#150: Filling Your Self-Care Bucket as an SLP

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What does it look like to practice self-care as an SLP, and what does self-kindness have to do with it?

That’s the topic Marisha and Dr. Laura Mansfield explore on this episode of the SLP Now podcast — the first in a five part series about managing your mindset, called The Joyful SLP!

As school-based SLPs, there are a LOT of activities that we’re pouring our energy into. We’re planning therapy sessions, collecting data, doing paperwork, practising therapy, managing behavior, wrangling schedules… in the midst of all that giving, it’s super important that we take care of ourselves — otherwise we’ll find we’re on the fast track to burnout.

That’s why this conversation about SLP self-care matters so much. The only way you can show up for others is by showing up for yourself; you have to fill that bucket of energy before it’s empty, and that’s what we’re talking about today!

In this episode, Marisha and Laura discuss:

💛 Why self-kindness and self-care are individual journeys
💛 How you can pour into your self-care bucket throughout the day
💛 Ways that Marisha and Laura practice self-care
💛 Why getting curious is an important part of the self-care process
💛 Getting off the hamster wheel of ineffective self-care (that actually makes you feel worse!)

The big takeaway here: how you practice self-care as an SLP is up to you. The best way to find what works is to be curious, be kind to yourself, and do more things that your future self with thank you for. 🥰

“Some of that self-care and self-kindness was pausing to say, okay, how am I feeling right now? Is my body telling me something?” – Dr. Laura Mansfield

 

Resources Mentioned:

Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children

Excerpts from the Episode:

Laura: “We see it a lot on Instagram and social media, people with their glasses of wine and drinking that and watching Netflix, and I’m not against wine or Netflix in any way, but I know for myself, I don’t function well the next day after wine, so I have to be really thoughtful about when I drink it, if I drink it. So was that really kindness? And if I do sit and binge watch something, do I feel better after I’m done or is it feeding me in a way that gives me energy and the space that I need to be my best self?”

Marisha: “A lot of the things that I end up doing are things for future Marisha, like setting up my future self for success. If I have a big day, I’ll pick out the outfit ahead of time or I will prep my food or just do something to make my life the following day a little bit easier. One of my love languages is acts of service, so I end up doing that for myself. And it’s just like when I wake up and have the awesome outfit ready to go, I’m like, thank you, past Marisha. That was great. I appreciate you.”

Laura: “So many of the SLPs that I know are just such giving people, and they just give and they give of themselves, and that can be a beautiful thing. But where are we giving from? Are we giving to earn our worth? Are we giving to prove our value?”

Marisha: “We might not all get a full lunch break, but even just stepping away and eating while we’re not working can be self-care too. It’s the little moments that we can just keep pouring into our bucket. It doesn’t have to be a full spa day or an extravagant vacation. I think the most beneficial things are just the little sprinkles that we give ourselves throughout the day.”

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Transcript

[00:00:00] Marisha: Today we are chatting about self-care and what that actually looks like. And we could also frame it as self-kindness. What does it mean to be kind to ourselves. What do you think about when you think about self-care?

[00:00:16] Laura: It's such a great question. I recently came out of a year of really intense therapy, and I remember asking my counselor cuz it had come up and I realized that I kind of move really quickly and I push myself really hard and I didn't know what self-kindness was. And I asked her like, what does that even mean? And of course, like any good counselor, she said what does it mean to you? And she said, write that down in your journal. So I wrote down what does self kindness look like?
And went on a journey of just trying things out. We see it a lot on Instagram and social media, people with their glasses of wine and drinking that and watching Netflix, and I'm [00:01:00] not against wine or Netflix in any way, but I know for myself, I don't function well the next day after wine, so I have to be really thoughtful about when I drink it, if I drink it. So was that really kindness? And if I do sit and binge watch something, do I feel better after I'm done or is it feeding me in a way that gives me energy and the space that I need to be my best self? So I really had to try out like a bunch of different things.
What do you think of when you think of self-care and self-kindness?

[00:01:35] Marisha: A lot of the things that I end up doing are things for future Marisha, like setting up my future self for success. If I have a big day, I'll pick out the outfit ahead of time or I will prep my food or just do something to make my life the following day a little bit easier.
And one of my love languages is acts of service, so I end up doing that for [00:02:00] myself. And it's just like when I wake up and have the awesome outfit ready to go, I'm like, thank you, past Marisha. That was great. I appreciate you. So that's one thing that I really like to do if I know that I'm having a day that's stretching me or I'm just feeling challenged, that's something that' a general practice now. I do extra things when I feel like "ooh, tomorrow's a big day." So that's one thing that I like to do. And then that helps cuz I feel like we walk through life with a bucket. Let's pretend we all have a bucket and throughout the day we're pouring out that bucket.

