How to Maintain Self-care in the Communications Industry

Photo Credit: Christina Morillo

 

Having a busy lifestyle is demanding and exhausting, especially in our fast-paced industry. People in the PR and media field can put in long hours and even work through weekends. With this said, not setting enough time for self-care may eventually decrease performance in the workplace.

 

Self-care is still a relatively new topic of discussion. While not everyone talks about work-life balance, it still affects each and every one of us. Studies have claimed that it is one of the leading implications in the workplace that can lead to negative relationships with coworkers. However, there are ways that we can improve our mental health so that we can work to the best of our abilities.

 

  • Get some rest!

A key to maintaining self-care is getting an adequate amount of sleep. Along with the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, you should also take time during your workday to rest. Working nonstop from nine to five can be extremely draining. Your brain needs time to refresh. Taking “movement breaks” is beneficial for both your physical and emotional health. A study of office workers showed that just walking five minutes every hour increased mood, alertness, motivation, and even decreased hunger pangs.

 

  • You’re doing too much.

A habit that many of us in the communications industry like to brag about is our ability to multitask. While most of us think that we are great multitaskers, in reality, we are not being as productive as we think. When we multitask, we are more likely to make mistakes, as we cannot fully focus on one thing at a time. Earl K. Miller, a neuroscience professor at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says, “people are much more efficient if they monotask.”

 

Pure innovative thinking arises “when we allow our brains to follow a logical path of associated thoughts and ideas.” Organize your workplace to allow you to work on one task at a time. Remove external distractions and resist checking unrelated media that is not conducive to your productivity. If you find yourself losing focus, it’s a great time to take a movement break, allowing your brain to refresh.

 

Also, don’t think that you have to work and complete one task all in one sitting. Work in intervals and rotate your assignments, focusing on each specific assignment for a specific amount of time, with a short break in between. This can truly make you feel more productive and lift your mood at work.

 

  • A vegetable a day may go a long way!

A healthy diet can also contribute to a more positive work experience. Making wise food choices can not only lift your mood and decrease your stress and anxiety, it can also reduce your risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.

 

Simply making sure to include a couple of vegetables in your lunch every day can go a long way. And be sure to drink water throughout the day; it keeps you active and increases brain power!

 

  • Seek professional advice.

The last and most important way to maintain self-care is to seek professional help if needed. The Center for Workplace Mental Health states that 80% of employees that sought professional help showed improvements in their job satisfaction and productivity. Getting counsel from professionals and having a support system from not only co-workers, but also from your employers, can ultimately create a positive work environment that is efficient and engaging.

 

So, as you develop your daily “to do” list, don’t forget about self-care. From minimal steps like scheduled breaks to lifestyle changes in diet and sleep habits, make time to take care of yourself to perform at your best.

 

Jae Staten was a summer Intern at FCG.

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