With a little help

In recent years I have written many times about wellbeing, resilience and mental health, particularly why it is important in the PR and communication world.

Life today is full of pressures, issues, demands and responsibilities. If we let those take control then it will be full of anxiety, stress and even depression. This may sound a bit heavy for a Sunday morning but it is something we too often ignore.

PR and communication professionals are expected to have their finger on the pulse of life, they are expected to know about the latest social media developments, they are expected to be there in the moment of crisis. The key to all this is expectation. Expectations put on us and that we put on ourselves.

This is a fact of life unless we are going to become a hermit and live in a cave. But even then we can’t escape the internal voice challenging whether we are being the best hermit and have we got a desirable cave.

There are a great many books devoted to helping people deal with these issues and professionals offering their services. But there are also a few simple things that I rely on and need to turn to. Here are my three bits of advice.

First, understand your views on the situation so you know where your values come from. For me this has been tracking back my approach to work which impacts on my work life balance. If you understand it then you can deal with it.

Secondly, develop the ability to say No to things and to recognise what doesn’t matter so you can let it go. We all spend too much time worrying about things that don’t really matter. It adds to our stress levels and impacts on our views of life. Deal with what you can and let the rest go.

Thirdly, have a strong support network and make time for friends and family. We need to make time to switch off and recover. This is an important coping strategy because we focus on people who matter and give ourselves time to switch off and relax. I did that yesterday having afternoon tea with a good friend. I came away feeling rested and lighter (well except for the food we ate!).

We all face pressure at points in our lives what matters is how we recognise and deal with it. Take time to relax.

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