I was reading the Institute for Public Relations Research Letteron a Sunday when the idea came to me. Self-care Sundays should be every day to build confidence and healthy mindsets. Both are needed for creating strategies, spotting key insights and making ethical decisions.
Most students studying public relations already identify as Type A personalities. We over-prepare, we over-analyze and we criticize ourselves heavily for anything that we miss. This is how we survive and make our mark in the profession but this is also how we risk burning out or making unethical decisions.
We all know that we need to eat well, exercise and get a good night’s sleep but taking a pause and building your mental health is equally deserved. Stress can lead to bad choices with even worse consequences especially when it comes to decision-making.
A Harvard Business Reviewarticle summarized it perfectly. “In tough moments, we reach for premature conclusions rather than opening ourselves to more and better options. Faced with less familiar conditions for which our tried-and-true approaches won’t work, we reflexively counter our natural anxiety by narrowing and simplifying our options. Unfortunately, the attempt to impose certainty on the uncertain tends to oversimplify things to a black-and-white, all-or-nothing extreme.”
Just make sure that you aren’t the cause of your own stress. We can delegate and be proactive to control situations with others but in the end, the only thing we have control over is ourselves. Don’t be your own worst enemy and put yourself in a situation that can compromise your ethics or morals.
We have heard the horror stories of students plagiarizing and wonder how they got to that point. Well, it mostly comes from a lack of planning and stress under pressure. By taking the time to relax and reset, we empower ourselves to be the best version that we can be.
So take a moment every day to do something that makes you genuinely happy. Laugh a little. Enjoy life a little more. It will help you and your superiors, colleagues and clients in the end.
Ashleigh Kathryn is the 2018-2019 Vice President of Professional Development for PRSSA National.