How I Approach My Day to Avoid Burnout and Overwhelm
Being a Highly Sensitive Therapist in solo private practice creates the perfect opportunity to get stuck in overwhelm and exhaustion land. I am responsible for all facets of my business from seeing clients to marketing strategies to managing finances. So how do I manage to be ultra productive AND tame my overwhelm?
I start everyday the same.
This includes eating the same thing for breakfast every day. For me, having a consistent and predictable routine is comforting. This approach reduces decision making and clears up more energy for task completion. Once I have moved through my personal morning routine, I feel ready to tackle my day!
I prioritize my to-do list.
The first thing I do before getting to work is to create a game plan for the day so I know where my focus needs to be. I review my calendar and my master task list to decipher what is most important for the day. Most importantly, I ask myself “what has to be done TODAY?”. Those items go on my short list and are my focus for the day.
I take regular breaks to avoid burnout.
When I say breaks, I don’t just mean a lunch break (although this is important because HSPs have a tendency to get hangry!). Highly Sensitive People notice every little detail in our environments and quickly get exhausted trying to process all the details. Whatever we come across, whether that be a client’s story, a social media post or the glance of someone in our office building, our brains will make meaning of every little detail, process the information at length and most likely produce an emotional response. Doesn’t that sound exhausting?!
We need time to process and integrate all this information as well as reduce the amount of input. How does this happen? It is as simple as giving yourself AT LEAST 60 seconds of silence after every client to breathe and decompress. Taking a mini break every hour greatly reduces the amount of input to process throughout the day. This helps you use up less energy and avoid the “Sensitivity hangover”.
I keep myself regulated.
Whenever I start to feel overly stressed, saturated, tired or overwhelmed I step away for at least 10-15 minutes. My favorite regulation activities include mini dance breaks, breathing exercises or going outdoors for a few minutes. Choose whatever makes your heart sing and gets you back into your body.
I ask for help.
As HSPs, our default is to care for others and want everything to be perfect (including ourselves). However, we can’t always go it alone. What ways can you get support to help reduce your level of overwhelm? This could be as simple as reaching out to a friend for feedback on a blog post, asking your partner to help with house chores. If you have the resources, you could also consider hiring an assistant or getting business consultation.
As Sensitive Therapists, we use a lot of our energy caring for others which can leave little time and energy to tend to the administrative side of being a therapist. It’s easy to get burned out and overwhelmed. Creating a daily routine, prioritizing tasks and incorporating regular decompression breaks can make a huge difference in our productivity and energy levels.