LCI Blog: Stress Kills. Tips to Reduce Workplace Anxiety

Tarah

 

By Tarah Beaven, LCI Senior Account Executive

 

PR pros love to share (ahem lament) that their industry is consistently ranked as one of the top five most stressful jobs. Workplace stress plays a major role on employees’ productivity, health and relationships (with co-workers, clients and in personal relationships), so what can be done to stave off those negative vibes in order to and find that PR Zen? Here are five tips:

  1. Make “You” Time: Multitasking is imperative to being successful in public relations, and successful PR pros know that making time for you is key to enhanced performance and happiness. Here’s a few simple tasks that help manage stress and give you the “you” time you need:
          • Morning Pages: Author Julia Cameron of “The Artist Way” heralds taking a few minutes first thing in the morning to write, in longhand, your unfiltered stream of consciousness. This simple task frees up creativity, prioritizes and clarifies your focus for the day at hand
          • Exercise: Get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Turn off technology distracters and focus your time on making your body sweat. Choose an activity that you enjoy like running, swimming, Zumba – whatever keeps you interested and excited.
          • Meditate: Resting the mind for even a few minutes a day lowers your heart rate, clears your mind and gives you a fresh outlook. Ideally, carving out time in the morning and after work will help in managing stress and aid in decompressing after a long day.

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  1. Healthy Eating: PR pros make decisions on the fly every day. Grabbing a pastry at an office meeting or noshing on unhealthy food fare that’s within reach will likely leave you crashing or snoozing during a PR storm. Request that the office stock healthy food options or keep a few healthy snacks at your desk to keep blood sugar levels balanced and your mind sharp.
  2. Take a Vacation: Taking time off may feel impossible between media tours, deadlines and client needs, but feeling burned out and exhausted will affect your productivity and mood at work. Plan (and take!) a vacation and vow to unplug from technology as much as possible so you return to the office feeling refreshed and poised to tackle the next round of media tours, deadlines…and client needs.
  3. Completion: My colleagues here at Landis Communications depend on their to-do lists which are a great way to stay organized (a.k.a. sane). For every item you cross off, your brain sends a shot of dopamine through your body which signals a reward. Before leaving work, pull out your to-do list. It’s likely you’ll notice you did a great job at crossing off a few important deliverables. Celebrate these small victories and don’t be hard on yourself – there is always tomorrow.
  4. Smile and Say Hello: The small gesture of smiling at co-workers and acknowledging them in the morning and spontaneously throughout the day does wonders for office morale. Just follow the Golden Rule and treat everyone the way you want to be treated – with respect.

Bonus tip: Our fearless leader, David Landis, makes a point to keep office morale in check by celebrating employee birthdays with cupcakes, planned office outings and always saying hello to every employee every morning. What do you or your office do to help colleagues manage workplace stress? I’d love to hear from you: [email protected].

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4 Comments

  1. David Landis Reply

    Tarah – great thoughts, thanks. And I’m about to come down the hall to say “Hi!” in person and smile. . .keep up the good work! Cheers, David

  2. Hilary Burns Reply

    Tarah, I completely agree with your tips for how to handle work stress. It’s so important to keep an up-to-date “To-Do” list too 😉
    Best, Hilary

  3. Brianne Miller Reply

    Very good tips. The vacation thing is hard…I’ve always found that taking an hour in the early AM when you’re back from vacation to weed out your email and voicemail – BEFORE you get to the office – helps avoid that weird feeling in the pit of your stomach when you have to get back to the real world. What’s waiting for you isn’t half as bad as what your imagination thinks might be there…

  4. Sean Dowdall Reply

    Tarah,

    Great tips and it really is about attitude. From a point very early in my career, I made it a habit to go into the office with a happy disposition – literally telling myself to be positive and smile. It really helps start the day well.

    Sean