I haven’t written a thought piece in a while because, quite frankly, I have been overwhelmingly busy. With the amount of work and commitments I have going on right now both in my professional and personal life, I would normally be completely stressed out, have bouts of anxiety, not sleep, not really eat (cause I forget or time flies), and would ultimately make myself sick. It is easy to let the craziness and chaos get the best of you – especially in PR. We are ALWAYS on, addicted to the “CrackBerries” or iPhones, constantly surfing the net or logged on to social platforms, highly tuned in to pop culture, etc. When do we disconnect and take a break from it all?
The answer is not very often, but when the opportunity does present itself for you to take a vacation and relax and recharge, you must seize it and CHECK OUT. I recently went on a 10 day vacation with my husband to Greece. We had been planning it for 3 years, but so many things kept coming up that we kept pushing it back and postponing. I came home one day from work and decided enough was enough. Our personal and professional lives were always going to be busy and there was always going to be something going on to “prevent” us from going away. The fact of the matter was that we had to just put in for the time off and take it, no matter what. Our lives as we knew them would still be here when we got back, so it was important for us to book this trip once and for all.
We ended up having the most magical time, but I found it hard to disconnect at first, as did my husband. We were so used to our BlackBerries basically being an additional limb, so it was hard to let go and relax in the beginning. However, once we did, we felt like new people. We were happier, more in tune with each other and in the moment, and far more Zen. Then we found that we were reenergized and motivated and excited about work again, and started coming up with really great pitch ideas and story angles while sitting by the pool. I admit that I did check in with the office a couple of times that week, but on my terms, and it made me feel better to know that all was okay as opposed to anticipating 100 e-mails and any sort of crisis upon my return. Overall, checking out made it easier to check back in.
I guess what I am trying to say is that this job is a great, but very demanding one. Because of that, a lot of publicists always feel guilty taking time off, or even taking a sick day. It is the nature of our culture in general. Well, don’t. It is SO important to not only your mental and physical health, but to your personal relationships and professional career as well. Work may be busy and stressful right now, but I feel calmer, clear-headed, motivated and ready to take it all on more than ever before. All I needed was some time.