[00:02:37] Laura: That's actually a children's book.
The bucket fillers.
[00:02:39] Marisha: Yeah, the bucket fillers. And I think that book is focused on kindness towards others.
[00:02:44] Laura: Yeah. I think it's the same kind of thing that you're talking about.
[00:02:46] Marisha: Yeah. Our bucket gets emptied throughout the day, and especially as school-based SLPs, there's a lot of things that we're pouring into. And by doing those things for my future self, it helps [00:03:00] make sure that my bucket doesn't get too empty.
And so that's a huge part of self-care, self kindness, self love for me. And that helps keep the bucket from getting far too empty.
But sometimes, I do need a little bit more. So to me that could look like reading fiction books. Oh. That is one thing that is a huge form of self-care for me.
And walking outdoors fills my bucket. Being in nature. Absolutely.
[00:03:30] Laura: We recently moved near the beach and it's a mile walk from my house and it's been such a gift.
I think something that you said made me think about as we go through our days, where we can get into these routines. And part of my routine is also taking care of tomorrow Laura. By getting my coffee ready at night, I fill my water bottle and I put it right on the bathroom sink so that yes, I can start drinking my water first thing in the morning.
And just doing those little things. But we can also get in routines where we're moving so quickly. We [00:04:00] don't get curious about why we do the things that we do. And when I was going through that with my therapist of, I was, when you're hungry, you eat right? You check in with yourself, oh, I'm hungry.
I need to fuel my body. But I wasn't checking in with myself emotionally. I was just plowing through.
[00:04:16] Marisha: Oh, yeah.
[00:04:17] Laura: So I think for me, some of that self-care and self-kindness was pausing to say, okay, like, how am I feeling right now? Is my body telling me something? That I need to step back or have a gratitude moment or just be mindful for a minute and just sit here for a minute and not try and get something done.
And just check in with myself can be a kindness to yourself too. And staying curious and not be judgemental towards ourselves. I know for a long time, like I could get really judgemental if I tried to emotionally cope with something with eating and then get on this negative track of how I felt about myself because I chose that. I was just trying to figure out how to do something for [00:05:00] myself and there's nothing wrong with that. We have to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others and we have a bucket to pour from.
[00:05:06] Marisha: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that that reflection is key. And because sometimes the Netflix night with a couple glasses of wine, or however many you can tolerate, for me, it's probably less than one.
[00:05:19] Laura: Me too.
[00:05:20] Marisha: Sometimes that is truly something that can fill our bucket and maybe sometimes we'll go for a walk and that's not quite what I needed today.
[00:05:28] Laura: Yeah.
[00:05:28] Marisha: I don't know how often that has happened, but being curious and reflecting. There might be a season where walking just isn't as effective, or where Netflix isn't the self-care that you need or scrolling Instagram or reading. We go through seasons where we need different things.
And I think that's the key is getting curious and just because reading fiction is my current thing, that doesn't mean that Marisha three months from now will need that, or where that will be part of my regular self-care [00:06:00] routine.
[00:06:00] Laura: Yeah.
[00:06:00] Marisha: And then just because it works for me doesn't mean it'll work for you.
[00:06:03] Laura: Yeah.
[00:06:04] Marisha: And maybe it won't work for you now, but it will in the future. And so it's that constant curiosity and seeing what actually helps me feel better and what fills that bucket. And I don't think there's any one thing. Each thing that we do just fills our bucket just a little bit more.
It's not going to go from completely empty to full with one act of self care.
[00:06:28] Laura: Yeah.
[00:06:29] Marisha: So being mindful of that level and giving ourselves
[00:06:33] Laura: permission to take that time for ourselves. I know for me, like as a mom and a wife and someone, who has always worked maybe more than one job at one time,
[00:06:45] Marisha: like 50 jobs at once.
[00:06:46] Laura: Well not that many but a few. Pushing myself to exhaustion doesn't serve my family. And I missed that for a while. And felt selfish if I took [00:07:00] time for myself. And even kids can really come in and be your priority. And there's so many women in our fields and so many of the SLPs that I know are just such giving people, and they just give and they give of themselves.
