After a year of many stay-at-home orders, working from home, and the anxiety of a pandemic, many of us have experienced burnout at some point. This can make it difficult to stay grounded and keep up with one’s mental wellness. Here at Lexington Public Relations, we like to practice mindfulness by knowing when to step away from the screen, be present, and take active steps to prevent burnout. Here are some recommendations we have for being more mindful every day. Some of these tips can take five minutes or less, so you can even incorporate these practices into a packed schedule:
- Focus on your breath. A simple breathing exercise can have a deep impact on your state of mind. Whenever you start to feel stressed during the workday, take a minute to focus on taking deep breaths. Breathing exercises are a fast and simple way to take in the present and begin to feel more relaxed.
- Take regular breaks. Try setting a timer on your phone to ring every hour. When the timer rings, take a break — it could be as short as a few minutes to grab a coffee or do a quick stretch. Regular breaks can be particularly effective in the afternoons as you start to experience mental fatigue.
- Don’t let yourself be a slave to your inbox. If you’re able, try to turn off email notifications during evenings and weekends. As public relations professionals, this can get tricky since we don’t typically work a normal 9 to 5, but taking some designated breaks from your work can do wonders for your mental health. That involves occasionally turning off the email notifications or at least taking a break from trying to respond to each email as soon as it hits your inbox.
- Incorporate music into your activities. Music is notorious for setting the mood and relieving stress. Choose an album or playlist that matches the type of energy you want to achieve or something that keeps you focused. Both Apple Music and Spotify have libraries full of pre-made playlists geared towards increasing productivity, incorporating mindfulness and even bettering one’s mood.
- Practice gratitude. Everyone has bad days — the trick is to use those as an opportunity for mindfulness. The next time you’re feeling a little down at work, try a gratitude meditation and write down one or two things you like about your job, or things that you are grateful for This is a great way to take note of and cultivate an appreciation for your job, even when the day isn’t going exactly as you intended.
Improving mental health and mindfulness at work is all about a balance and finding what works best for you, but these are a few tips and tricks from us to get you started. From here, you can adapt your work style and routine to make lasting changes.