5 Ways to Avoid Burnout as a Teletherapist
Ready, Set, Go! IEP season begins. Evaluations, treatment plan reviews, progress reports, and screenings pile up, while you continue to deliver therapy sessions. This can be an overwhelming and stress-filled season for SLPs, when you add in all the personal tasks that you need to juggle as well. With this in mind, it is important to establish small, simple, but effective routines that help us avoid “burnout”.
Does therapist burnout apply to teletherapists too?
There is a myth that teletherapists are excluded from this “burnout” because we are in our home office, but we have the same job responsibilities and under the same time constraints as our on-site colleagues.
How to Avoid Job Burnout
Here are 5 ways to avoid “burnout” as teletherapists and reenergize your passion for telepractice.
1. Meditate, journal, or exercise
Take time for yourself each day before or after work to reflect on the events of the day. This helps you to unwind and stay positive during your workweek. Researchers from the University of Mississippi found that a 10-minute brisk walk and meditation improved mood when compared to inactive control groups in young adults. Taking this time will promote better performance and good health for you. Win, win!
2. Set 3 goals per day
Be realistic and prioritize three tasks that you must do each day and get them done. Remember to balance the type of tasks with the time you have available each day. Trying to perform three tasks that require the same amount of time and energy can force you to overload your already packed schedule, pushing other critical tasks off the list. For example, if you have to write an evaluation report, your other two tasks could be complete weekly billing and catching up with messages from teachers and parents. This ensures that you complete you prioritize and complete your tasks.
3. Make a work schedule and stick to it
It can be difficult to distinguish between work-life from home-life when working from home all day. We may think that we can get ahead and increase productivity, by working “just a little bit more”. However, that is not always the reality. In the end you will feel like you never finish and end up very tired. Therefore, set a work schedule and stick to it. At the end of your workday close the door of your home office and don’t open it again until you have to work the next day. You will develop a routine that helps to balance your personal and professional roles.
Sleep hours are not negotiable! It is proven that having a good amount of sleep (7-8 hours) improves health, keeps you positive, and helps with your performance at work. If you practice this, you will notice your mind stays more responsive and focused which increases your productivity and well-being. show that poor sleeping patterns contribute to loss in productivity and poor safety outcomes. The lesson here is that sleep is an investment in you! Work can wait for you to clock in because it will always be there, but the hours of sleep you lose cannot be made up.
5. Have fun!
Step away from your monitor, get out of your routine, go for a walk, read a book, visit new places, go to the beach or spend some time with loved ones. Shut down your computer and disconnect from the virtual world.
Working as a teletherapist is an extremely rewarding career, but it is imperative to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Burnout can occur in any role and it can present itself differently. Prioritizing your stress levels as well as your physical health through the above-mentioned strategies is an excellent way to avoid burnout. The quality of your work and ability to provide effective teletherapy will only improve if you continue to take care of yourself!
If you are new to teletherapy and working as a virtual provider then you have come to the right place! VocoVision is a leader in providing virtual and teletherapy services to school districts across the country. Our main goal is to connect children with the educators and providers who need them most, regardless of location. If you would love to learn more and are looking for your next opportunity then start your job search today. View jobs through the button below.
Edwards, M. K., & Loprinzi, P. D. (2018). Experimental effects of brief, single bouts of walking and meditation on mood profile in young adults. Health promotion perspectives, 8(3), 171–178. https://doi.org/10.15171/hpp.2018.23
Magnavita, N., & Garbarino, S. (2017). Sleep, Health and Wellness at Work: A Scoping Review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(11), 1347. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111347