This SLP Life

A copy of This SLP Life with a cup of tea.

Who else uses December to take stock and plan for the upcoming year? How many times have you vowed to bring more balance into this SLP life?

Educators are at such high risk for burnout normally and this year has pushed everyone to the edge. For me, it’s been an opportunity to reflect on what I really want to be doing, especially now that the kids are both in college, and what I want this next chapter of my speech career to look like. I knew I’d need some help.

This SLP Life

I’d met Melissa Page online several years ago and she had written a guest post for me before (When the Flame Starts to Flicker). We’d even had a chance to meet in-person at ASHA when she was there presenting on Navigating Professional Transitions (Denver 2015). I knew she’d be the best place to start.

In a stroke of serendipity, Melissa added “author” to her resume this year! “This SLP Life” is a resource/workbook specifically designed for us to assist in making “empowered choices in alignment with [their] core values.”

Although I opted for individual coaching sessions, I’ve also read the book and worked through a number of the exercises that pertained to me. It’s incredibly insightful. I’ve been floored on more than one occasion when a topic I thought I had reflected on, became deeper and more impactful once I completed a written exercise. For example, spending time on discovering my core values and then framing a recent difficult situation/encounter in terms of how it devalued what I hold most valuable.

Currently, I’m focused on the learning opportunities coming from confronting my inner critic. Anyone else recognize this high achiever/perfectionist pitfall in themselves? I think it’s a common SLP trait and while it might serve your employer and clients (short term), it’s not doing our wellbeing any favors.

More titles:

Looking for some other titles to help with burnout? I’ve got two more titles that might help (click for affiliate links).

Burnout (Nagoski and Nagoski) I was concerned that this would be a heavy, research filled coaster for the coffee on my nightstand. Nope! It is filled with scientific-based practices, but read easily and I gained several insights that I’m incorporating daily.

  • A 20-second hug to reset? Absolutely!
  • Understanding Human Giver Syndrome—beliefs and behaviors that assign someone’s “meaning of life” from their devotion to others—is eye-opening especially for women, especially for those of us who have chosen “helping” fields.
  • I’ve always been an exercise walker, but to learn that it completes the stress cycle has given me a reason to recommit.

What Would Frida Do? A guide to living life boldly (Davis) This was a quick, lighter biography about one of my favorite artists, Frida Kahlo. I loved learning more about the conflicts in her life (powerful feminist with a womanizing husband that she doted on as if he were a child). Each chapter focuses on a different area (ex. love) and concludes with several suggestions for how to use Frida’s attitudes to inspire your own life.

Let me know if you’re struggling more with burnout this year or if pandemic restrictions have given you an opportunity to decide if a new path is in your future.

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The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.