In the fast-paced nature of public relations and integrated communications, it’s crucial to prioritize mental health. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I celebrated this by going on a six-day yoga retreat. This entailed traveling to the Bahamas with my yoga studio in a group of about 20 folks for an unplugged and introspective trip.
I practiced yoga twice a day, swam, walked, read, laughed, learned about the island, and felt peace. I didn’t realize what the power of unplugging would do for my mental health. This is only possible due to Stratacomm’s generous open vacation policy and supportive team members who honor and respect vacation time. Here are some things I learned.
Journaling can be a great problem-solving tool.
I typically journal once a week with prompts, but on this trip, I free-wrote my thoughts, worries, plans, feelings, etc. It helped me make some significant realizations about work and things in my personal life. Being offline allowed my brain to process things differently. Takeaway: I will journal more and prioritize some unplugged time each day to work through personal and professional challenges/opportunities.
Physical activity + good sleep = energy.
Probably not a surprising formula, but honestly… I was happy and totally exhausted from engaging in so much physical activity. I slept a solid 8+ hours each night, and it was glorious. Takeaway: I want to prioritize more exercise and sleep.
Connection is powerful.
Getting to know my fellow yogis more influenced my practice for the better. I felt very connected to these folks and am happy to be practicing alongside them at our “home” studio once again. Takeaway: I will schedule more time for connection among my colleagues.
The way my mental health and care looks and feels is ever-changing, but I have so much gratitude for this experience and for working in a supportive environment.
While I learned these things during Mental Health Awareness Month, the lessons will last well beyond May. I hope you are also embracing Mental Health Awareness Month and finding ways to care for your whole self.
Megan Bonelli is an Account Supervisor based in metro Detroit. She provides project management, media relations services and more for government and automotive accounts.