Ten ways to manage stress as a travel therapist
For physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists, helping others is a way of life. Day in and day out, these professionals provide compassionate, quality care with dozens of patients on a one-on-one basis. But caring for others can make them vulnerable to depletion, stress and fatigue. So how do these helpers help themselves?
Learning to manage the pressure is key because if they don’t keep themselves strong and in balance, they are not able to be there others. In fact, if therapists are stressed and don’t have a good outlet for that stress, they can potentially put their patients at risk. This is because people are more error-prone when they’re stressed, burned out, fatigued or ill.
Here are ten sure-fire ways to cope effectively with stress:
1. Exercise. This earns a top spot on the list because it’s such a powerful tool for reducing stress and increasing a sense of well-being. Study after study points out this fact. And you don’t have to run a marathon to reap the benefits—moderate, regular exercise is sufficient, from walking and yoga to gardening and swimming.
2. Keep a gratitude journal. Counting life’s blessings is an ancient practice. Almost 2,000 years ago, Roman poet Ovid said, “Thanks are justly due for boons unbought.” So buy yourself a small journal at your local bookstore, put it in your purse or bag and start keeping track of the wonderful things in your life. Do it every day and don’t repeat yourself. You’ll discover all manner of big and small things that make your heart grateful. Plus, this journal is a comfort when you’re feeling down—it’s a reminder that even in tough times, you are luckier than you think.
3. Identify stressors. The same things don’t stress everybody out. So know your stressors, acknowledge those triggers and develop a plan to deal with them. Some events are out of your control and require acceptance. Others respond to action.