Over the past eight weeks, the PR and comms industry has had to adapt quickly to a new way of working. Teams that normally sat alongside one another in an office were spread across the country, and partners, children and pets became their new colleagues. As this ‘new normal’ developed into routine, it quickly became clear that self-care for both mental and physical health was integral to every organisation’s success.
Mental health was already an issue for many PR practitioners, with 63% of respondents in the CIPR’s State of the Profession report rating the stressfulness of their job at 7 out of 10 or above, and 23% of people saying they had taken sickness absence from work due to stress, anxiety or depression.mso-ansi-language:EN-US"> At Vuelio, we had started our wellbeing initiative, accesswellbeing, at the start of the year to help address this problem and remove the stigma around mental health.
Our first offering was a free yoga class to comms professionals.
When the lockdown measures were put in place back at the end of March and socialising and group exercise were all ruled out, we made the decision to move our classes online. By offering the industry an hour of yoga, we have helped them to switch off from the working day and escape from the never-ending news cycle, giving them a much-needed break.
The importance of separating life from work was always been a struggle for the industry, with emails sent round the clock and presenteeism being rewarded. As work and home have merged into one, being able to put aside an hour for a yoga class can help draw a line under the working day and set you up for a calm evening and even a restful night’s sleep.
Sleep and exercise play a vital role in improving mental health and wellbeing, but can also help you focus more during the working day. We asked our wellness manager for her top tips on staying healthy in mind and body when working from home or the office:
1. Find a routine
Keeping a regular routine will not only give structure to your day, but it will help you separate your working day from your downtime. It might be tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day, but you’ll be more productive if you put on proper clothes. Plus, you won’t get caught out on any impromptu video calls!
2. Be mindful
Meditation can be something that many people find difficult or simply avoid. Now is the perfect time to practice meditation and find time to soothe your stress. Meditation helps with productivity and creativity, and keeps us grounded. Work it into your daily routine or pop it in your calendar to give yourself a reminder.
3. Get creative
We now have more time to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill, and with so much technology at our fingertips, the options are endless. Open University has a number of free online courses covering a range of subjects from history and art to business and management.
4. Be thankful
Taking time out of your day to remind yourself of the things you’re grateful for can be transformative. Work it into your daily meditation or take a few minutes at the start or end of your day to reflect on what you have.
5. Stay active
It can be very easy to avoid exercise when working from home (or when you’re in the office!) but it’s vital for both mental and physical wellbeing. There’s a number of free exercise classes on YouTube so try something different to your normal routine.
As the restrictions ease and teams return to the office, it will be just as important for colleagues and managers to look after their mental wellbeing and to show our commitment to the industry we will continue to run our free virtual #YogaForComms class every Wednesday at 6pm until we can safely welcome you back in person.
Article written by Rebecca Potts, Events Manager, Vuelio
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