August 23, 2021
For Mental Health Awareness Month, our team shares their best self-care strategies.
Even in the best of times, running an event was the 6th most stressful job in the world, ranking just below running into a burning building.
Then 2020, and the widespread shift to remote work, happened. And according to the CDC, 41.5 percent of American adults reported experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety between August 2020 and February 2021—a 14 percent increase over the previous year. So for event professionals coping with unprecedented workloads and external stress post-2020, managing mental health can make the difference between adapting or burning out.
In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, our team shared some of the self-care strategies that have helped them manage their mental health and continue delivering for our customers.
Disclaimer: Self-care isn't a substitute for treatment from a licensed mental health professional. If you or someone you love struggling with mental health, consult the resources we've linked at the bottom of this post for guidance from a trusted mental health resource.
According to a mountain of mental health research, what we eat impacts what we think.
Elizabeth Schaul, an Account Executive at BigMarker, recommends consuming enough magnesium to support a stable mood. High-magnesium diets have been shown to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression, mostly by regulating neurotransmitters and modulating stress responses.
To ensure you’re eating enough magnesium, aim to consume 310-420 mg of magnesium each day from nutritious sources, including leafy greens, legumes, whole grains, nuts and dark chocolate.
Schaul also takes B vitamins to promote mental health and reduce stress-induced headaches, as deficiencies in Vitamin B-12 and other B-family vitamins have been linked with depression and other mood disorders. Good sources of B-vitamins include fortified breakfast cereals or animal products like fish, lean meat, poultry and eggs.
The pandemic brought all the Millennial plant moms to the yard—and the well-documented mental health benefits of plant ownership kept them there.
That’s because gardening provides the same serotonin boost as pet parenting without the added stress of say, housebreaking a newborn puppy.
Caring for plants has been shown to reduce physiological and psychological stress, possibly by suppressing sympathetic nervous system activity and promoting feelings of calmness.
And for Jess Leahy, an Associate Director of Customer Success at BigMarker, the ease of caring for her plants makes other self-care practices seem less time-consuming and more accessible.
“Once I started getting into gardening, it made the setting of daily routines—meditating for 15 minutes before the start of the day, making sure to stretch out more than once a day if I sit for more than 1 hour—easier to conceptualize and practice, because I was already getting up to check on all the plants on a frequent basis.”
Working with our customers to execute events on tight deadlines, Rita Winiecki, our Brand Marketing Manager and former Account Manager, learned to manage her workday in a way that minimizes stress. Some of her best tips are below.
PS: Don’t just balance your tasks but crush each one with our best project management tips.
In the workplace, setbacks are inevitable. It’s our response to those situations that can protect—or harm—our mental health.
Speaking kindly to yourself can help you cope with challenging situations, while ruminating over your mistakes is associated with increased neuroticism and depression.
But if you struggle with self-compassion, you won’t be able to start a positive dialogue with yourself without diving into self-criticism.
Instead, talk to yourself like you would your best friend. We’re biased to perceive ourselves more negatively than we see other people, meaning that we’d forgive our friends and coworkers for doing the things that we’d criticize ourselves for.
“Describe the issue as if you’re talking to someone else,” says Priscilla Castillejo, our Customer Success Manager. “Approaching the issue from a more objective point of view gets emotions out of the way and helps you understand what happened without being too hard on yourself.”
Work can get monotonous enough on its own. Combine it with a stale personal life and you’re going to fall into a rut.
If you can optimize your life outside the office, you’ll see significant mental health benefits that translate to better and more productive work, too. Some of our best tips include:
Beneficial as self-care can be, it's not a silver bullet. There’s no substitute for one-on-one help from a mental health professional. So if you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, consult the resources below for guidance from a trusted mental health resource.
US National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-NAMI - nationwide network and search function for support and education; https://www.nami.org/Support-Education/NAMI-HelpLine/Top-HelpLine-Resources
US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or 988 - Languages: English, Spanish; https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ (Deaf & Hard of Hearing Options): 1-800-799-4889
US Samaritans: 877-870-HOPE (4673) - registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in distress or at risk of suicide throughout the United States; http://www.samaritansusa.org/
US SAMHSA National Helpline: - 1-800-662-HELP (4357) - free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders
US Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 - an organization that provides a 24-hour phone hotline, as well as limited-hour webchat and text options, for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth within the US; text TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200 (available M-F from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET)
US Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 - 24/7 hotline that provides phone, webchat, and text options available to military veterans and their families. It provides options for deaf and hard of hearing individuals