Written by Solo PR Pro Contributor, Michelle Kane, CEO, VoiceMatters, LLC
We do not have to point out that we are currently under a serious amount of stress. Stress beyond issues with a client or a challenging project. To varying degrees, we are dealing with injustice and a pandemic as part of our days. It is a lot, to put it mildly.
We also know that the people in this profession are passionate about communicating responsibly and using story to make this world a better place. We are also called on to have steady heads and craft appropriate and effective messaging, no matter what is going on around us. We need to stay sharp, even when our bodies and minds do not fully cooperate.
Since we are our instruments it is crucial that we make time in our schedules to practice quality self-care. Here are four ways we can start right here, right now:
This can be the hardest form of self-care for those of us who work for ourselves. There is always something to be done. And any time away from work is unpaid when you are self-employed. Even more reason to consider raising your rates and/or making sure you are getting paid your worth, which includes covering some personal time off, but that is another blog for another day. Trust us when we say you will be glad you had some separation when you return to your work refreshed and replenished. If a week or even a whole day is a challenge, start small. Take a long lunch hour or take a lunch hour if you usually work through the day.
How many of you are away from your desk when you get that spark of an idea you have been trying so hard to manifest while sitting and staring at your screen? That is why it is so important to step away for short breaks. Even better, get outside. Can you take a short walk in a nearby park? Even better if you are near water. These nature breaks help us to recalibrate.
Make meditation and/or prayer a part of your day. Prayer can take place anywhere, anytime. Likewise, there are many apps to guide you through meditations, including Calm and Headspace. ABC anchor Dan Harris began meditating after experiencing an on-air panic attack. Here he and meditation expert Sharon Salzberg take you through a beginner’s meditation.
Take a Breath
Have you ever heard of box breathing? A simple technique that helps stop stress in its tracks, it is even used by Navy Seal team. You simply breathe in for four counts, hold the breath for four counts, and exhale for four counts. Repeat a few times.
These methods of caring for ourselves will not make problems disappear or situations ok but they will help us be better prepared to be of service.