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Eight Stress-Reducing Tips for SLPs
By Staci Jackson, M.A., CCC-SLP
Most speech-language pathologists enter the field because of a strong desire to help people communicate, and most find the profession very rewarding. As with any job, there are inherent stressors. Even with the best of planning, meetings run long; you receive an unexpected call from a parent or caregiver; there is a change in a daily schedule; or a colleague needs your assistance. All of these can throw a monkey wrench in your day. Along with the rush to complete all of your routine daily tasks, these unexpected time-eaters can create a great deal of stress. Fortunately, there are some great stress-reducing tips that you can start doing today!
  • Eat breakfast – Starting the day with a wholesome breakfast, especially one high in protein, jumpstarts the energy production needed for the day. Recent studies show that people who eat breakfast have better concentration than those who do not. Eating a healthy breakfast also helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
  • Prioritize your day…but allow some flexibility – Speech-language pathologists usually have set schedules, but there are always daily activities needing your attention and scheduling hiccups that you cannot foresee. Prioritizing tasks not only helps get things done efficiently, but also reduces stress by giving you some control and predictability over where and how you will spend your time. Keeping a somewhat flexible schedule helps minimize stress when those inevitable unforeseen hiccups occur.
  • Stretch your body – Doing yoga at your desk can help you destress. Studies reveal that performing a few simple yoga stretches calm the mind and release tension. Yoga has other benefits, too, including boosting the immune system and helping fight food cravings.
  • Sip tea – Try drinking herbal teas instead of coffee. Green tea contains theanine which promotes relaxation and may also counteract the effects of its caffeine. Avoiding other highly caffeinated drinks can also help reduce stress.
  • Breathe deeply – Abdominal breathing has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to the brain and promotes a state of calmness, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, and relaxes tense muscles.
  • Experiment with aromatherapy – Exposure to essential oils not only reduces anxiety and stress, but research has shown them to have many healing properties. Try putting a drop or two of lavender, chamomile, or bergamot on your wrists or use them in a diffuser.
  • Take a walk – Walking releases stress-reducing endorphins and lowers the stress-inducing hormone, cortisol. Walking also increases energy, quiets the mind, and improves memory. Taking a quick, brisk lap outside is a great way to combat stress during the workday.
  • Laugh – It’s no joke! Studies show that laughter activates and relieves stress responses, relaxes tense muscles, and increases release of stress-busting endorphins. Try improving your mood by reading the comics, keeping a funny daily calendar at your desk, or watching funny video clips online.
It important to find ways combat stress before it becomes problematic. Taking time out of a busy day to destress can not only improve job satisfaction, but it can also improve your job performance and overall health!
Resources
Drayer, L. (2013, August 13). Stress relief: 8 ways to de-stress your life. Retrieved January 18, 2016, from http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/de-stress-instantly
Reed, D. (2015, February 9). 15 quick & easy at-work relaxation tips for slps [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://sublimespeech.com/2015/02/15-quick-and-easy-at-work-relaxation-tips-for-slps.html
Healthwise Staff. (2014, November 14). Prioritizing time to manage stress. Retrieved January 18, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/prioritizing-time-to-manage-stress
Banks, S. R. (2015, February 10). 13 essential oils to reduce stress. Retrieved January 18, 2016, from http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17313/13-essential-oils-to-reduce-stress.html
Take a deep breath [Blog post]. (2012, August 10). Retrieved from Daily Life Blog: http://www.stress.org/take-a-deep-breath/
 
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