And that can be a beautiful thing. But where are we giving from? Are we giving to earn our worth? Are we giving to prove our value? Are we giving just on this exhausted wheel, and then we're just falling into these patterns of scrolling or watching something and whatever it might be, and not like,
[00:07:35] Marisha: Why don't I feel better?
[00:07:36] Laura: Yeah. I did that. That's what I see people on Insta doing, but I did it and I'm still exhausted the next day. I don't feel any better
[00:07:46] Marisha: or worse.
[00:07:47] Laura: Yeah. Sometimes worse. I know. I know how I feel if I have too much to drink. And then I don't sleep well, and then I struggle to get up the next morning and then I am fighting that energy suck, and then I'm [00:08:00] trying to compensate with food and chocolate and coffee. You can just get on that kind of survival mode.
[00:08:06] Marisha: In the hamster wheel of just putting band-aids on.
[00:08:09] Laura: Yeah, exactly. So I think that, step back and putting some of those practices in where you're checking in with not just your belly's feeling of hunger, but emotionally, how are you doing. And giving yourself permission. We're a lot of busy women out there, so it doesn't have to look like an hour.
[00:08:27] Marisha: No.
[00:08:27] Laura: carved out of time. It can be a couple minutes here and there throughout your day.
[00:08:31] Marisha: Yeah. Taking a couple minutes to breathe in between sessions.
[00:08:35] Laura: Yeah.
[00:08:35] Marisha: Like just taking a breath.
[00:08:37] Laura: Yeah.
[00:08:37] Marisha: Or taking a moment of gratitude or,
[00:08:40] Laura: Yes.
[00:08:40] Marisha: Reading a chapter at some point in the day. We might not all get a full lunch break, but even just stepping away and eating while we're not working can be self-care too. It's the little moments that we can just keep pouring into our bucket.
It doesn't have to be a full spa day or,
[00:08:59] Laura: which [00:09:00] would be nice.
[00:09:00] Marisha: It would be nice. Yeah. But it doesn't have to be a full spa day or an extravagant vacation. I think the most beneficial things are just the little sprinkles that we give ourselves throughout the day.
[00:09:13] Laura: And we have to start by asking ourselves what will feed me?
[00:09:15] Marisha: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:16] Laura: In a healthy way.
[00:09:17] Marisha: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:18] Laura: That will re-energize me and help fill my bucket.
[00:09:20] Marisha: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:21] Laura: How can I do that?
[00:09:21] Marisha: Yeah.
[00:09:21] Laura: Is what I'm doing working?
[00:09:23] Marisha: Yeah.
[00:09:23] Laura: Do I feel better after I do those things? Is there a hobby that you can pick up?
[00:09:27] Marisha: Yeah.
[00:09:28] Laura: Yeah. I started playing piano again
[00:09:30] Marisha: Yeah.
[00:09:30] Laura: Last year. So that is just such beautiful time for me.
[00:09:34] Marisha: Mm-hmm.
[00:09:34] Laura: And I might not be able to practice as much as I'd like, but even just five minutes if I feel like I just wanna sit and something about music, you know?
[00:09:43] Marisha: Oh, it's so therapeutic.
[00:09:44] Laura: Yeah. Crafts. Cricuters. We have so many talented SLPs who do so many different things.
[00:09:52] Marisha: Like knitting, crocheting, dance parties.
[00:09:55] Laura: Dance parties are good.
[00:09:56] Marisha: You can even have a 30 second dance party if you're having a [00:10:00] day, and that'll make a big difference.
I
[00:10:01] Laura: bet you your students would really like it too.
[00:10:03] Marisha: Yeah. And it can have lots of extra benefits.
[00:10:08] Laura: Absolutely.
[00:10:09] Marisha: Yeah. I love that.
[00:10:11] Laura: Yeah.
[00:10:11] Marisha: That's our take on.
[00:10:13] Laura: Yeah.
[00:10:13] Marisha: Self-care.
[00:10:14] Laura: Be kind to yourself.
[00:10:15] Marisha: Yeah.
Love on yourself a little.
[00:10:18] Laura: You deserve it.
[00:10:18] Marisha: Yeah. You do.
[00:10:19] Laura: You work hard.

 

marisha-mets-about-mobile

Hi there! I'm Marisha. I am a school-based SLP who is all about working smarter, not harder. I created the SLP Now Membership and love sharing tips and tricks to help you save time so you can focus on what matters most--your students AND yourself.

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Comments

  1. This was excellent! I have made self-care a priority this year and am sharing things with my fellow co-workers. We all need to take care of ourselves mentally and physically.

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