The beginning of the year can be filled with pressure. We work hard! We have lives outside of work! Now, we also have to work on these New Year’s Resolutions too!? After a long day serving our patients and their families, we need ways to unwind. Here are:

17 ways an SLP can decompress

1. Hands on

If your fingers are caked with thick-it, play dough, or bubble juice, splurge a little and get your nails done on the way home. This is 30 minutes of pure bliss.

2. Smell something good

If your work doesn’t always have the world’s most pleasant smells, stop by the grocery store/florist and pick up some flowers to fill your home.

flower shop
Photo credit: Yurikamome1 via / CC BY-NC-SA

3. Sit like this for 5 minutes

Lay down with your back on the floor; your bottom pushed up against the wall and rest your legs along the wall above you. After sitting or walking all day, this feels so good on your back.

4. Eat an entire dinner in silence

We talk all day long. Put your phone away, turn off the TV, collect your thoughts, and just zone out.

5. Doodle away

Adult coloring books may sound trendy right now, but the concept is right on point. Mindless coloring or doodling can be very de-stressing.


Pour a cup of tea and spend a minute or two just staring out the window. You may notice some things you haven’t quite paid attention to before.

7. Connect

Sit down on your comfiest spot on the couch and call or Facetime a friend you’ve been meaning to chat with. Bonus if this isn’t an SLP friend and you don’t talk for a single second about speech language pathology related things.

8. Vent

In contradiction to number seven, call up an SLP friend who would understand something that is stressing you out at work. Sometimes just emoting to someone who “gets it” is therapeutic.

Photo credit: bengarrison via / CC BY-SA

9. Pop in a movie

This works best if its movie you’ve already seen 55 times and it doesn’t matter where you start it or end watching it. (For me this would be the Wedding Singer).

10. Check out some travel blogs

Day dreaming about adventures you’ll take with your well-deserved vacation days can be a powerful thing.

11. Listen to a podcast

Recently I have been into ‘Hidden Brain’, an NPR podcast. They are absolutely fascinating and some take a slightly different spin off of theoretical principles I had learned about in graduate school.

12. Jot down a quick “To-Do” list

Seeing all the things floating around in your mind in one spot can make everything feel so much more manageable.

13. Power nap

Take a 20 minute snooze, even if it’s just lying there and breathing deeply. As SLPs our brains may be functioning at a million miles a minute and we need a break…just don’t forget to set a little alarm first.

14. Chocolate

Need I explain? A square or two of dark chocolate can hit the spot.

red wine
Photo credit: quinn.anya via / CC BY-SA

15. Red wine

Same thing! Red wine has been proven to have many positive health benefits. No need for convincing here.

16. Plan ahead to your weekend

Pick out something you don’t typically do, maybe a hike on a new trail, see a movie that has caught your eye, visit a farmers market, or maybe dedicate some time towards some splurge shopping for clothes other than work clothes!

17. Happy hour

Getting to know your coworkers outside of a work setting can be refreshing and make your time at work more enjoyable. Bonus, order a cocktail you’ve never tried before.

Bottom line, as SLPs we need to decompress some days (or each day!). We put so much effort into being the best clinicians we can be, juggling personal lives, as well as trying to stay happy and healthy. Pick one or all of these ideas to do soon. You deserve it.