SLPreneuer

Grace: Thoughts from an Overwhelmed Speech Pathologist

Texas issued the “shelter in place” about a month ago. Being considered an “essential service”, I continued home visits for a couple of weeks. At the end of March, it was decided it was too much of a hazard for in home visits and I moved to teletherapy. I do not consider myself a “tech savvy” person, but I try. When I moved to virtual speech therapy, insurances were not covering it, so I did not see many kids. That is when the “overwhelm” began. How am I going to get through this? With so many kids on hold, how much regression will there be? When will I get to see them again? With these questions rolling through my head 27,459 times a day, it’s not any wonder I did not sleep much.

Then insurances decided to start covering teletherapy sessions and the overwhelm grew! Now, I have to find the right platform that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. I’m a solo SLP and wasn’t sure I had the caseload to cover an expensive platform. Many of my clients did not transfer over to virtual for one reason or another. I started free trials with anything that offered it. With the rest of the world online too, you can imagine many of these platforms glitched more than they did not. Totally understandable…but also led to my mini meltdowns each day. Trying to figure how to get my practice back online did not leave me much time to create digital resources…or to even learn how to create digital resources!

About two weeks into all of this, I decided what I got done each day had to suffice for a “job well done.” The stress wasn’t worth it. I decided to give myself GRACE. No sessions are not going to go as well as if I was there in person. Some clients transitioned well to online; some did not. “It is what it is” has been my motto for the last 2 weeks. Just like “in person therapy,” not every session will be a rock star session-even though I strive for that with each visit. Sessions take detours from what I had planned. But we are SLPs. We are flexible. We can think on our feet and roll with it. I have had to do a lot of that recently. I gave myself GRACE.

No, I haven’t created any digital products to sell in my TpT store or created a BOOM store. Sorry, in the grand scheme of things, seeing my clients was more important. I take weekends to rest, chill with the family and stay off technology as much as possible. It really bothered me at first but in the end, I gave myself GRACE.

Thankfully, I do not have younger kids at home. One is in college and the other is an 8th grader. The younger one has been left on his own to complete his school work. That might sound terrible but it is what it is. It bothered me at first but I decided I can’t do it all. I gave myself GRACE. He’s a smart kid and needs to manage some responsibilities.

My house has not been cleaned out top to bottom. It’s not anymore organized than it was in January. All these people posting about how their house is the cleanest it has ever been, they’ve gotten so much stuff done to it…nope not me. My house is clean like it would be any other day of the week in regular circumstances. I have not cleaned out closets or flower beds. After working all week, I have chosen to read or watch Netflix on the weekends. That is okay. I gave myself GRACE.

Remember, we are not working from home. We are working at home during an emergency. Most of us are not teletherapists. We are therapists conducting sessions online. We may not get everything done we wanted to but we did accomplish something today. We conducted sessions, helped families and made progress. We must give ourselves GRACE in this time of chaotic uncertainty. Because at the end of the day…”IT IS WHAT IT IS.” When you take off all the expectations, you are less likely to be so overwhelmed.

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