The Right Way to Start 2021

Jan 01, 2021

We made it to 2021. Deep breath.

This is usually the time we write down our yearly resolutions. I’m giving you permission to give yourself some grace and skip writing down a resolution this year. Christine Mohammadpour

Resolutions tied to the start of the new year rarely work. They put pressure on ourselves, don’t set us up for success and ultimately, we feel like a failure. 

I recommend focusing on your endorphins, which are a type of hormone the body produces to carry messages throughout the brain and nervous system. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that can positively impact our physical and mental health.

Typically, people talk about exercise as one way to release endorphins. Does “getting a runner’s high” sound familiar? That’s because there’s a sense of euphoria that comes with sweating and exercise.

However, there’s another important, actionable, and very relatable way to release endorphins — helping others. Research suggests that people can get a “helper’s high” that can be just as impactful as exercise. 

The giving season isn’t just around the holidays; it’s year-round. Here are three ways to do so for PRSSA and PRSA members as well as the general PR community.

1. Use your expertise.

Block out one afternoon this month and invite those in your network for informational interviews, —with a twist. Be prescriptive on the topic you want to give counsel on; make sure it’s something you’re passionate about. 

If you love reviewing résumés, offer to review some. Do you have a great Instagram bio? Offer to help others develop theirs. If you have extensive experience in health care, offer to share your insights on how mid-level professionals can transition to that vertical. If you focus on one thing, you’ll attract the specific group of folks that you’ll love helping. 

2. Think virtually.

With virtual events likely to continue this year, look for ways to help PRSA share your knowledge for good! Ask your Professional Interest Section or local Chapter if you can host a professional development event on a topic near and dear to your heart.

 As a former PRSA Chapter president, I know the challenges that come with finding professional development topics and experts. The truth is that you have a lot of knowledge. Don’t see it as a burden; see it as a way to positively impact others.

3. Share your insights.

Pair up with another PR professional, reach out to your local PRSSA Chapter, and offer your time for an “ask us anything” session with students. It gives me purpose when I’m able to speak with tomorrow’s PR leaders about my journey, what I’ve learned throughout my career, and act as a cheerleader for the profession. 

Students will appreciate your perspective and, at times as I’ve experienced, can be therapeutic to answer questions around challenging times throughout my career and how I developed as a result! 

I guarantee by doing at least one of these things, you will be glowing with endorphins and find a renewed purpose to start 2021 on the right foot. 

Do I suggest that you skip exercising? No. Keep moving and grooving during those conference calls, keep hosting those virtual walk and talk meetings, and make sure to block out time to focus on you. 

But never doubt the impact you have on others. Not only are you helping provide solutions to problems our profession is facing, the time you spend helping your community will also truly have an immense benefit to your mental and physical health this year and beyond. 

Be safe. Be kind. Be well.

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