By Brande Nicole Martin, MA
Many women who have careers in digital are in the throes of burnout before we even recognize what is happening to us.
We enjoy the new technologies, the rapid pace of creating and publishing digital and social content, and monitoring and assessing data. The “newness” and changes of the industry are some of the reasons why we have chosen to enter this profession. It is exhilarating.
However, staying on the pulse of an almost 24/7 industry causes a conflict with our personal and professional lives. We feel the need to be constantly aware of and knowledgeable about all that is occurring in the digital space. Yet, we may have husbands, children, aging parents, social activities, or volunteer engagements that are important to us. We want to stay healthy and fit, keep a tidy home or apartment, and manage all of our personal responsibilities efficiently.
Suddenly, exhaustion, frustration, disorganization, and sadness settle in, and we are overwhelmed.
1) Set boundaries with your digital devices.
Our career requires us to be connected to checking our digital devices frequently to execute on our work. If we are in management positions, we often have a responsibility to check our e-mails off business hours.
2) Focus on self-care.
Self-care includes the time you dedicate to resting, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and having fun. You should incorporate time to recharge and take care of yourself throughout your life as a digital professional.
Take vacations and staycations to provide you with a clear perspective when you return to the fast lane of digital. While in the middle of the hustle, remember to take an hour to get a massage, soak in a bath with your favorite music playing, or take a walk to relax.
The goal is to care for yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you are worn down, you will not be effective in your professional or personal life.
3) Have a support system.
Try to develop a professional support system so you have others to give you advice and feedback on career decisions. By joining professional groups in your niche area of digital, or a women’s group, you can begin to build a network of professional colleagues.
Also, having a personal network of friends is helpful in getting you through the stressors of your daily work life. Friends help you to detach from your busy days and allow you to laugh and discuss topics other than work. Sometimes your professional and personal friendships overlap, and these relationships can be powerful ways to feel supported throughout your career journey.
4) Be present and look forward.
It is tempting to get harnessed by past negative experiences that happened at your job or in previous circumstances. Reflecting on the past is beneficial if you remember to use the information as lessons learned in moving forward.
You will always have certain employees, co-workers, and others providing obstacles as you are growing in your career, and this can be draining and contribute to burnout, as well. Remember: You can’t look sideways or backwards to continue your success or to find new ideas and opportunities. Always keep looking forward.
5) Practice self-compassion and forgiveness.
Nobody is perfect, so you will make mistakes. You must be kind to yourself and forgive yourself if you make an error. Keep focused on how best to execute your immediate goals.
This article was originally posted on Forbes.com, May 15, 2019.