Self-care is all the rage lately, and for good reason! As therapists, in teletherapy and in other settings, our goal is to help others, and sometimes this comes at the cost of forgetting to help ourselves. In teletherapy, it can be easy to forget these things, with the lines of your home and your home office being blurred at times.
With intentional self-care, you can find time in your day to make sure that you are taking care of your needs, so you can show up to your sessions and give them your BEST therapist self!
Here are 4 Self-Care Practices for Teletherapists:
Over scheduling your day is tempting in any setting, and working from home is no different. Breaks are crucial to giving your brain and body some time throughout the day to recharge, so you can be fully present for your work. And breaks are shown to reduce errors and improve efficiency, so that is always a win!
SELF-CARE TIP: Try taking mini-breaks between sessions and plan for a short break where you can get up and move around or grab a snack every 90 minutes or so. And don’t forget your lunch break.
Get up and Move
It can be really easy to forget to get up and move when you work at your computer in your home office. Since you don’t always have to get up to get your next student or walk to the other side of your office to gather materials for your next session, it is easy to accidentally sit for longer than you intended during your day.
Just like planning for a break, make sure you have time to get up and move during your day. It helps you to have a break from your work, but also helps to reduce tension that can build up from sitting and gives you more energy and focus for your sessions to come. Plus, it’s good for your overall well-being 🙂
SELF-CARE TIP: Try a quick stretch between sessions (you can even use your chair or desk for this!). Find a 5-10 minute video you like to do. Go for a walk outside. Or maybe keep a yoga mat rolled out nearby, so you can hop on and move a little.
Start and End Times
When you work from home, the lines around your workday start to blur unless you set some boundaries. You start a little earlier than you should to fit in one more session, or stay later in your office to finish up some reports that are due. Having the extra time is a definite benefit of not having a long commute to work, but it can also cut into the time away from your office, where you get to recharge and refresh, and step away from work for awhile.
SELF-CARE TIP: Set start and end times to your work day, the same way you would if you were arriving and leaving for your brick and mortar school or clinic. Build buffers in for those days with extra sessions or reports that are due, and stick to those times.
Another great thing to do during your day is to make a clear transition between your workday and your evening at home. It can be really easy to jump straight from finishing up in your office to cooking dinner, taking care of your kids, or doing tasks around your house. This leaves little time for your brain to unwind and let go from the day, so you might find that even though you aren’t “at” work anymore, your thoughts and focus are still there, making it really difficult to enjoy your time at home – and pretty mentally exhausting too!
Try creating a transition that helps tell your brain “I’m ready to sign off for the day, so I can recharge and be here, fully, excited, and ready to go in the morning!”.
SELF-CARE TIP: To make a smooth transition from your at-home workday to family or me-time, take a walk outside (your dog will thank you!), listen to your favorite podcast, read a book, call a friend, head to the gym, or even write in your journal. Anything goes!
Working in teletherapy is so wonderful! If you are trying to put your day together, give a few of these self-care practices for teletherapists a try. They really do make all the difference! And if you are ready to make the leap into teletherapy, reach out to us here: Become an E-Therapist