The #Road2NSPRA adventure has reached its annual stop.
With another year behind us, we can turn to our colleagues and give each other a high five. We made it!
The NSPRA Seminar is a time of learning and celebration. Colleagues joke that the seminar is therapy, and they’re right! We can never underestimate the truth behind this statement.
Aside from the knowledge-sharing opportunities that the seminar brings, we recharge when we connect with one another (Yes, you too, introverts!).
Connections are important for good health. Social media has extended these connections beyond the seminar. We cultivate friendships. The hashtags #schoolpr and #k12prchat are a daily source of inspiration.
Our professional learning community is a network of support. We’re a family and we must take care of each other.
In the May 2018 blog post, School PR, trauma, and social media: When it’s just too much, I wrote about how school PR is a rewarding career with polarizing highs and lows. Compassion fatigue and burnout is a risk in our work, and we need to know the signs to be well.
Admittedly, it took courage to write the post. However, the overwhelming response from colleagues validated that we’re all in this together.
The publication of that post generated feedback from colleagues, who shared their own experiences. My school PR colleague Kristin Magette was also drawn to this topic and ready to help continue a bigger conversation. Kristin and I were pleased to receive the wholehearted support of Rich Bagin, NSPRA’s executive director, and the encouragement to keep the wellness of practitioners a focal point of discussion.
With input from two social workers, we developed Arms Outstretched, a document that acknowledges the intensity of our roles in helping others and the toll it can take. It outlines the signs that it’s time to focus on well-being and offers steps to focus on being well.
We are most receptive to messages about health and wellness when we are feeling our best, and the NSPRA Seminar is that time for so many of us. I’m excited to engage in these conversations in Anaheim and to continue them in the coming weeks and months.
But this is also a call to NSPRA colleagues and mentors everywhere. If you’d like to join or help lead this conversation where you are, reach out. We’re here for you!