The stresses of life do not end after college. Public relations is a field that demands long work hours with overtime, deadlines, and meetings. It can be difficult to practice self care in a stressful environment, but it must be a priority. I’d like to give the disclaimer that I’m not a doctor. I am one person reflecting on a common human experience. If you’re feeling tense, easily irritated, foggy headed, or find yourself complaining frequently, consider taking some time to reflect on what you most need, as it is most likely on this list.
SLEEP. Before reaching for that prescription, a drink, or a cookie to soothe you after a stressful day, warm up some hot tea and get to bed early. Not only will you start your day on a good note, but you will also think more clearly, make better work-related decisions, and collaborate better with others.
EXERCISE. The truth is, we overcomplicate this. PR pros may not have the time to work out everyday for several hours, but every bit helps. Take the stairs, sneak in 10 minutes of yoga in the morning, or go for a short walk before dinner. Consider joining a fitness class with a friend. Challenging your fitness level not only ensures you will still fit in all your favorite clothes, but it will help send oxygen to your brain allowing you to think more clearly, sleep better, and boost your mood after a long work day.
SLOW DOWN. These words are not used frequently in PR, but if you do not have time to get enough sleep or exercise, it is time to reorganize your priorities. Stop and think about what you are doing and what you are trying to accomplish, and let go of the obligations that aren’t serving the goal that matters most to you. Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
THINK HAPPY. Be happy, take it one day at a time, and notice all of the little things that made your day special. Reflecting on what you are grateful for will give you an attitude of gratitude at work.
TAKE A BREAK. No one has a perfect attention span, so knowing how long you can be productive before you hit the wall is extremely beneficial. Split up your work into small chunks, and see how much you can accomplish in that time. Then take a break to breathe. Do something that relaxes you for 10-15 minutes before starting the next task. This will keep you focused and motivated, allowing you to perform better and be proud of how much you can accomplish in a day.
FUEL UP. Loading up on refined carbs and caffeine will set you up to crash. Be considerate of what you fuel your day with. Be sure to have protein and nutrient rich veggies with every meal. Snack on fruits and nuts, and replace chemical loaded soft drinks with water and tea. When you eat better, you feel better.
Always remember you can’t control everything, but you do control how you respond to stress. Don’t forget to show up everyday as the best version of yourself. Keep up the good work!
Donatela is a senior at GVSU studying Advertising and Public Relations. When she isn't studying or at Grand PR/PRSSA meetings, she enjoy planning hiking trips, doing yoga, or convincing herself to eat healthy.