SLP: Stress Less, Please
Supporting the overall well-being of speech-language pathologists
Welcome to Self-Care Speech!
How This Began
I’m Erika, M.S., CF-SLP. Throughout my academic career, I connected with so many amazing current and future SLPs through leadership within my local NSSLHA chapter, state association board, and National NSSLHA. We’ve collectively chosen to empower people in communication for a career. What could be more amazing than that?!
The more of us that I’ve gotten to know, the more I’m convinced that we have a lot in common~ simply put, we’re helpers in a helping profession who often prioritize other peoples’ needs, sometimes even at the expense of our own. We feel so much pressure to be the best candidates for grad applications and students for programs and clinicians for clients that we can start neglecting our physical and mental health. Eventually, I was just accepting this stress as part of my new normal as an SLP-to-be.
As a graduate student, I finally started shifting that mindset and getting the help that I needed. Sometimes therapists need therapy too! After exploring the research on stress & our well-being (love me some EBP!), I’ve learned the importance of being more mindful, balanced, and healthy while giving those therapy sessions my all. I used to prioritize school and work over everything else. Now, I know that by taking care of myself, I’m best able to take care of the clients I care so deeply about. There’s so many self-care resources, amazing low-stress & low-prep therapy materials, and healthy habits I’ve learned (and am still learning!) that would have helped me so much had I known about them when I started school to become an SLP. So I want to share that with you, and document how this mindset of self-care evolves through the upcoming clinical fellowship and beyond.
Friends, fellow “helpers,” recovering perfectionists, and type A SLPs~ I’m sharing my experiences with stress and self-care in the hopes that they will make your path so much easier to navigate. So let’s start more conversations about SLP well-being. Let’s create a world where high-stress and competition no longer feels like it has to be the norm in order for speechies to succeed. Let’s get into graduate school, create amazing therapy sessions, manage caseloads, engage in research, be activists and advocates, and continue on into a career we love without neglecting what we need to stay healthy. That’s what Self-Care Speech is about~ all of us collaborating and committing to take better care of ourselves for our clients. I hope you find these words and resources valuable, encouraging, and empowering to you and your practice. Why? Because you deserve the same love and care that I know you’re probably showering on everyone else. 💛
Craving more? I got it from my mama!
Please note: Self-Care Speech is meant to serve as a toolkit, supportive community, and advocacy platform. If you or someone you love is wrestling with real mental health challenges, 10/10 recommend seeing a professional. Check out Psychology Today to find a therapist near you! Interested in supporting the accessibility of mental health therapy? Check out @thelovelandfoundation!