5 ways PR pros can better handle stress

PR is regularly rated one of the most stressful occupations. Follow these tips to keep your nerves in check.

In past years, public relations jobs have been rated among the most stressful occupations. In fact, Career Cast announced that public relations executives have the sixth most stressful job of 2014.

This isn’t news to PR pros, who capably juggle various clients, events and crises on top of their personal lives. This career is certainly more of a lifestyle.

Don’t get me wrong; we live for this. But there is such a thing as too much stress.

Constant multitasking, creative thinking and pleasing clients can take its toll. In fact, chronic stress can lead to weight gain, a weakened immune system, poor digestion and a damaged reproductive system, just to name a few.

As Sweet Brown would say, “ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Here are five ways to reduce stress while still doing your job:

1. Don’t skip your workout.

Regular aerobic exercise is vital to both physical and mental health. Harvard Medical School reports that breaking a sweat stimulates endorphins, which makes you happier and healthier. Other studies show it only takes 21 minutes of activity to reduce anxiety. That’s shorter than a lunch break.

Getting in shape doesn’t always sound like fun, but it will be worth it to take baby steps toward a less-stressed you.

Eating healthy goes hand-in-hand with exercise. Don’t do anything drastic, like sacrificing Oreos. Just don’t eat the whole box at once. Snack on an apple instead of vending machine chocolate, and tomorrow’s workout might not hurt so badly. Make sure to get enough Omega-3s and B vitamins, too. Eating right and working out will keep the stress off your waist so you can stay focused on the things that matter.

2. Find your inner yogi.

Yoga is a great complement to your daily exercise routine. The ancient Hindu discipline promotes overall well-being and relaxation. Meditation, a common practice in yoga classes, is continuously linked to reducing stress, anxiety, high-blood pressure, stroke risk, heart disease and chronic pain.

If you don’t have time to go to yoga, get up 15 minutes earlier and meditate before work to ensure a stress-free morning. Your psyche will thank you.

3. Take a vacation.

It’s a common misconception that PR professionals are always on vacation, or taking clients out to lunch or cocktails on the weekend.

In reality, these weekend lunches with clients mean little to no personal downtime.

In PR, it is important to take a break. Head to the beach, mountains or spa to give your mind a break. The UC Davis Health System reports that vacations can relieve stress and revamp the mind, body and spirit. If leaving town isn’t conceivable, try a staycation at the nearest hotel—and turn off your cell phone.

4. Get in on the fun.

Laugh often. Studies show that laughing has both short- and long-term health benefits, including stress reduction, stimulated organs, improved immunity and pain relief. Those benefits are convincing enough to head to comedy clubs more often.

5. Catch some sleep.

Without sleep, stress increases. And more stress means fewer hours with your head on the pillow. This vicious cycle can go on forever.

Get on a sleep schedule and stick to it no matter what. A stressed body needs sleep to refresh and reenergize itself. If falling asleep is hard, take magnesium, melatonin or valerian supplements to skip counting sheep. A good night’s rest means starting each day with a more positive outlook. Pretty soon you’ll be waking up ready to take on the day.

These basic elements of a healthy lifestyle work together to keep public relations professionals calm, cool and collected. If you need more help, there are a number of natural remedies for easing anxiety that don’t require a prescription. Drinking chamomile tea or lighting a lavender candle can calm the most anxious of nerves, while magnolia extract may reduce stress eating. Get everyone in the office to take a lunch-time yoga class, or email hilarious gifs on Fridays.

Do whatever it takes to keep calm and PR on.

Stephanie Myers is an account coordinator at The Abbi Agency. A version of this article originally appeared on The Abbi Agency’s blog.

(Image via)

Topics: PR

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