The past two years have been challenging for us all. The sudden shift to working from home, coupled with anxiety relating to Covid, carries a heavy burden, with studies suggesting that since the first lockdown in March 2020, adults in the UK have gradually become less able to cope with the stress of the pandemic.
If you’re reading this thinking it sounds familiar, rest assured you’re not alone. Many marketers just like you have struggled with everything from low motivation, feelings of isolation and anxiety as a result of the recent uncertainty, change and growing pressures of work.
Our profession has long presented the challenge of spinning multiple plates successfully. However, in recent times, not only have more plates been added into the mix, but keeping them spinning has become ever more complex.
From tapping more readily into data and providing seamless digital experiences to unlocking the full potential of collaboration tools and managing growing expectations around issues such as sustainability, it’s little surprise that marketers are feeling the pressures.
It can be a daunting feeling. Our industry is performance-based, numbers and deadlines matter. We often have to work to tight timeframes and must go above and beyond to meet and exceed client expectations.
That’s why it’s so important to protect your mental health as a marketer. It may seem like an impossible task at times, but there are small steps you can take to manage these modern stresses and mitigate the mental fatigue that they can induce.
Regularly check in your workload
Keeping on top of workloads is only possible when you know exactly what needs doing and when. Whether you like making lists or planning a detailed schedule, there are many tools out there to help you get organised and have a bird’s eye view of what work you have on at any given time. Create a long list of all you have to do this week and set priorities. Don't be afraid to move the low priority tasks into next week and start working through the high priority tasks first.
Monitor screen time, set limits and stick to them
The connection between mental health and time spent on screens is well documented. Much of our work revolves around the use of smartphones, laptops and computers. Those in social media marketing often need to be ‘always on’. Yet for any professional, it is important not to overdo it. By setting and sticking to limits on the amount of time you spend on screens, be it while working or in downtime, you can help to reverse some of the adverse mental health effects and enhance key wellbeing areas such as curiosity, self-control, concentration and emotional stability. This week, try to limit the time you spend on your screen and focus on one activity per day that will help you recharge, be it going for a walk, reading a book or cooking yourself a nice meal.
Take a breath and try to find out what’s causing you stress
We’ve all been there. Multiple projects and problems that all come to a head at the same time, without the time to complete or contemplate them all properly. Take a step back and focus on resolving one issue at a time. Start with the biggest and then repeat the process from there.
Ask for help when you need it
Asking for support can be challenging, but rather than seeing it as a sign of weakness, approaching others for help is a huge sign of strength and often the most important step in getting back onto the right path.
If you are faced with mental challenges, you aren’t alone. The pandemic has impacted our personal and working lives to no end and feeling the strain of those effects is only natural.
In such times, it is important to put your wellbeing first. Not only will protecting your mental health as a priority help to lift some of that weight being placed on your shoulders, but it will enable you to enjoy and thrive in your work and make the most of the exciting opportunities available in the marketing industry today.