By Katie Brenneman
Public Relations professionals take on roles and responsibilities that can be incredibly demanding on their mental health and emotional wellness.
From building relationships with multiple clients and contacts to media training to managing crises — all of it requires serious commitment and a high level of effort that can be exhausting to sustain.
A healthy work-life balance is the key to avoiding burnout and ensuring your workload doesn’t overwhelm you. By, taking care of yourself, not only will your mental health benefit, but your career ambitions will become realized.
These five tips will help you balance your mental health and grow your career in PR.
Set Realistic Career Goals
When you start your PR career, you may have a vision for what your career life wil look like if everything goes according to plan. This dream may involve being a major celebrity publicist or even making incredible PR strides within the nonprofit sector.
But when the reality of PR work sets in and how challenging it can be to make a name for yourself, that big vision might seem less achievable.
Setting realistic career goals can help you stay on track when things get tough. In addition, goals with a step-by-step plan for achieving them attached can make the journey to PR success much more manageable and enjoyable because you know where you’re going.
When establishing these goals, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions: So, set goals for your career. What is your ideal PR position? When do you want to get to your dream job? How do you plan on getting there? What are the best steps to take to achieve your goals?
If you don’t know the answers to some of these question, don’t fret. You’ll find the answers in time and with guidance. Finding a mentor in the field can give you a substantial idea of what your ideal career might look like, and what steps may be necessary to achieve it.
Establishing boundaries is critical for your mental health and career growth. When you don’t have personal boundaries, you’ll put yourself on the back burner in every situation. When you don’t have professional boundaries, it can lead to being overworked and feeling unappreciated.
On the other hand, firm personal and professional boundaries ensure you work and live on your terms. Terms that ensure your mental health is intact and you’re developing at a comfortable pace in your career.
Nurture your relationship with yourself to determine what works for you and what doesn’t in your personal and professional life. Learn to communicate these boundaries effectively. And more importantly, learn to stand firm on your boundaries no matter what others think.
Don’t Discount the Importance of Your Wardrobe
For something seemingly small, your appearance and wardrobe can make a markedly large impact, especially when it comes to your mental health and career.
Dressing professionally can help you walk into interviews and meetings confidently. It can influence the respect level others have for you. Your wardrobe can inspire productivity and create more opportunities to connect with colleagues.
Moreover, the way you dress can impact your mental health. When you wear an outfit that makes you feel powerful and professional, it boosts your confidence. In addition, you can get your creative juices flowing and improve your mood.
Commit to a routine each morning that includes putting together an intentional outfit. Piece together a look that makes you feel most confident and professional, and watch your career grow as a result.
Make Self-care a Priority
Working, in general, can significantly impact your mental health. PR professionals, in particular, typically take on challenging workloads that lead to symptoms associated with overworking.
They’re known to work tirelessly for their clients, sacrificing their sleep, personal life, and peace of mind in the process. But unfortunately, doing this will absolutely lead to burnout — negatively affecting your productivity, job performance, and how happy you are in your role.
Of course, you need a supportive work environment to ensure your job is positive for your mental health. But more importantly, you need to make self-care a priority. Self-care will help you nurture your mental health. It’ll also help you bring your best to work each day.
Self-care can be straightforward, like making yourself a healthy breakfast every morning or turning your phone on do not disturb when you get home. Self-care can include grander activities like going to the gym, getting a massage, or taking an extended vacation.
Whatever you’re self-care looks like, make it a priority.
Listen to Your Body
Your body will tell you when it needs a break. But unfortunately, most people don’t listen. They aren’t paying attention to how their body changes. They overlook their aches and pains. And they ignore their mental exhaustion, telling themselves to just “push through it.”
As a result, they’re forced into a leave of absence because their bodies and brains shut down. This not only disrupts your mental health, but it stalls your career growth because you have to step away to recover. To avoid this, listen to your body.
Step away from your work for a quick break or take a longer lunch to reset when you can’t think. When aches and pains arise, pay attention to whether they persist and get some rest. Take a much-needed vacation when you’re mentally and emotionally spent.
Be so in tune with your body that you know when it’s time to nurture your mental and physical health to ensure you’re career continues to grow.
PR work can be so demanding that it makes you feel like you have to put it over your mental wellness. But you don’t and shouldn’t have to choose between your career and your mental health. Instead, achieve a balance between the two with the tips above.
Image Source: Shutterstock
Katie Brenneman is regular contributor to Culpwrit thanks to her passion about writing about business, public relations and other major topics of the day. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.