Feeling frazzled? You’re not alone. Each independent PR/marketing communications consultant in our consortium is highly skilled at juggling the care of clients, vendors, partners and loved ones. But taking care of ourselves? Not so much.
Our profession is fundamentally a pressure cooker of 24/7/365 news cycles, writing deadlines, social media and an “always on” culture. Combine that with helping clients communicate during the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the anxieties wrought by uncertain times, and you’ve got a recipe for burnout.
A fire hose is at hand, however, regardless of your profession; it’s self-care. As this helpful Mayo Clinic Health Care system article summarizes, being kind to ourselves is the key to feeling less overwhelmed during life’s difficulties.
From puzzles to puppies, here’s how some of our collaborative partners are leaning into self-care, along with the brands helping them to do so. We hope these stories inspire you to take good care of yourself, too.
Laura E. Richeson, APR, Richeson Communications
“I’m currently listening to fictional audio books during my evening 5-mile power walks. Right now, I’m loving Agatha Raisin Mysteries by MC Beaton. On the weekends, I switch to my ‘backyard book club’ in the sun with books with actual pages. I’m also diving into new podcasts such as Unlocking Us by Brené Brown and calling, texting and Face Timing distant, senior relatives to connect on family history, life perspective and more.”
Amanda Mestdagh, APR, 4bes PR
“I’m definitely enjoying the extra quality time with my two little kids, the extra time spent outdoors in my Wallaroo Hat, and I love that my husband is around for dinner time. When it comes to self-care, I don’t get much alone time, but what I look forward to immensely is my daily Peloton ride during naptime. I’m a fan of head instructor Robin Arzon and her positive attitude – it’s contagious. Plus, it’s fun to compete with friends near and far as we all strive for a way to stay connected while we stay home. The chance to get out of my head and get my body moving toward something other than escaping toddlers is a bonus.”
Trudy Anderson, Adgals
“I find it cathartic and comforting to put my tech skills to use in a positive way with fellow consultant Sunshine Woodyard, Right now, I’m creating a digital presence and thought-leadership program for a hospice professional. Who better to inspire the living than someone who has worked with the dying? I’m also doing high-intensity training with a virtual running coach in my nike.com shoes, calling my 82-year-old mother who is quarantined with her 80-year-old brother, downing Olly “Goodbye Stress” gummies from Target and wearing face masks that I haven’t had time for until now!”
Wendy Roundtree, APR, Jarel Communications
“My husband and I have taken to jigsaw puzzles purchased at Walmart and Barnes & Noble. We’ve found them both challenging and relaxing at the same time. So far, we’ve tackled two 1,000-piece puzzles and we’re currently looking for our third! We’re loving the extra quality time together.”
Michele Plant-Kroupa, Michele Plant Communications
“Every morning, I dive into bible study and then head out on a 4-mile power walk in my Track Shack sneakers, return and walk each of my dogs, shower and make myself a good breakfast (including vitamins and herbal supplement V16 from Advocare) before diving into work. Honestly, my faith, supported by Discovery Church, has kept me centered.”
Carolyn Reis, APR, Reis Corporate Public Relations
“My self-care routine is a grab bag of faith, exercise, a new hobby and a rescue pup. Like Michele, I begin each day before the sun comes up reading Jon Meacham’s The Hope of Glory for Lent, followed by a 3-mile run through my College Park neighborhood. My New Year’s resolution was to learn how to knit. It’s proved to be such a peaceful, meditative pastime. I stocked up on skeins of yarn from Michael’s and I’m well on my way to giving everyone in the family a knitted scarf for Christmas! But, by far my greatest comfort through these difficult days has been my 18-month-old puppy Harry that I adopted last year from Pet Rescue by Judy.”
Other stress-busters enjoyed by our team: Jennifer Bisbee, APR, listens to inspiring Spotify podcasts during her morning runs; gets her daily java jolt with comforting flavors from Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co.; practices virtual yoga with her favorite Orlando Power Yoga teachers via YouTube; and plays with her daughter’s new puppy. Speaking of dogs, Paul Soost lives with a comfort dog and is conducting consultations via Zoom (Times Square backgrounds included). Sunshine Woodyard is fixing up her new home and garden, and savors her daily breaks in the Florida – well – sunshine! And Susan Stauffer finds solace in prayer and joy in her “nightly sips” of her and hubby’s favorite British comedy, Doc Martin.