A couple of weeks ago, we attended the Nod Awards. Our name, Always Be Content, was a source of interest to the hosts the Mac Twins. Were we ‘content’ as in happy, or ‘content’ as in marketing? Well, we’re both! Great content should make you happier. Content should make businesses more at ease, as their targets are met with creative flair, and their customers get the right information at the right time in the right manner.
A contented life
The 12th to the 19th of May is Mental Health Awareness week, and as we believe everyone should be living a more contented life, we wanted to share our thoughts on managing stress. A punishing work schedule is all too common in the marketing, advertising and creative industries. According to research conducted by Ulster University and the wellbeing charity Inspire, they discovered a sobering statistic. That in our sector mental health problems are three times that of the general population. The most commonly diagnosed disorders are anxiety (36%) and depression (32%).
It’s easy to fall into the trap of working harder to do better, never switching off to achieve higher standards. As any creative can attest to, they’re always their own worst critic. A punishing schedule breeds stress, and stress is not conducive to creating excellent creative work.
It seems counterintuitive when you’re up against tight deadlines or a particularly challenging problem, but to maintain your effectiveness, self-care is non-negotiable. You might be tempted not to bother, but ultimately, you’ll fuel your creativity far better this way than a double shot latte and salted caramel brownie (and we do love a salted caramel brownie).
Depending on your circumstances, how you can incorporate self-care into your routine will vary. We’ve put together two sets of tips to help you manage stress in your day-to-day.
Do the basics
- Eat real food. Make overnight oats and spend 15 minutes of meal prep at the weekend, so you have healthy meals for lunch.
- Switch to decaf as caffeine fuels anxiety.
- Have a bed-time and stick to it. Your body needs a routine to sleep well.
Got half an hour?
- Work-out in the morning or start the C25K program and increase your energy.
- Download the Down Dogg app and follow their excellent restorative yoga practice for half an hour to allow your body to relax and lower your cortisol levels.
- There are plenty of mediation and mindfulness apps Headspace, Calm and Insight Timer.
We’ve got one other recommendation. Do one thing a week, that’s lovely and just for you. Meet your mates, indulge your hobby (or learn a new one), read a trashy magazine, or listen to your favourite album and do nothing else.
If you’re looking for more information here’s a list of articles from NABS that you might find helpful.
- Five questions to ask yourself about stress
- Cultivate resilience and reduce stress
- NAB guide to managing pressure
If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to get in contact with your GP or the Samaritans, you can call them from any phone on 116-123.