Stress Relief for the PR Pro

Woman sitting at desk by crumpled papers on floorAny job/career can cause stress. My dad, for example, is an engineer. He builds buildings. He loves his job and does it well, but it’s demanding. He’s one of the most HIGH STRUNG people I know I will ever meet in my life and is always a little on the stressed side. Coming from his lovely gene-pool, I am also high-strung, Type A, etc., etc., which translates oh-so-conveniently into the fast-paced, multitasking world of PR. And I have to say it has only worked to my advantage in this field. Ask me 20 years from now…it might be a different story.

PR professionals: are your jobs stressful?

I have a good feeling most of you would respond with a vociferous “YES!”

So while we are answering a client call about the CEO not liking that the words “ultimate” and “groundbreaking” are not in the Fortune article he was just interviewed for, making copies of the presentation we have to give for a new client meeting, helping the interns find the fax button on the printer, trying to schedule an interview with a reporter, assembling clipbooks and all the other things we do so well, (sigh) how do we make sure our heads don’t spin off?

Sometimes you need to take five minutes to step away and regain some balance. For me, Twitter and the community I have found on it help me take that “deep breath” during my day. I observe peers experiencing the same things I do and realize we’re all “in it together.” PR Breakfast Club has also been a tight-knit family to whom I can vent and ask advice. CuteOverload.com also relieves some of my stress 🙂

What works for you? What’s a good stress reliever during our busy, chaotic days as PR professionals?

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  • I force myself to make time for a quick run at lunchtime 2-3x per week (luckily we have showers at the office). That hour seems like a huge chunk of the day but it's worth it. And I ride my bike to work most days. Without that I go insane.

    If time doesn't permit, just a 15 minute walk outside w no blackberry.

    If time is real tight, I find 10 minutes blowing away zombies on this game a great way to vent: http://armorgames.com/play/269/the-last-stand

    And I listen to music as much as possible during the work day.

  • Laney

    My account supervisor and I have “stress walks.” I also have particular candies (sour patch kids and peanut butter m&ms) that my support here often give me when it is really bad. And, if I don't get a run or some sort of exercise in…good lord, don't come near me.

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  • My answer for this one is perhaps too obvious to even bother putting down — music 🙂

  • jeffespo

    I need to get better at stress/anger management, which kind of roll hand in hand with each other.

    When I get stressed out and need to vent I usually swap some messages with some folks, but if that doesn't work I check out the following sites (sorry Kate super cute things don't work for me):

    http://www.peopleofwalmart.com
    http://www.peopleofthepark.com
    http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/
    http://www.despair.com

    Note – you are welcome for your lack of production from those sites.

    Or checking out my comics list on Gocomics.com

  • KDMisevich

    Great post and I love CuteOverload.com! For me stress is definitely self inflicted due to my personality. My colleagues are super useful when it comes to venting or talking about solutions to alleviate stress. If all else fails, I pump up some loud angry music. It helps to release some of the anxiety.

  • I have to second the PeopleofWalmart and Awkwardfamilyphotos references. They can pull me out of a funk any time! I will have to check your other two out. Like right now…… – Tara

  • jeffespo

    Just be warned that it will consumer your lunchtime.

  • I agree with PRCog. I listen to music for most of the day. It actually helps me concentrate more and makes things seem a bit easier 🙂

  • marieveebee

    When I get stressed, I take lots of post-it notes and tear them apart into little bitty pieces. If that doesn't work, there's always ice cream. 🙂

  • I second peopleofwalmart.com, love that site

  • Where do you work, George? I want a shower in my office!

    🙂 Thanks for the comment.

  • My co-workers and I are such big fans of the internal office vent. While everything is flying at us, sometimes we just have to let it out, and be each other's cheerleaders!

  • I can just see a new pack of post-its at the local Office Max seeing you coming, screaming: “No! Not Marie! We'll be ripped to shreds!!” <aaahhhhhh!>

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  • Manny

    Here’s another one! http://peopleofdahood.com

  • Alicia

    It’s stressful enough in-house or at an agency, but being an independent consultant sometimes takes stress to a whole new level. It’s particularly bad when times are bad and agencies start trying to cut in to your business. Best way to beat it… Take a long weekend (if you can) and unplug for a day. Try for a massage too. It makes a world of difference.