How PR professionals can keep their mental health in check during this continued challenging time

How are you doing? When you’re answering that question, are you telling the whole truth about how you truly are? Because let’s get real: how’s your emotional state of mind these days? We are going through A LOT right now—massive change, extreme disruption and we’re living every day with fear and uncertainty looming around us. It certainly takes its  toll.  We would  like to offer some ideas based on what’s been helpful for the TechComms team to keep our spirits up at work and at home during this challenging time.

Give yourself a break. Make that many mini breaks throughout the day. Step away from the devices and your “desk” (wherever and whatever that may be for you) for 5-10 minutes a few times every hour. Stretch, grab a drink or run around your house for 5 minutes (yes, friends, this is highly effective and cathartic!). Take time out for a favourite activity such as running, yoga, a walk, a breath of fresh air or reading. Check in with friends, have a chat (doesn’t have to be over video) and give yourself the space to recognise that this is hard and that’s okay. There’s a lot we can’t control, but we can control our response to situations and right now that might call for slowing down a bit to regain our strength and focus on self-care.

Celebrate successes. Despite the challenges, good work is getting done. We’ve seen an enormous amount of technological innovation in a short amount of time. In fact, working with B2B clients right now has many bright spots. We’re grateful to be doing what we love every day and we don’t want to diminish the milestones clients are achieving or any of our own personal milestones whether that’s being promoted or landing a great new client. It’s still important to take time to celebrate. We have to allow ourselves the grace to experience moments of joy and not feel guilty about it. So, cheers to that virtual happy hour and we hope someone makes you laugh!

Create and honour boundaries. As PR pros, we’re used to being highly responsive 24/7 and dealing with the fast pace that PR demands. But we’ve found ourselves in unchartered territory with work from home because we don’t know how to stop working. The lines were already blurry between work-home and now they’re basically non-existent. We have to take back our personal lives and space and set some clear boundaries. Perhaps this means you don’t answer work email or texts after 7pm or you set aside a block of time in the morning/afternoon to focus on work projects and don’t accept meeting invites during that block (with exceptions for urgent matters).  It’s one thing to have the intention of setting boundaries, but the next part is even more important. We have to honour them and that means when you say no thank you to a work assignment (and by the way, it’s 100% ok to do this when you need to), you mean it and when you’re done working for the day you don’t log back on later.

Right now, we all benefit from an extra dose of kindness, care, consideration and compassion. We are all dealing with this experience and continue to find our way through it. We have to be there for each other and be willing to take the time to ask, “how are you?” and truly listen to the answer.

We’d love to hear how you’ve been coping, share your thoughts with us via LinkedIn