As PR professionals, we juggle a lot because multitasking is an essential part of our job. However, we still tend to forget to do the most important aspect of our job: taking care of ourselves.
Really? You might be asking. That’s more important than sending 20 pitches before the end of the day?
Yes – because, guess what? Sending out those 20 pitches will go a lot better when you have a clear and focused mind.
If you’ve never heard the term “self-care” before, you won’t forget it now. It is exactly what it sounds like: caring for yourself. Taking time to care for yourself physically and mentally.
Why are we so bad at self-care in PR? Many reasons… our hours are not 9-5 because our hours are more like whatever hours we’re awake. We feel guilty when our colleagues are working on the weekends but we’re at a family BBQ. We’re terrified to leave our desk to grab lunch should a sudden crisis hit. So, the more we’re working, the less self-care we do. While the grind feels good for a little while, with caffeine pumping through our veins, keeps us going… it will eventually wear us down.
We have a lot of ways of de-stressing at ChizComm. 1. Using stress balls modelled after Disney Cars. 2. Precision RBS Rubber Band Shooters directed at our bosses (shout-out to Aaron Wade). 3. The daily Boot Camp that happens everyday at noon when ChizComm team members go to a nearby park to exercise.
Exercise, good and healthy food for lunch, or a walk in the beautiful sunshine are all ways to take a break from the grind and take a moment for yourself.
All of these methods release stress and anxiety so when you return to your desk or pick up your phone to answer your email, you’re in a much better headspace. When you’re rattled, rushed and frustrated, you’re much more liable to snap at your colleagues, CC the wrong person on an email and forget to do the task your boss was expecting to be done by end of day.
Self-care shouldn’t just happen at work, but also when you leave the office. At home, we can’t help but look at our email and talk to clients who are on a completely different time zone. And that’s pretty much unavoidable. But when you’re spending time with your family, some emails can wait. Learn to prioritize not just your work tasks, but also your personal life alongside that. If we don’t prioritize our personal life over our work life in some instances, we will cease to have a personal life at all. And spending time with our loved ones is one of the best ways to self-care.
When you’re home, there are also more exercise options but also other possibilities, like meditation (try the app Headspace).
If you’re starting to feel weighed down by your work and walking up in the morning is getting harder, consider that maybe you’re not taking great care of yourself. Take time to eat, exercise, see friends and family, and take a break from glaring at the computer screen. Do all that and you will show up to work motivated and clear-headed, ready to knock off every task on your to-do list.
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