Speech Pathologists are, by nature, very caring and considerate people. But with this passion for helping others can come the temptation to work longer hours and overextend to the point where work-life balance gets a little blurry.
At SpeechEase Speech Therapy, we provide tools and support to help our Speech Pathologists focus on their wellbeing and work-life balance. Today, we wanted to share some of our team’s strategies to help you improve work-life balance for Speech Pathologists in your workplace.
Whether you are a private practice Speech Pathologist, a hospital-based Speech Pathologist or a school-based SLP (or somewhere in between!) these tools and tips can be implemented to bring balance to your day. So grab a cuppa and get ready to take some notes!
How to Improve Work-Life Balance for Speech Pathologists
Prepare for Your Workday the Night Before
One of the simplest ways you can begin to improve your work-life balance as a Speech Pathologist is to take time out each evening to prepare for your next workday. By getting prepared, you’ll reduce the number of decisions you must make every morning (goodbye decision fatigue!).
While the way you choose to prepare for your Speech Pathologist workday may look different to others, there are a few core tasks that everyone can prioritise:
- Pack your work bag
- Pre-plan / prepare your breakfast and lunch
- Choose your work outfit
Take Your Time Getting Ready in the Morning
It can be tempting to set your alarm as late as possible to get as much sleep as possible, but by the time you’ve rolled out of bed and rushed to work, you can find yourself feeling more frazzled than that extra sleep was worth!
Giving yourself more time to get ready in the morning before work is a simple tweak you can make to radically improve your work-life balance. By taking your time to ease into the day, eating breakfast while journalling or reading, and making your way to work in a good state of mind, you’ll be able to start your day from a place of positivity and calm. Doesn’t that sound joyful? We sure think it sounds worth an earlier wake up time!
Find Time to Get Outside Each Day
While we don’t know what your Speech Pathology workplace looks like, we have a good feeling that there is some outdoor space that you could use to reset your day in stressful moments. Taking time to get outside can also be a huge help when you’re feeling a bit tired or sluggish and you need to up your energy before your next session.
For our Speech Pathology team at SpeechEase, one of the ways they find time to get outside is by turning 1:1 clinic meetings (like supervision) into walking meetings. We’re lucky to live and work in sunny Queensland, so just about every day is a good day to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air!
Would you like to explore Speech Pathology job opportunities in sunny North Queensland? Find out more about our Regional Relocation program here.
When Driving to External Appointments, Listen to Positive Music
Are you a travelling Speech Pathologist, seeing clients at their homes or schools? Maybe you spend most of your time seeing clients in the clinic, but you have an occasional external appointment that you drive to. Those small moments when you are driving to see clients are a great opportunity to boost your work-life balance and mood by listening to positive music.
You might even want to make an external appointment playlist to reduce the decision fatigue around what song to listen to!
Block Out Indirect Client Work in Your Calendar
Now, this one might look a little different in your workplace, but we have a feeling you’ll find the overall concept helpful. As Speech Pathologists, our workload is a mix of direct (therapy/assessment) client work and indirect client work (report writing, research, notes).
When looking at your daily schedule, it can sometimes be hard to visualise your to-do list (and find time to do it!) if your calendar only displays your direct client work. If you can find a way to include and outline exactly what kind of indirect work you need to complete, it can really help you to get on top of your caseload and find greater work-life balance.
Leave Work on Time
Yeah – this tip might seem straightforward, but we know how difficult it can be to stop staying back when it has become a habit! It’s really tempting to say, “just ten more minutes” and have that turn into 20 or 30 or 50 extra minutes spent working.
If you want to prioritise your wellbeing and work-life balance though, you need to figure out some strategies that will support you to leave work on time. You might find it helpful to discuss this goal with your clinical lead during supervision or seek out support from colleagues. Maybe you could start working towards this goal with a workplace accountability buddy (you can’t be the only one struggling with this!).
You’ll be surprised by just how much this change can positively impact your mindset and overall work-life balance.
Did you notice we hinted at this one earlier? Journalling is one of those wellbeing tips that you’ve probably heard a lot about already but giving it a red-hot go can be transformative! Whether you prefer to journal in the morning or the evening, having a journalling practice can help you to regulate your emotions and decompress after challenging sessions.
You might find that you learn about yourself, reconsider some of your goals, or gain clarity on what’s important to you in your work and life from the process of journalling.
Where to start? Well, you could take the traditional pen-and-paper route, or you could use one of the many fancy journalling apps with daily reminders and journalling prompts to keep you on track.
We hope you’ve found these tips for improving work-life balance for speech pathologists helpful. It’s a topic that is close to our heart at SpeechEase, as prioritising our team’s wellbeing and development is so closely aligned with our core values.
If you would like to learn more about how we foster growth and development in our private practice, and what our team culture is all about, you can visit our Careers page to find out more.