Sign up for our parent newsletter!
A spring reset routine for therapists: 5 ways to optimize your energy and go from stressed to refreshed
There is an energy swirling around this time of year. It’s as if the world is waking back up from a deep sleep, and all of nature is moving, growing, and busying itself once again. Flowers are blooming, robin eggs are hatching, and each day has a bit more sunshine than the one before.
Spring is in full swing, but if we’re being honest, many of us are still trying to recover and catch up from the holidays. (Seriously, how is it almost Summer already??) If you find yourself struggling with burnout or still thawing from the winter blues, you are not alone. Most people experience a slump in productivity and energy between January and April.
Humans are part of nature, and we function best when we acclimate ourselves to seasonal energy. In fact, one of the best ways to prevent burnout is to match nature’s rhythms, and by doing so, we can tap into powerful natural energy reserves that are as rejuvenating as they are motivating.
Whether you’re needing a boost of energy for productivity or a dose of rest so you can feel ready to bloom again, this complete spring refresh may be just the reset you need to bounce back.
Go from stressed to refreshed – Revitalize your energy with this complete, five-step spring reset routine for therapists.
- Refresh yourself.
As therapists, we are constantly telling our clients to never underestimate the power of simple joys and routine self-care, yet many of us are so guilty of overlooking our own well-being. The truth is, one of the best ways therapists can advocate for self-care is to model it.
Action item: Block out time on your calendar to enjoy your favorite self-care practices to refresh your mind, body, and soul.
Refreshing self-care ideas
- Choose to spend one whole morning, afternoon, or day enjoying guilt-free relaxation
- Get a haircut
- Groom your eyebrows or facial hair
- Commit to a health cleanse
- Get a massage
- Meet up with a friend
- Listen to a “just for fun” podcast
- Read a motivational book
- Go on a long walk or hike
- Listen to your favorite music
- Go on a weekend vacation
- Unplug from technology for a day
- Take a social media fast
- Explore meaningful ways to reconnect with your own personal faith
- Participate in your own therapy
- Refresh your focus.
Much like the seasons, you change. You have never been static. New connections, ideas, interests, and experiences are forever altering and sharpening your desires, and taking a moment to pause, reflect, and reassess can help keep your efforts on track. Springtime is a great time to renew your professional focus, so take a mindful moment and ask yourself: Are the goals you made back at the start of the year still reflective of your professional aspirations?
Action item: Ensure your current professional image accurately reflects your renewed focus. If necessary, refresh your directory profiles, pictures, and videos to ensure everything is up to date and correctly speaks to your ideal client.
- Refresh your to-do list.
Even if it’s just a mental one, EVERYONE has a to-do list. What’s on yours? If you’re feeling unsure, start with the piles.
What’s been building up?
Is there a stack of paperwork you’ve been putting off?
Action item: Before diving into productivity mode, strategize. Reflect before taking action and create a thoughtful to-do list. Try to focus on only the most essential tasks, and if it starts to feel overwhelming, give yourself permission to cross any non-essential tasks off the list.
Tip: It may be helpful to have two separate to-do lists: a professional one and a personal one. And while you’re in thinking mode, now may also be a good time to plan ahead and develop a strategy for success for the slower summer months ahead. 6 Tips for therapists: Navigating the summer slowdown like a pro
- Refresh your environment.
There is a reason why “spring cleaning” is a thing. Nothing kicks burnout to the curb like getting organized. Countless studies have proven that environmental factors are one of the biggest influences on just about any form of success. From habit forming to feelings and mood regulation, the environment you operate in can make or break your experiences.
Action item: Consider the relationship you have with your home environment. Is it a healthy, uplifting, motivational, and functional one? Or is it unhealthy, unsupportive, demotivating, and dysfunctional?
Now may also be a good time to consider your therapist office environment.
If you have telehealth clients, what are they seeing behind you? And what is your view from the computer?
If you meet your clients in person, does your office ambiance support your client’s healing experience?
If not, it may be time to refresh your therapy office. Rest assured, you don’t need to be an expert decorator to create a calming and inviting environment for your private practice.
5 Easy decorating tips your therapy office
- Keep it tidy. The number one best design tip is to keep spaces clean and clutter-free. Ample décor, stacks of paperwork, and too many knickknacks are not conducive to a soothing atmosphere.
- Choose neutral colors. A few pops of calming colors such as forest greens and blues are ok, but avoid royal gem colors such as reds, oranges, and bold purples.
- Keep your plants healthy and alive. Clients need to associate your office with the place where things thrive, and if you have plants in your office that are clearly not thriving, then that sends a very strong, albeit subliminal, message to your clients. Succulents, spider plants, money trees, and pothos vines are just a few examples of the many wonderful low-maintenance indoor plant options that can liven any office. Otherwise, if you opt to decorate your office with fake plants, just be sure to invest in good quality ones and keep them dust-free.
- Include soft elements. Comforting décor pieces such as inviting pillow cushions, a plush accent carpet, or even a warm throw blanket on the couch are gentle elements that are worth investing in. Soft décor items send a clear message that your office is a safe place to get comfortable in.
- Be mindful of the smell. Scents play a powerful role in setting the ambiance of an environment, for both you and your client. If you’re providing Telehealth services, is there a fragrance that would stimulate your work with clients? If you’re meeting clients in person, you’ll want to be conscious of allergies. Additionally, some people are very sensitive to certain perfumes, and synthetic fragrances are known to trigger migraines or even trauma responses. It’s best to avoid strong perfume or synthetic fragrances and choose gentle, all natural scents that are pleasantly noticeable but not overpowering, such as lavender, rose, or bright citrusy scents.
- Refresh your mindset.
Feeling like you need to catch up is more often than not a mindset rather than a reality. Remember that progress is more important than perfection, and self-imposed due dates are often arbitrary. You reserve the right to adjust the timeline as needed.
Action item: Assess your progress. Is your current workload sustainable? How are you doing financially? Do you need to dial your marketing strategy up or back? By taking the time to realistically reconnect with your overall progress, you may realize that you’re further along than you realized. And if not, a mental reset can help you think proactively instead of reactively.
The bottom line
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
Spring is a time for reconnecting and refreshing, and a reset routine can be just the thing to help you recenter yourself in alignment with your focus – professionally and personally. As you ground yourself in the present reality, feel free to get creative, and explore your own personal ways to refresh yourself. However you choose to reset your energy this season, remember that sometimes all it takes to bloom is a renewed perspective, some patience, and a little sunshine.