Many PR professionals know that removing ourselves from work after the day is over can be a daunting — sometimes seemingly impossible — task. Frantically refreshing emails and thinking of all the to-dos you didn’t have a chance to cross off your list tends to flood the mind right as you’re beginning to relax and unwind.
A former boss once told me to think of work as an entity. When you leave work, you leave the entity behind those doors. In addition to that, here are some activities that can help you unplug at the end of a long day.
Have you tried meditation? Signing up at a local meditation studio can do wonders for your mental and emotional health. If you’re a publicist in Los Angeles, a personal favorite is The Den with two locations in Studio City and La Brea. Meditation can help you slow down and feel present in the midst of your constantly supercharged state and the fast-paced environment you just left at your desk. If meditation’s not your beat, try yoga and exercise to add some dedicated “me time” to your day and stay on top of your overall health.
Listen to podcasts
Find a podcast that caters to your interests or goes completely against them. Tuning into a podcast happens to be both relaxing and simultaneously engaging — you’re learning something new and expanding your worldview while making your way through rush hour traffic. Looking for a place to start? Try a storytelling podcast like Imagined Life, or marketing and business talks from GaryVee.
Reflect on your day
Our job as PR professionals is to tell our clients’ stories, but when’s the last time you took the time to tell yours? Take 15 minutes to reflect on your day in a journal or with a friend. List out your hopes and goals, as well as your personal successes and any mistakes throughout the day. Another helpful activity is to write down a few things you’re grateful for each night before going to bed. Feelings of gratitude provide you with a renewed energy and abundance mindset to tackle every day with a calm mind.
Catch up with friends and family
Make sure to keep up with the meaningful relationships in your life. In other words, did somebody say Taco Tuesday? Go out with friends and catch up on each other’s lives. Family dinners can also be the ultimate setting for intimate conversations and sharing your day with loved ones. If you enjoy cooking, offer to make dinner a couple of days out of the week as a way to shift your focus away from email.
Out of sight, out of mind
Put your phone away and close out of your inbox for 30-45 minutes right when you get home. Nothing is more important than your personal health and wellbeing. You are already in front of a computer for the majority of your time at work. Make it a habit to really unplug from devices by writing reminders to yourself or immediately putting your phone away in another room when you get home.
Finally, do what works for you and brings you joy outside the walls of your public relations agency. As we say around the office: it’s PR, not ER.