Private Practice SLPs: How to relax and enjoy your well-earned break!

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For many speech pathologists, it’s been a very long year. We all need a break from work to relax, recover and rejuvenate. In private practice, going on holiday creates extra work and stress – before, during, and after leave. Historically, I’ve struggled, and been a moody wreck during leave. But, this year, I’ve done some research. I have a plan to share!

Before I go:

  • Meditate daily: I use a free app called Insight Timer.
  • Prioritise essentials: Highlight the tasks that absolutely must be done and hyper-focus on knocking them off. (Say no to everything else!)
  • Communicate now: Tell clients and colleagues that you are unplugging and won’t be reading emails or picking up calls.
  • Clean up: Clutter increases stress, so clean up your desk and workspace before you go.
  • Fire up your out-of-office message: Give yourself a buffer – e.g. one day back in the clinic before seeing clients.


  • Set goals (but don’t over-schedule): Mine are simple and deliberately vague: do things that create more joy, energy, gratitude, fitness, family time, memories, and calm.
  • Unplug: Limit technology and social media. Spend time with people you like.
  • Immerse: Walk in nature, swim, eat, drink, sleep, snooze, dream, watch sport, meditate, journal, play, laugh, read, love, and experiment with new gizmos.


  • Plan: After a solid rest, spend half a day or so revisiting personal and professional goals and resetting priorities. A plan helps to plug back into work, & to filter tasks as they flood in.
  • Reflect: After the first week back, check in with yourself. Are you more joyful, energised and calm? Remember the best moments of your break and stick with your new personal and professional priorities for 2023.

Main source: Gribbin, T.E. (2018). How to Minimize Stress Before, During, and After Your Vacation, Harvard Business Review, online.

This infographic also appears in a recent issue of Banter Booster, our weekly round up of the best speech pathology ideas and practice tips for busy speech pathologists, speech pathology students, teachers and other interested readers.

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Man wearing glasses and a suit, standing in front of a bay

Hi there, I’m David Kinnane.

Principal Speech Pathologist, Banter Speech & Language

Our talented team of certified practising speech pathologists provide unhurried, personalised and evidence-based speech pathology care to children and adults in the Inner West of Sydney and beyond, both in our clinic and via telehealth.

David Kinnane
Speech-Language Pathologist. Lawyer. Father. Reader. Writer. Speaker.

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