How Matte PR “unplugs”
Working in the public relations industry, everything is incredibly fast-paced and the day often doesn’t end at 5 p.m., this is the nature of a PR agency. At the same time, fostering a workplace culture where people can work flexibly, with manageable workloads and a positive work environment is crucial to our success. It’s important to remember that during this month (and always), to take breaks and reset, making mental health a priority. Knowing when to stop for the day and taking time for yourself to reset can help avoid burnout. As we wind down Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re sharing how our team unplugs and unwinds. Keep scrolling to see how we maintain a work-life balance in the busy world of public relations.
Heidi Ruggier, founder and president
“My number one daily ‘unplug’ moment is the switch from laptop to Y&R. There is something so soothing about that iconic intro music, and I’m instantly teleported to another place. I first started watching Y&R through my babysitter, Chitra, who would watch it every day at 12:30 p.m. I hadn’t watched for years, but when COVID started, Y&R started broadcasting throwback episodes going all the way back to the 70s. In the early days of lockdown, they were an event. Other than Y&R, exercise is the number one thing that helps me completely disconnect. It needs to be high-intensity or in the water, or else my iPhone will somehow end up in my hand and I’m answering an email again. This is why I love cycling and swimming. I can really zone out while doing these things and get into a completely different headspace.
Emily Black, creative and digital consultant, fashion
”Working in the fast-paced worlds of content creation, brand marketing and public relations — it’s easy to burn out quickly. While long work hours are sometimes necessary, it’s important to make time for yourself.
I’m the last person you’ll ever see in the gym, but it’s true what they say, exercise is amazing for your mental health (admittedly, being a couch potato also does the trick sometimes). For me, walking and swimming are the best ways to clear my head. When the weather is good (rare, I know) I make sure to take a daytime walk by the water. When I log off, I head straight to the pool.
Saying no is also a major player. It’s easy to become a yes-person, both in professional and personal life. It’s not practical or always good for you, though. Whether it’s voicing that a deadline isn’t realistic or saying you don’t have the energy to grab drinks — taking ownership of your time and putting your mental health first is one of the most empowering things you can do.”
Rachel Romu, PR consultant
“As a teenager, I was on Team Canada, and public relations is competitive in a way that reminds me of high-performance sports. You’re not only competing with others trying to secure a story, but also print deadlines and news happening in real time. A plane could land on a highway, a fire can break out, or a major announcement can come down from the government, swallowing the newsroom whole.
Also, at a PR agency there’s always a new task sliding across your desk that needs to get done, so it’s super important to manage your mental well-being in a way that makes the stress work for you instead of overwhelm you.
I decompress by watching trashy reality tv while cooking. Taking time to thoughtfully prepare food is my favourite form of self-care because I’m not only feeding myself, but flexing my creativity. I also spend a lot of my spare time reading sociology books (nerdy, I know) and producing music. I struggle to turn my brain completely off, so shifting my focus onto something else works for me.”