– Why looking after yourself is your next big challenge –

by Sally Northeast

You need a wide range of skills as a comms person and there are lots of learning and development opportunities out there to help you build those skills. But anyone who’s had time off with stress, suffered crippling anxiety, been affected by depression, felt overwhelmed, panicked about deadlines or lost their rag about a tiny thing will tell you one thing – without your wellbeing and some balance in your life those professional skills pale into insignificance.

Looking after yourself is your next big challenge and the unplugged massive are right with you on this one. We’ve very deliberately chosen World Mental Health Day 2018 to launch the dates for Comms Unplugged 2019. This year the World Health Organisation is focussing on young people and mental health in a changing world. And ain’t that the truth – change is relentless and seems to happen at an alarming rate these days. As communicators we’re racing ahead trying to keep up with all the changes in tech, the demands of our audiences, the expectations of our organisations. When do we get to just……..stop?

Comms Unplugged is the only event of its kind (that we know of!) which places managing your wellbeing right up there with everything else in that big toolbox of skills you’re expected to keep current. In fact, we recognise that good learning opportunities actually contribute to your wellbeing.

We used the five steps to wellbeing as a guide when we first came up with our little idea and they remain central to the way we run the event. So here they are, along with some info on how Comms Unplugged helps you focus mind, body and soul on that big challenge of looking after you.

Connect: Our unpluggers say they’ve rarely experienced connections like the ones formed in the field. Something about being outdoors, sitting under our tree, eating great food, chatting informally, sharing a view of the stars….you won’t get that anywhere else and it’s helped develop friendships that have lasted far beyond the last day of the event.

Be active: We get you strolling in the woods or on the beach, doing yoga or pilates, yomping from one end of our field to the other. You won’t be sitting around in air conditioned conference rooms feeling fidgety – we want you to get moving!

Take notice: In the beautiful setting of a field in Dorset, you can’t fail to drink in the surroundings. Rabbits and deer at dusk and dawn, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, an unpolluted blanket of stars at night and a total absence of technology to distract you from what’s going on right here and now. It’s liberating – trust us!

Keep learning: We’re super-proud of the fantastic line-up we put together for our unpluggers. These are people you often won’t see elsewhere on the circuit and they bring something new and fresh to your learning and development. Be prepared to hear the unexpected and come away thinking differently.

Give: You can’t help but share your experiences, your view of the world, your skills and knowledge when you’re chatting with fellow unpluggers. Everyone gives so much to each other – and they also have deep pockets, helping us to raise money for our chosen charities (a whopping £1,000 in 2018). Talk about feel-good factor – especially when you win one of our epic prizes (a huge thanks to our very generous sponsors and those who donated prizes).

We like a little video here at #teamunplugged so here I am telling you why you need to be in that field next year:

Sound good? Fancy a slice of the action? Time to get those dates in your diary then: 5-7 September 2019, Burnbake Campsite, Dorset. It’ll be the most fun work thing you do all year!

If you’d like to be added to our mailing list for news about the event, including ticket sales, please email us at commsunplugged@gmail.com.