Call it “Jumanji of 2020” or whatever you want, but the past few months have been unprecedented uncertain difficult really weird.
On top of whatever you may be experiencing personally, on the job, this pandemic / economic uncertainty funk has led to more marketing campaigns, new project requests with urgent deadlines, and careful mining of data as we attempt to identify trends and what might be next. To say it’s been a lot of pressure for marketers is an understatement.
Truth is, many of us are feeling what’s called “Crisis Fatigue.” In other words, our bodies are able to handle temporary stresses, but when it’s constant, the pressure can be overwhelming, leading to varying levels of burnout. If you’re feeling tired or just plain worn out and sleep alone isn’t doing the trick, give yourself some grace. Understand there’s a legitimate reason and you may be due for some rest…7 types of rest to be exact.
7 Types of Rest
When we’re in a hyper state of alert, our bodies are ready to react to the situation at hand. But remain in this state for too long, and it becomes unhealthy. Our bodies produce higher cortisol levels, which leads to stress and a host of other issues, like anxiety and insomnia. Additionally, when we face pressure, we tend to go from a proactive lifestyle mentality to one of survival. And in that process, we skip the types of rest we need to actually feel relaxed and recharged.
As humans, we need seven different types of rest to really feel, well, rested. This isn’t my own concept, but rather the work of Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith from her book, Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity. I find it very spot on, particularly of late. What are the seven types, according to Dr. Dalton-Smith?
This one sounds obvious, but I venture to guess as marketers we’re all good at burning the candle at both ends. A trait we learned in college and behavior sometimes reinforced in the corporate world, especially with hiring freezes in place and an overall shortage of resources—we end up working longer hours to get everything done. As a result, we’re sleeping less and we’re starting our day exhausted. Nobody wins with this one.
If you’re struggling to focus during your day, you may be in need of mental rest. Those of us who have difficulty shutting down our brains after hours are especially susceptible to mental fatigue. Screen time (of any kind) before you hit the hay makes it that much harder to disengage the brain, even after your laptop (or device) is put away. Consider closing down your devices 30-60 minutes before actually retiring for the night or try meditative breathing to help relax your mind.
Let’s be honest, the quarantine didn’t exactly boost anyone’s social life. But, being isolated takes a different toll, tapping our creativity and connection abilities. Not to mention, being virtual 24/7 really tests our tolerance for Zoom, between work and social uses. Don’t forget to genuinely connect with those that truly understand you and will let you be you, sharing whatever is on your heart and mind. It will do you (and your soul) a world of good.
We spend our days thinking about how to optimize campaigns, new ways to engage our audience, and brainstorming on tech integrations and usage possibilities—we need our creative rest, too. That may mean going for a hike, spending time outside, reading a book—an activity where your mind can truly disengage from generating ideas, if even for a short period.
Of late, “disruption” is the word of the day, both personally and professionally. The layering of news headlines, crisis after crisis—it’s emotionally exhausting. If you find yourself directly impacted, treat your situation just like you would when ending a relationship—you need to allow yourself time to grieve what you thought would be and now isn’t. A vision that’s been delayed. A position or promotion that didn’t come to fruition. Or being laid off. As humans, we’ve been through a traumatic period of events, and it’s okay to feel angry, confused, sad, and exhausted all at once. These are key indicators you’re in need of emotional rest. Don’t be timid about reaching out for help, whether that’s confiding in a close network of friends or talking to a medical professional.
We all need to feel like we have a purpose in this world and our lives have meaning. If you’re feeling alone or isolated, you need spiritual rest. If you’re associated with a particular religion or faith, take time out to retreat, reflect, and meditate. Or volunteering for a worthy cause—anything that helps to provide perspective and context is good for your soul.
Sensory exhaustion is far too common for marketers. Too much screen time leads to sensory overload, eye strain, headaches, neck tension, and broken relationships. There’s a simple solution for this one—unplug. Your body (and your family) will thank you.
Remember, we were created to follow a rhythm of work and rest. Pushing the cadence eventually leads to exhaustion. So amid all the unnerving headlines and busyness at work, I’ll close with simple wisdom from Jim Rohn:
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
If you or your marketing operations team are overwhelmed, talk to us—we have a number of resources to help. From our Jeto offer to automate campaign execution in Marketo to providing run and operate services, Perkuto is here to support you. Start the conversation to discuss your specific situation—let us ease your stress!