Why are we so stressed out?

Our PR marketing jobs are incredibly stressful--more stressful than being a cop, according to one study!

Our PR marketing jobs are incredibly stressful--more stressful than being a cop, according to one study!

How is that even possible? The odds of us getting injured or killed on the job are far less than those of cops (well, there was that one really difficult client some years back…).

Public relations is the sixth-most-stressful occupation according to this article.  And events manager is ranked number 5, which is another thing we do here at Cayenne. So if you put those two high-stress jobs together, you could say we should be knocking on the door of the nuthouse! (No comments from those of you who have known me for a while).  We love our business, so we’ve learned to manage.

There’s good stress and bad stress. It’s important to manage and mitigate the bad stress. So how do we do it here at Cayenne? Like everything else, we do it with grace and passion.

1. Exercise. My boyfriend is an ass. I could end this paragraph right here with that one sentence, and for those of us who have significant others who like to exercise you know what I mean. He makes me exercise when I don’t want to, but you know what? I’ve come to enjoy the endorphins that rush into me after a good workout. I’ve learned to suppress the terror that comes with his last-second decision to turn right on a busy street during a bike ride when he has signaled left. But at the end of the day, once the cursing has died down, I feel exhausted, relaxed, and I sleep a lot better.

2. Put it all down. Every day.  We live in a digital age — always connected, always reachable. This is great in some respects, but unhealthy in others. Create boundaries for yourself and your clients and boss. Just because you CAN be reached all day and all night doesn’t mean it’s right. To properly recharge for each work day, your mind needs to create a separation, to think about other things (or nothing). If need be, create a daily out-of-office email response for late hours in the day. People will respect it. I’m not very good at this, frankly. My iPhone and I are attached at the hip (there’s even a picture of me somewhere sound asleep in bed clutching my iPhone!), but sometimes you need that separation.

3. Laugh. YouTube is a wondrous invention, and laughter, as they say, is the best medicine. Take 5 minutes a couple of times on a stressful day, search out your favorite comedian or reality video on YouTube and watch a few minutes of some bit. It’s a nice break that will remind you that one of the best things in life is laughter.

4. Meditate. A multi-billion-dollar industry has grown up around meditation and yoga. And, yeah, I wish I had that type of body! But let’s be honest: Time is money in our business. It’s hard to justify (much less settle down for a few minutes) closing your eyes and doing the ohmmmmmm thing, especially in the middle of a chaotic work day. But you can do something that’s just as effective and is effectively meditation. Do you like to knit? Sew? Take 10 minutes to knit or sew something. Or play yourself in a game of Jenga. You can’t NOT concentrate on the task at hand. These type of concentration and focus — a vacation for the mind — separates you from work for a few minutes and gives your mile-a-minute mind some much-needed rest from the work day.

5. Drink. Yeah, OK. It’s not politically correct. And if you do #1 hard core, there’s little reason to consider this option. But people are human. On the most frazzling days, it really doesn’t hurt to sit down and have a glass of wine (I do enjoy my wine time). Why? It may be impractical—especially if it’s been a long day and it’s now dark—to pull on the jogging shorts and go for a run at 11 p.m. (Especially if you’re a woman; sorry, politically incorrect but life). Have a drink and savor it and then meditate on its impact. Leave it at that. Don’t overdo it. Then go back and do numbers 2-4 for the rest of the evening.

These tips have helped ease my stress levels, and they’ll work for you too!

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Michelle Clancy