Working in PR can be a demanding and stressful profession. In fact, PR Executive was ranked #8 on CareerCast.com’s Top 10 Most Stressful Jobs of 2019. If you work in PR and aren’t intentional about taking care of yourself and managing stress, it’s easy to become drained and eventually burn out.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is a state of chronic stress that exhausts you mentally, emotionally, and physically. It can leave you feeling like a failure at work and make you feel cynical, detached, and depressed. Burnout does not usually happen suddenly, but instead, it slowly creeps up on over time. Fortunately, there are ways to spot the signs of burnout and address them before it’s too late.
The Signs of Burnout
Some of the most telltale signs of burnout include chronic exhaustion, forgetfulness, lack of focus or concentration, anxiety, depression, or increased irritability. You may be feeling like you no longer enjoy the job you once loved. Your coworkers who you have previously gotten along with may start to annoy you.
You might feel detached, cynical, and isolated from others. You might be opting to stay away from social activities, even if you’re usually an extrovert. You also may notice that your performance at work is declining and that you’re less productive than usual.
Physically, you may experience headaches, dizziness, chest pain, heart palpitations, or stomach pains. You may also get sick more often. You might lose your appetite and find yourself skipping meals or have trouble sleeping at night.
How to Avoid Burnout
If you think you’re on the road to burnout, you need to take action quickly. Even if you’re not yet experiencing signs of burnout, it’s essential to make an effort to take care of yourself to ensure you don’t find yourself in that place.
To avoid burnout, you must get adequate rest. You should make it a priority to sleep at least seven hours every night, regardless of your workload. Skimping on sleep over a long period of time will not only lead to burnout but also puts you at a higher risk for cancer, hypertension, and depression.
It’s also critically important to take of your body in other ways. Get some type of exercise every day, even when you feel like you don’t have the energy. A good workout will improve your energy levels as well as reduce your stress. You’ll feel better knowing that you’re taking care of yourself too.
To avoid burning out, you also need to maintain strict boundaries on your work. It’s easy to let work pour in your personal time but do your best to keep it in its place. If you have trouble keeping your job within your work hours, then you’re taking on too many projects, and it’s time to take a step back. Remember, knowing your limits will keep you doing your best work for the clients you do take on.
Working in public relations can be extremely rewarding as long as you take strides to manage your stress levels. If you watch for the signs, take care of yourself physically, and keep boundaries on your workload, you can successfully avoid burnout and thrive as a PR professional.