#1 Morning Jam Session
I know this may sound completely silly, but jam out in your car on your way to work. Multiple studies have found that singing along to your favorite tunes can improve mood, reduce stress, and even improve your immune system! So grab your mic and channel your inner Christina.
#2 Create a positive environment
If you have an office, fill it with things you love, things that make you happy! If you are a traveling therapist, and spend most of your time in your car, then keep your car clean, stocked with good tunes, and smelling of your favorite scent!
#3 Practice Gratitude
I use to have a chiropractor that would ask me what I was thankful for every time I saw him. I wont lie, it totally weirded me out at first. However, once you get in the habit of thinking of all the things you are grateful for each day, it makes it pretty hard to let those negative thoughts win. I recently purchased this Gratitude Journal from Amazon and it keeps me committed to daily positive thoughts!
#4 Take a break
Put the mouse down and step away from your desk! I promise, it will all still be there when you return in 30 minutes. Get in the habit of actually taking a lunch, and not working through it. Go for a walk, drive to the nearest gas station for a drink, heck I even browse the nail polish aisle at Walgreens! For those home health therapists that don’t know what a lunch is, use your time wisely! Get a self-help or motivating audio book to play in your car as you drive to your clients.
Compliment your students/clients. Research shows that when providing compliments, it is best to give specific feedback. Avoid “great job” and “you’re so smart.” Tell them what they did well, explain why you are proud, tell them about the progress you have been scribbling down in your data journal! I was always told that you can find something positive to say to clients in every session, even if its “Thanks for coming to speech today.”
#6 Sign Out
Do me a favor, go on your phone and sign out of your work email. I promise you won’t regret it. I used to have this terrible habit of checking my emails late in the evening, or on my days off. Having work email on your phone doesn’t allow you to reset and restore. Let the emails wait, you can reply on Monday!
#7 Say “No”
I know this step seems ironic because “no” is portrayed as such a negative word. However, we need to learn to say “no.” Practice with me…..”no.” I am not saying that you should tell your boss “no” when she asks you if you completed your reports. However, what I am saying is that its okay to say “no” when your friend asks if you want to meet for happy hour and you just finished your third IEP meeting this week. I am saying its okay to say “no” to the parent who just asked for the third make up session this month (I am talking to you home health therapists).
#8 Limit Screen Time
It is so easy for us to think of kids best interests when it comes to screen time, however, what about ours? Social media can be a beautiful thing. It is a great way to connect with individuals in our field and share ideas. However, it is also an easy way to get stuck on comparing yourself to others and wasting valuable time. I recently started limiting my own screen time and engaging in more activities that benefit me. Whether its painting, reading, or searching for rocks to add to your new collection-you should totally make time for it!
Now, I don’t promise that if you do all these steps you wont have bad days. However, I do feel like they might allow you to enjoy your job more often and remind you of all the reasons why you started in the first place.
I hope this post helps therapists and other professionals out there! Let me know your favorite way to stay positive in the comments below 🙂