Stress has become such a standard feature of life in a Western culture that it’s easy for us to ignore the levels of stress we experience on a day-to-day basis and write them off as normal. But the truth is that chronic stress isn’t normal — even in a high-pressure job where there really is a lot riding in the balance.
If you don’t learn how to deal with stress in healthy, constructive ways, you’ll inevitably raise your risk of burnout, health complications, and chronic dissatisfaction with life. So let’s tackle the issue — particularly with regard to stress in the marketing industry — and try to identify some healthy methods for reducing stress before it brings you down.
The Stress of Marketing
When people talk of stressful jobs, they tend to focus on occupations like a fighter pilot, a trauma doctor, police officer, and firefighter. And although these are undeniably high-pressure jobs, stress doesn’t just appear in physically dangerous or demanding environments.
Stress is surprisingly prevalent in white-collar professions such as marketing. According to a study from Workfront, one out of every four marketers says he or she experiences “high stress” on a daily basis.
The remaining respondents acknowledged at least some amount of tension. Roughly 71 percent of marketing professionals feel generally “burnt out,” while 66 percent expect their stress levels to rise in the near future. An overwhelming 80 percent of study participants said they’re seriously overloaded with work.
In a separate study conducted by Paychex, a survey of 2,000 professionals found that marketers spend an average of 3.84 workdays per week feeling stressed out. The number is higher than the average for office workers in other positions.
The stress marketers experience derives from numerous sources, which can pile up on one another. The most stressful facets of this line of work include complicated tasks, long and erratic hours, a lack of control, insufficient resources, tight deadlines, and excessive work.
Five Techniques for Defeating Stress
If you don’t tackle the need to reduce your stress soon, it will progress to burnout, which in turn could damage your future career opportunities. It might even throw you into a situation where you’re forced to make a sudden career pivot that sets you back for years.
Fortunately, there are ways to address this before it gets to that point. Let’s highlight five techniques.
1. Keep a Clean Workspace
Would you believe that as much as 15 percent of our time gets wasted looking for misplaced paperwork and computer files? Disorganization can be a big issue in the life of a marketer, and it can create unnecessary stress (or make already challenging situations even more frustrating).
By keeping your workspace clean, you can control the negative effects of disorganization and enjoy a more orderly approach. One of the best pieces of advice is to clean off your desk at the end of every day. This ensures that you return to a clean workspace every morning … which can be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stressful environment.
2. Develop a Plan
“Most marketers are creative doers driven by spontaneous inspiration and ad hoc actions with immediate result. But working like that does put a lot of pressure on a marketer’s self-organization and on the structure of the entire team,” marketing professional Peter Desmyttere explains.
There is certainly room for spontaneity — especially in a field like marketing — but you also need to have a system. Every day should start with a plan for what you want to accomplish and how you’ll get it done.
You won’t always check off all the boxes, but at least you’ll have them lined up as a guide.
3. Relax Your Body
Have you ever heard of a body scan? No, this is not a reference to a procedure you undergo at a doctor’s office or performed by officials at the airport; it’s a meditation technique used to promote relaxation.
When you do a body scan, start by focusing on one particular area of your body — such as a tense neck. You concentrate on this area — assessing the tension, aches, etc. — then move on to another party of the body. Continue until you’ve observed each body part.
“If you’re looking for a more active way to release tension, combine a body scan with tensing, holding, and then releasing each muscle group,” suggests RISE, which actively works with people to help manage financial stress.
“You can start with the top of your body by arching your eyebrows and wrinkling your forehead. Try to clinch for about 20 seconds before releasing, take time to notice how the release feels, and then move on to the next muscle group.”
4. Laugh More
“Laughter is therapeutic” entrepreneur Melissa Burns declares; “hundreds of renowned psychiatrists agree on this. Getting a good laugh can help you release the tension of a stress-filled day and look at the world with a more positive attitude.”
Even when you don’t feel like it, encourage yourself to laugh. Watch a funny video on YouTube. Drop in and see a coworker who knows how to make you smile. Do whatever it takes to give yourself a solid moment of amusement.
5. Put the 4 A’s Into Action
The Mayo Clinic suggests taking a four-pronged approach to deal with stress, regardless of whether you’re experiencing it in your personal or professional life. Known as the 4 A’s approach, the goal is to alter, avoid, accept, or adapt to any stressful situation you encounter.
You can read more about the Mayo Clinic approach here. Don’t underestimate the value of having systems in place to help you handle stress and friction as they arise. The more you prepare in advance, the less likely you’ll be overwhelmed at the moment.
Beat Stress, Find Success
There will always be stressful moments in any competitive profession where money is on the line, but it doesn’t have to be the defining characteristic of your job. Stress should take a back seat to fun and creativity.
And while it may not feel that way in the present, there are plenty of ways to take charge and bust stress. This article has offered you some ideas to get started.
with business strategy concept