20 years and still kind of feel like a little bit of an imposter. If you do get a new student and that's something that you've never... they have a diagnosis that you've never seen before, it can make you feel that way. So just know that sometimes it's more about us and if it's more about us, then the biggest thing that we can do is realize that we have so many hats to wear. And there's so much that we need to know. We can control what we can by, you know, like I said, you can do some continuing education or going to conventions, but beyond that, that we have to know that and acknowledge that we're doing the very best we can with the knowledge and the skills that we have. And it is impossible to know everything out there that there is to know in the world of speech-language pathologists.

The next one is bringing work home. So I just want to beg and plead that you just stop bringing work home. I mean, I know, I understand it's very common, but I think the more that we do it and we make it the norm, not only in our lives, but just the norm of speech therapists in the school setting, especially, then the more acceptable and expected that it becomes. You know, the more of habit that it is, then the more that maybe administrators will expect you to do it or another SLP will expect you to do it. So my advice there is just to look into resources that will save you time. I'll put a little gentle plug there for The Digital SLP membership, or, you know, there's lots of other great systems out there that can help streamline data collection, keeping track of goals, things like that. You know, you really just want to do whatever it is that you need to do to make sure that work stays at work. Because you're going to be a better SLP when you get that mental break and you go home and you kind of check out of the SLP world and, you know, you can tend to your family, your husband, your significant other, you know, whoever is important to you in your life and kind of refill your cup before you go back the next day.

All right. The last thing that I'm going to recommend that you stop doing this year is staying in a setting that is not true to your values. So I know I just touched on that a little bit, and this might be kind of touchy with some people, because some people might, you know, advocate for more change within that setting and not just getting up and leaving. And I'm not suggesting that we just throw in the towel and say, hey, you know, I've had a few bad days or there's this one person, so I'm just going to leave. That's not what I'm suggesting, but sometimes you're in a setting and you've tried a lot of different things to make it work and it just isn't working. Or maybe it just doesn't feel like a good fit to you anymore. But if you're in a setting where you're truly unhappy, then please try to explore other options. I mean, the amazing thing about being an SLP is that there are so many options. I mean, there are so many things that you can do—full-time, part-time, PRN. You can work with adults, you can work with children, you can work in the hospitals. You can work in nursing homes on the weekends. If that fits your schedule, you know, you can be in the schools. Teletherapy is, I feel like, really exploding right now. So there are so many options with that as well. So there's just no shortage of opportunities for us. So I think that, you know, sometimes we get complacent or we get kind of stuck in a rut, but I think if that's where you are, then I think you should start putting your feelers out. It might seem like a kind of a weird time to do it at the beginning of the school year. But I think that if that's a situation that you're in, then you need to kind of reevaluate what the year ahead looks like for you. And maybe you do finish out this year and you finish it out strong and you decide that next year you're going to do something else. But I think that you should definitely put that on your radar and start thinking about alternatives, if you're truly in a setting that you're not happy. And despite how long that you've been there, cause you know, I know it can get really easy when we've been doing the same thing for a long time to just feel comfortable and to feel like, you know, that's just what I do. I'm a school SLP. I've been a school SLP for 25 years or I'm a medical SLP. I would have no idea where to start in the schools. Just know that, you know, there are so many options and especially with online education now, there are so many ways to get continuing education to kind of help you to feel more comfortable if you do decide to change settings. So there's just so many, so many options out there.

All right. So those are the five things that I think you need to stop doing this year. I would love to hear from you, if you want to shoot me an email, jessica@thespeechspace.com, and let me know which one of those five you're going to especially be trying to work on. I would love to hear which one resonated with you. I'm also on Instagram, so you can feel free to DM me and I've actually changed my Instagram handle. So I'm glad that I remembered to mention that here it is now @thedigitalslp. So a little bit easier to find and... that's it! So I hope that you enjoy listening to today's show and I'm just so happy to be back in chatting with all of you. Some of you, if you do follow me on Instagram, you might've known, I made a big move this year. In June we moved from Maryland to Florida. So I have kind of been in survival mode all summer, not to mention the excruciating heat down here in Florida, but that's something kind of fun, new and exciting in my life that's going on that I just wanted to share. It's been a lot of work, but we are glad to be here and we are happy to be closer to family because I think that's really important, and yeah! So if any of you are in Florida, let me know. I'd love to try to connect, especially at ASHA this year, I will be going. And I'd also love to know if any of you are planning on attending ASHA. So again, feel free to send me an email or DM me, and, whenever we are at ASHA, I would love to try to connect.

So that's it for me for today. I feel like I'm kind of rambling on a little bit today so my apologies there. I want to encourage you to leave a five-star review on iTunes. If you found this episode to be helpful, don't feel like you have to do it, but it does help your fellow SLPs find the show easier. And if you would like to access the show notes from today's episode, that has the links that were mentioned, and just a little recap of what we talked about today, head on over to bit.ly/TSSEP54. All right. So if you would like to learn a little bit more about cutting back on that planning or prep time, like we talked about earlier, head on over to thespeechspace.com/digitalslp, or even easier... I forgot I changed the link. So both of these will work, but the easier one is just to go to thedigitalslp.com. And like I said, I am just so excited that the doors to the membership just opened back up and I hope to see you on the inside there. All right, my friends that is it for me for today as always, I thank you so much for hanging out with me and tuning in, and I hope that you have an amazing week.

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