It’s often said that public relations is the ethical heartbeat of an organization. From moderating the worst of comments on social media, to navigating tense decisions during a crisis, the role of a PR practitioner can be heavy.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the 24/7 headline world we live in. The news doesn’t sleep and neither do the comment sections of the pages we manage. Our inboxes catch the occasional keyboard warrior’s attention and when disaster strikes, PR pros are usually one of the first to begin navigating a forward course of action.
Unfortunately, 90% of those in PR have experienced mental health issues to some extent in 2022. So this May, for Mental Health Month, we’re reminding all of our communication colleagues to prioritize self care on your to-do lists.
- Take a walk.
There are countless studies about the physical benefits of getting up on your feet after staring at a screen all day for work. But taking that walk doesn’t only get your heart pumping. Making time to get outside and move your body does wonders for your mental health. The endorphins that your body releases from a light walk outside can boost your mood, lower stress and fight anxiety.
- Don’t be afraid to disconnect.
We all have those in our lives who have deleted social media from their phones for their mental health, and maybe you’ve even thought ‘I wish’ about doing the same. If you have to use social media for work, you can still put some ground rules about its use to work in your life. Consider moving your phone to another room while you sleep, muting or limiting content that doesn’t serve you, or placing strict time limits on when you will and won’t open social apps.
- Make time to enjoy YOUR life.
Comparison is the thief of joy – we all know this. We all also know how much work goes into curating the *perfect* social media account. Still, it’s easy even for PR professionals to get lost in the comparison game and down the imposter syndrome rabbit hole. Spend time with loved ones and friends for the pure sake of simply being together. Once you abandon the need to take the single most perfect photo for your feed, you’ll find time for a full day of making beautiful memories together.
PR practitioners put in odd hours and face difficult decisions every day. Managing reputations and counseling an organization through their darkest times is not for the faint of heart. Still, being proactive about your mental health is only half the battle. If you find yourself in need of help, there are some great free tools available:
- National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP(4357)
- Online Treatment Finder: www.findtreatment.gov
- 24/7 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988
- Greater Lansing Mental Health Services: www.517living.com/counseling
At Martin Waymire, our core values – excellence, teamwork, growth and balance – are built around supporting one another so that we can do work that makes a meaningful difference in our state. Those values extend to our colleagues and clients so this May, know that we see you and the incredible and sometimes difficult work you do. Take gentle care.