Welcome to episode 94 of The Whin Big Podcast.

This week Katie is talking about all things marketing and mental health. In today’s episode, Katie opens up about her own mental health story, and gives some insightful and practical advice to keep on top of your marketing – while looking after yourself at the same time.

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Marketing and mental health

If you’re a long time listener of the podcast, you know Katie rarely shies away from having real conversations with her guests and with you – the Whin Big Podcast listeners. Katie often shares her own experiences of the highs and lows of business entrepreneurship and invites guests onto the podcast who will do the same.

One topic that comes up more often than most is that of mental health. Katie’s recent posts have been geared towards helping people overcome problems while struggling with mental health challenges – and there’s been a lot of talk about it on the guest episodes of the podcast, too.

Managing marketing alongside mental health ups and downs

Through conversations with the community, Katie knows her own experiences of mental health challenges is not unusual – so many business owners struggle at times (especially since the global pandemic).

“You are not the only one struggling and having a hard time. We’re here for you.” – Katie

As you know, Katie’s an expert in Instagram marketing – she’s not a medical professional nor claims to be. Today’s podcast is intended to help you come up with some strategies to cope with mental health problems alongside running a business – it’s not a replacement for medical advice and support.

If you’re struggling with mental health, then please do get outside help. Contact your GP, call a helpline, talk to a friend or trusted family member. We’ve included a range of resources at the bottom of the show notes to steer you to the right kind of support for you.

Katie’s mental health experience

Katie has broken down her main mental health challenges into three main areas, and if they resonate with you, you’ll probably find the strategies she uses to cope very helpful.

Executive Dysfunction

This is where people struggle with planning, time management, problem-solving, and organisation.

Low bandwidth

Despite knowing she’s a smart and clever business woman, Katie sometimes finds it almost impossible to take on even the simplest of tasks.

Low motivation

And again, there have been periods of extremely low energy and lack of motivation – feeling like even the simplest of tasks are exhausting and beyond her ability.

Prioritising self care

To balance out these (at times) extreme periods, Katie prioritised taking care of herself. She did this by going to therapy (something she’s now ‘graduated’ from), taking part in mindful activities and crafts and walking in nature.

“For me, struggling with mental health is not a short-term problem that’s going to go away. It’s an ongoing up and down situation.” – Katie

Strategies to combat mental health challenges

The business world we all occupy is busy – and often very public thanks to social media. Marketing can so easily impact your mental health (and vice versa), so how can you balance these two important aspects to reach your goals and look after yourself?

Katie goes much deeper into each strategy in the podcast episode, so don’t forget to listen for even more insight. Here’s an outline of each mindset strategy:

Focus on the sequences or next steps

Instead of getting hung up on deadlines and pressure to complete a schedule, Katie focuses on concentrating on the one next step – with the time, energy and bandwidth she has available.

Positive reinforcement

Find the strategy that works best for motivating you and your efforts. Many productivity and learning apps reward you based on the number of days you show up (Duolingo, for example). When you’re in the right mental place for showing up consistently, this can be highly rewarding, but along comes a down day, and you lose the streak reward.

This can lead to feeling like a failure, and almost certainly having to begin all over again. Something that doesn’t improve Katie’s mental health.

Can you relate to that? If so, then try Katie’s strategy of using a sticker chart. Over the course of a month – decide how many stickers you’ll aim for, and then watch the stickers build up over time. If you miss a day – it’s not an instant fail.

Self Compassion

Katie’s always been a high achieving, top-of-the-class kind of person, so not living up to the expectations she sets for herself can be frustrating. In the past, she’s turned her frustration into a really negative self talk which only makes her feel worse.

If you’re someone who readily gives yourself a big old hard time for not living up to your own (incredibly high) standards, then finding self compassion is vital to your mental health.

Recognise when you’re speaking to yourself in a negative or horrible way and reframe it as though you’re speaking to someone you care about.

“I would never speak to my friends the way I speak to myself sometimes. You don’t have to tell yourself off, beat yourself up or talk negatively to yourself any time you make a mistake, miss a day or whatever you were ‘supposed’ to do.” – Katie

Get realistic about the impact your activities have on your business.

There are so many different ways to market your business and trying to focus on all the platforms, systems, tools, and techniques can feel overwhelming (and exhausting). Often we pile more and more onto our to-do list without recognising whether the activities have a good or bad impact (or non existent) on the business goals.

If you’re realistic about those activities – and their impact – you can get realistic about where to put your energy, time and attention if you are having a tough mental health time at the same time.

Resources in this episode of The Whin Big Podcast

[Podcast] Strengthening mind, body and business, with Chris Gray

[Podcast] Facebook Lives, good habits and keeping going through tough times with Zoe Longford

[Podcast] Banish the post holiday slump in your marketing

[Podcast] Stop it, drop it, roll with it – how to minimise your marketing in times of stress

[Email] Let’s talk about streaking

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