It’s important for all of us to prioritize our mental health. If you’re a marketing automation consultant, you know that even though the industry’s exciting and rewarding, it can also be stressful and demanding.
Here are six ways that you can care for your mental health to help you thrive as a marketing automation consultant.
1. Set boundaries
It’s important to set boundaries to prevent burnout. This might mean setting limits on the number of hours you work each day or taking breaks throughout the day to recharge. Communicate your boundaries to your colleagues and clients so that they know what to expect.
Here’s what Jen Taylor, senior director of MarTech consulting, shares about setting boundaries: “With both clients and coworkers, the key to setting boundaries is to manage expectations and communicate clearly.”
“With clients, set a precedent that work gets done during business hours. Except in the case of emergencies, do not send or reply to emails after hours or on weekends,” Taylor said.
As a best practice, she recommends communicating clear service-level agreements (SLAs) with clients to ensure that work can be completed effectively in a reasonable amount of time: “This helps avoid fire drill situations.”
To set boundaries within your organization, it’s important to understand all the projects and tasks you’ve been assigned.
“If you feel overwhelmed with your workload, make sure to communicate with your manager who can help balance your schedule. To avoid being double-booked, keep your calendar up-to-date so coworkers know when you are available or unavailable,” Taylor said. “Finally, make sure you are aligned with your manager on priorities, so you know where to focus your time without taking on too much.”
2. Practice self-care
Self-care is essential for mental health. Make time for activities that you enjoy, such as exercising, reading, or spending time with loved ones. Prioritizing self-care can help you recharge and prevent burnout.
Check out how our CEO and founder Carly Schrager practices self-care while working.
“I like to focus on setting a calming scene in my office—lighting a candle, playing music that aligns to my mood or the kind of work I need to do,” Schrager shared. “Take movement breaks. Just get up and walk around for five minutes. Push back from the computer and either focus or breathe or do some meditation.”
3. Seek support
Don’t be afraid to seek support from friends, family, or colleagues. You can also consider seeking professional help if you’re struggling with your mental health. Many employers offer employee assistance programs that provide access to counseling and other mental health resources.
Our senior director of MarTech consulting Zeina Koinis has this to share about seeking support.
“My mother is a therapist, so I’m lucky to be able to share my anxieties and struggles with her,” Koinis said. “She’s shared the benefits and tools of cognitive behavioral therapy and how to approach negative thoughts, and if I’m struggling internally, I make it a point to talk about my feelings with someone I trust so they don’t unnecessarily spiral and impact my daily activities.”
On seeking support at work, Koinis added that, “Developing a trust bank with my manager has given me the secure space I need to share if I’m having a rough day, and know that my team is here to support me, instead of question my value. Ultimately, as long as I recognize the value of the team members and loved ones in my life who support me, I know I can face any challenge head on and be successful.”
4. Manage stress
Marketing automation can be a high-pressure environment, so it’s important to develop healthy ways of managing stress. This might include practicing mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, or other relaxation techniques.
Here’s how one of the consultants on our team, Wes Dennis, manages stress:
- Having a good group of people around you that you can talk to.
- Being an expert in your field and trusting yourself.
- Keeping your body healthy with a good diet and exercise helps you keep a healthy mind.
5. Take breaks
It’s important to take regular breaks throughout the day to prevent burnout and maintain productivity. This might mean taking a short walk, listening to music, or doing something else to refresh your mind.
Our senior consultant Kevin Heaney has this plan to make sure he takes regular breaks.
“One thing I do is block time each day for a break around when my son gets home. It’s important for that mental break!” Heaney shared. “And planning the day ahead in general will typically allow for a structured break as well.”
6. Maintain work-life balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for mental health. Make sure to prioritize your personal life, and don’t let work take over your free time.
Here’s how senior consultant Dan Tortoriello prioritizes work-life balance:
- Think ahead and work on what’s necessary to help you maintain boundaries.
- Communicate with your company and colleagues. Set a tone for how you work, and work collaboratively to set expectations on how you balance work within your life. Keep the lines open, talk often about workload and/or stressors that shift the balance negatively
- Easy for us, but track your time! It’s so insightful to know that you worked 10 hour days, or vice versa.
- Realize your capacity to work, with very clear focus on those boundaries. As important as that meeting time is, so is sleep, or downtime.
- Write it out on a calendar or spreadsheet as a loose guideline that you can work toward.
- Commit to those times. If you are scheduled to go to the gym at a certain time, do it, don’t be late, and certainly don’t trade it for work.
- If you’re working when you don’t expect to, something happened. Yes, maybe it was out of your control, but was there a missed communication opportunity? Or could you have planned better?
- Life is short so prioritize accordingly, treat work and non-work time with equal respect.
Taking care of your mental health as a marketing automation consultant is essential for success in your career and personal life. By setting boundaries, practicing self-care, seeking support, managing stress, taking breaks, and maintaining work-life balance, you can prevent burnout and maintain your mental health in a demanding industry.
Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and taking care of it should be a top priority.