Between eligibility meetings, in-classroom observations, formal speech and language evaluations, consulting with classroom teachers, and so much more, it’s no wonder why us school-based speech-language pathologists are so stressed these days. We have a massive amount on our plates, and with each new academic school-year year, there seems to be even more plopped onto our already overflowing plates. It’s so wacky, right?
Yeah, I’m TOTALLY right.
Don’t worry, friend. I feel your pain. So in an effort to help you de-stressify your brain (is de-stressify a word?), I’ve come up with three surprisingly effective (and surprisingly simple) ways that help you to knock the stress right out. And here’s the great thing, all of what I’m about to tell you can be done while sitting right in your speech therapy chair. I promise you, each one of these stress-busting examples will take no more than a few minutes of your time. Guaranteed.
1. Look at some cute pictures.
I dare you to look at this cat picture and not smile. I dare you. See, it’s totally impossible. Even if you are stressing out thinking about an upcoming (and potentially messy) IEP meeting, the pictures on StuffOnMyCat.com, and other websites like it, will absolutely de-stressify your brain (again, is de-stressify a word?).
2. Listen to your favorite song.
I read somewhere that the average length of popular radio music is something around 4 minutes. So with that being said, don’t fret over that last phone conference you just had with that unhappy parent. How about you take a 4 minute breather to pop in some earbuds to rock out to your favorite tune. Don’t have a song in mind? Let me make a recommendation: Budapest by George Ezra. This track is 3 mintes and 36 seconds of pure goodness that can absolutely de-stressify your brain (yeah, I’m pretty sure de-stressify is not a word, I’ll have to ask someone about that).
3. Try a hand massage.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if every school building in your district employed their very own massage therapist? If I were president, I’d add that to my agenda for sure! But until I get elected to office, we’ll have to make due with the next best thing: a hand massage. Seriously, just close your eyes and clear your mind. Then, with your one hand, start rubbing the base of the muscle on your other hand, right near your thumb. It’ll feel like Heaven AND it’ll even start to ease the tension you didn’t even know you had – like the tension in your neck and shoulders. Now if that doesn’t de-stressify your brain, nothing will (I just asked my wife if de-stressify is a word – she said, “Maybe.” I don’t know, I’m still pretty skeptical.).
In closing . . .
Let’s make a conscious effort this academic school-year to not get as stressed out as we used to. Life’s too short to stress out, ya know? Instead, let’s look at some cute pictures, listen to uplifting music, and massage our hands. And imagine if we did all three of those things at the same time? Whoa! We would probably scare the pants right off of stress! Hooray for scaring away stress!
P.S. I just went on the Merriam-Webster dictionary website and looked up the word de-stressify. It’s official: it’s not a word. Dang. Good word though. If I were president, I’d also add that to my agenda for sure! Getting the word de-stressify into the Merriam-Webster dictionary. LOL!