You’re a hard-working woman, with amazing clients who respect you for your counsel, but let’s be honest...you are stressed...a lot. Partly because you are responsible for shaping the opinions and perceptions of your corporate or individual clients. Another part is because you’re an unconscious people pleaser. Public relations is a deadline-driven and demanding career. It's no wonder, year after year, article after article, PR keeps landing on the “top 10 most stressful jobs in the country” list.
In honor of National Stress Awareness Month, we wanted to join the conversation and provide ways to reduce stress. Since the PR industry is female-dominated, here are some words of wisdom from the women of PRecise based on real-life professional experiences:
1. Find a candle and get lit!
There are two formulas in this world:
1) Man’s best friend = dog
2) Woman’s best friend = lavender candle
No, this is not a Bath & Body Works sponsored article (although we’re fans)...this is about aromatherapy. Believe it or not, burning candles and inhaling aroma was once considered a form of medicine - long before this “over the counter” era we live in now. The warm smell of lavender, in particular, to this day, is one of the best immediate stress reducers. Essential lavender oil can soothe your brain and relax your bloodstream in less than 30 seconds.
When should you burn a candle?
When a client spokesperson or celebrity decides they’re “too tired” to show up for a live morning show interview...that you confirmed months ago. Before you send a nasty email, take some advice from our EVP and media relations guru:
"Either find a moment to burn a small lavender candle and pray to the PR Gods or start looking into how much money you can make becoming a basket-weaver. Whatever you do, stay professional.” - Tracey Bowen
2. Break a sweat (not as stinky as you think)!
To lose fat, we exercise. Yet, most of us are not running to the elliptical when we’re stressed. That’s because we don’t know the benefits of actually “breaking a sweat.” Science shows that the body uses sweat to regulate our temperature and cool our body down during times of stress or anxiety. With just a 30-minute workout (aka “positive stress”), your body is able to release these “feel good” chemicals called endorphins, which boost your energy and endurance level up to 24 more hours.
When should you work out?
After you spend months working to bring a brand activation to life, give it a beautiful hashtag; yet, the day of the event, people are still not posting pictures of the activation, with the hashtag that promotes your client. Good luck finding metrics, right? Before you shove the hashtag down an attendee’s throat, remember these words from our rising event expert:
“Run sister, run! Take the time to tune everything around you out and focus on the bigger picture. Stress isn’t a joke, you have to take care of yourself, everyday, so you can live your BEST life!” - Amanda Sanford
3. Buy a salad (with extra cucumbers)!
Not only are cucumbers low in calories, they also help control the body’s tension levels. The multiple B vitamins (B1, B5 and B7) found in these green machines are known to ease anxiety and induce tranquility. The good news...you can eat them, blend them in a delicious green smoothie or cover your eyes.*Note: It’s a fruit, not a vegetable (not up for debate).
When should you slice & dice?
When you wear multiple hats and there’s not enough time in the day. Depending on your position in the company, you may play a dozen different roles with multiple responsibilities, including responding timely to clients, journalists, vendors and employees (or bosses). Before you burn yourself out, listen to our boss:
“As president and CEO of a growing agency, day to day my roles switch from owner, CEO and CFO, to account supervisor, operations manager and sometimes assistant. I never really get to ‘turn it off.’ I wouldn’t trade my life for anything, but it can be quite stressful. I’ve learned to make self-care a priority, even if it’s just 10 minutes in the middle of the day.” - Alexis Davis Smith
4. Hide N’ Go Read!
Studies have shown that reading for just six short minutes can reduce stress by 68 percent. In fact, reading a book can even be better than other traditionally relaxing activities (i.e.,walking, listening to music, drinking coffee, etc.). The deeper you dive into a book, the farther your mind is from the stresses of everyday life.
When should you take a reading break?
When you have to pick up a teammate’s workload, on top of your own to-do list. Before you pick up an attitude, pick up a good, fresh new book and remember these words from one of our resilient rockstars:
“Reading is fundamental. For me, it’s not smart to read the news at certain points of the day. It heightens my anxiety. So now, I stick to personal improvement books like, “The 4 Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz or “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. These kind of books distract me from negative thoughts and refocus my moves. It never fails.” - Nadia Felder