As public relations professionals, we train for managing a crisis. As we have lived through COVID, I have witnessed you lead in communicating timely, accurate, and essential information to the public, and that information has saved people’s lives. Thank you for all you have done, and we are continuing to do so during this time.
As we witness vaccination rates increasing through the spring and summer, it’s time to turn our attention to ourselves. Because we have been spending so much of our mental and physical strength writing, rewriting, and executing crisis plans for our clients and our organizations, it’s time to focus on our well-being.
How? Let’s start with applying techniques we already use when writing crisis plans for others and apply those to ourselves. Let’s design our wellness crisis plan.
Why do you need a personal crisis plan? Think back to the times you told yourself you wanted to go on a run or a hike or make time eating healthier meals, and for whatever reason, it just didn’t happen. It could be because you received an urgent call about a work crisis, or you spent that time with your children to help with homework, you felt sick, or something else got in your way to not allow you to do something that was going to better yourself mentally and physically
Especially in the COVID era, we have managed many obligations in our personal and professional lives. I want to empower us to take the know-how that we have in developing crisis plans for organizations and know how to apply those same theories for ourselves.
Because much like work crises, how we respond to the situation is more critical to the problem itself, so here are three things to think about when designing your crisis wellness plan.
Prepare for the worst. Are you looking forward to that exercise class or healthy meal you’re making time to prepare? I want you to think about various scenarios in which you might get held up from following through. What is going to get in your way?
Anticipate how you’ll react. Next, I want you to write down how you might respond when you can’t make it to that class or create that meal. Are you going to feel frustrated or upset? Will you feel like you have ruined your day? Or will you be prepared to say, “that’s OK,” and give yourself some grace. If you can prepare for disappointment or frustration now, you will be better prepared to deal with it when it happens.
Design your Plan B. Finally, I want you to write down what you’re going to do when you can’t do what you originally intended. For instance, if you are planning to go to yoga this evening and either the class was canceled, or you had a last-minute personal or professional conflict come up that impacted your ability to attend that class, what are you going to do instead? You can tell yourself, “that’s OK. I’m going to take the next one” or, “OK, I’m going to go walk around the neighborhood without my phone and take in some fresh air,” or “OK, I’m going to set my alarm early tomorrow morning and attend the next class available.”
Like the crisis plans we write for our organizations, thinking about our wellness plans in advance will set us up for success when things don’t go our way.
Be safe. Be kind. Be well.