Tag Archives: Pressure

Sobriety: An act of radical self-care

I spent the first half of my summer celebrating: a promotion, new apartment, other good things, why not pop the champagne?! It was at some point in early July when I actually realized how much I was drinking. Multiple bottles of wine a week (or night) had a negative effect on me. So from July 23 through September 14, I didn’t consume a drop of alcohol.

From a physical health perspective, I certainly had more energy after nights out and didn’t eat later at night, something I would do if I drank. From a mental health perspective, being sober helped me to see what triggers my desire to drink. Not surprisingly, long days at work and stressful family situations were the main culprits. As I dug deeper, I found that I was mainly triggered when my values were challenged. Family, loyalty, accountability and communication are my top values so when they were jeopardized, I stressed out. Instead of pouring wine, I looked for alternative methods of self-care to calm me down including journaling, exercising or just putting myself to bed.

Giving up alcohol was an act of radical self-care. The last year taught me to put my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing first. That’s the only way to be at 100% and of service to others. This detox was an opportunity to prioritize my health and now, it’s much easier to cut the booze off.

This shouldn’t be a big deal, right?! But, it was! Alcohol is literally everywhere and having the willpower to forgo is hard, especially in social situations. It’s so ingrained in our society that people look at you like you’re crazy when you decline a drink. It got me thinking about those who choose not to drink. Regardless of why, I feel like we as a society need to be more accepting of that. For a recovering alcoholic, feeling judged or pressured isn’t going to help. Of course, you don’t necessarily know who these individuals are, which means maybe we walk around offering high fives versus clinking drinks.

Believe me, I still very much enjoy a cocktail and after nine weeks without one, I’ve learned that not all social outings have to revolve around alcohol. I also discovered other coping mechanisms that can be more productive. We all should continue celebrating however we like and perhaps have a little less judgement on how others celebrate too.

Easing into 2016

The month of January goes one of two ways:

  1. You throw yourself into New Year’s resolutions, planning, etc.
  2. The holidays and the cold weather have drained you and the thought of resolutions makes you want to crawl into a hole

Typically a new year is a time for you to reflect and create new goals. But why put all this pressure on ourselves to implement these changes up front? Why not create a year of resolutions, aspirations and new fun things you want to experience?

For the last two months, I’ve been listening to Gretchen Rubin‘s podcast Happier that she does weekly with her sister Elizabeth. Among other pearls of wisdom, each episode starts with a try this at home tip: a digestible idea to help you create better habits. A few, liking setting an alarm for bedtime, resonated with me. They’re also super easy and fun to try.

As I planned for the new year, I remember the podcast, these tips and recognized that a list of lofty resolutions wasn’t going to work for me. Actually, it never has.

So instead, I started focusing on a couple of things that hopefully will male me a little happier and a little healthier. So far for the month of January, I’ve implemented:

  • Packing breakfast and lunch daily
  • Tracking workouts at the gym
  • Walking during one call a day at work
  • Writing blog posts while at the gym (eliminates the pressure to find another time to write)

Now for some ideas I thought were good but aren’t sticking:

  • Getting up 30 minute earlier to do yoga.
  • Going to bed at a consistent time
  • Taking a lunch break to read

small changesI’m not totally giving up on these ideas but need to look at them differently and assess if now is the right timing. For example, instead of a full yoga class in the morning, maybe it’s ten mindful minutes of stretching. These smaller changes do have a bigger impact and absolutely remove the pressure of trying to do too much.

I can only speak for myself here: pressure doesn’t help me but it might work for you. We all need to meet ourselves where we are. Nobody needs more pressure or stress. Certainly, I’m not perfect, but these smaller changes have helped my mood. overall well-being and happiness.

What are your thoughts on New Years resolutions? Any helpful tips to share on how to implement new rituals or habits?

Media Mania

I  am not a media relations girl. To me, it’s the hardest part of public relations and an area I didn’t master while in college. Truthfully, I don’t think any novice is in love with media relations. Practice really does make perfect with this aspect of PR.

WWA Volunteers!

WWA Volunteers!

Luckily for me, I was able to practice these skills this past weekend while volunteering at the Wawa Welcome America Festival in Philadelphia. I’ve worked media areas before but hadn’t in a while so I very much appreciated the opportunity to brush up on these skills

After my experience, here are a few things I learned when working with the media.

  • Prep work saves lives: I was not directly involved in the pitching efforts for the festival. However, their PR team clearly was prepared, with releases printed and available for media at all events.  I could only assume their efforts paid off since there was an abundance and variety of media present. There was also a list of approved freelancers and outlets, a vital document that all media areas should have.
  • Put yourself in their shoes: Test out shots from various locations at your event beforehand. Is there anything in the way? Can reporters move from one area to another easily?
  • ID please: Not just anyone is allowed in the media area. It’s essential that only media with credentials come into the designated area to check in. Typically, big events give out their own specific credentials or press passes at this time. Folks who belong at said events are usually very willing to show you their media identification. It’s the ones who have no clue what you’re talking about or reference a celebrity that should concern you.
  • Playing security: You might have to help photographers and camera people get their desired shot. Be ready to hold things, block off areas and gently remove unwanted objects or people from shots
  • Under pressure: Do not cave! Random people will want to come into the media area. Others will be unapproved media who will beg to get in. Don’t let the pressure get to you. Be politely militant.

I had an awesome time volunteering with the Wawa Welcome America Festival last weekend. It was the perfect refresher I needed for working with the media. Have you worked media areas? Any tips to add to my list?

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