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Experts always use tactics and strategies to deal with changes occurring in PPC industry but dealing with these changes mentally is important too. Host Julie F Bacchini asks PPCers, what proactive they do to help their mental health during these changes, what stresses them most, have they adopted any habits to help their mental wellbeing and more.

Here is the screencap of this week’s PPCChat session

Q1: There are so many things that happen that we don’t control, like platform changes or major world or industry events – how do you cope with these when they happen?

I tend to try and learn as much as I can. That’s tricky in the doomscroll/news siren world, but I find long reads and discussion helpful. I feel better when I know better, even when what I know is profoundly awful. @JuliaVyse

I remind myself there are many people who are in much worse positions than me. @stevegibsonppc

When things happen out of my control I just try my best to roll with the punches and reach out to colleagues for some industry collaboration. @anna_arrow

Emphasizing communication with my team and our clients. Also, going back to “what are our goals” and “how are we performing” helps to dictate what comes next. @andreacruz92

If its a serious upheaval or change, I’m generally going through those 7 stages of “grief”- sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Still haven’t hit the “Hope” stage for Undisclosed Search Queries though LOL @ynotweb

Platform Changes: I just try to take a beat and let the news settle in. I want to read everything about the changes before I freak out. World Events: I either allow it to make me a shell of a human or I simply remove myself from social media. @adwordsgirl

In digital marketing, change is the only constant. I dare same I’m used to it? I try to get ahead of changes/events and let clients know what I expect and how I plan to react. @FindingAmanda

Both healthily, and unhealthily. First the unhealty: Pure escape. Video games. Doom Scrolling Healthy: Focused conversations. Getting outside. Kitty Time. Getting away is one thing, but peace needs to be the center anymore. @armondhammer

We have to react appropriately for each situation. Platform changes require us to learn and adapt to the changes to best serve our clients. World events mean we need to be sensitive to how our brand is viewed in any platform we are advertising. @lchasse

It might sound so basic, but I try to start by taking a few deep breaths. I find I function best when I am working a plan. The plan might be really basic, but that helps me. Focusing on each step can help anything from feeling overwhelming. @NeptuneMoon

I love chaos. The ever changing part of our world is part of the fun. But everyone has their limit. That’s when A1 comes into play. @armondhammer

I think I always try to look at it from a holistic point of view. In the end, the industry is going to continue to change just like it has over the past 50 years. But the product, customer experience, ad campaign will win out if its quality. @RyBen3

Breathe and remember what my favourite mentor once told me – “Marketing is never life or death.” Also, I really like a tactic I heard yesterday which is imagining my 90 year old self looking back at my day, which would ultimately be inconsequential by then. @amaliaefowler

Part 2. I shared the professional answer, now the personal answer – Animal Crossing. It’s so wholesome it always cheers me up. @FindingAmanda

Going back and remember how i coped with the last one. It’s usually getting as much information about the update as possible and doubling my dose of coffee! @TheMarketingAnu

It easy to be overwhelmed, but I think the best advice I have is remembering that change is both constant and an opportunity. Every time something changes, you have an opportunity to take advantage of the chaos to help your company or clients. @DigitalSamIAm

In terms of being overwhelmed, two things: 1. Allow yourself to accept that change for the sake of change is usually bad – it’s OK to not tweak something in every account every day, as long as you have a good justification. 2. Find an outlet without a screen. @DigitalSamIAm

One of my favorite things to do is watch PPC Townhall, look at #ppcchat, and communicate with my team to see how others are reacting/pivoting/coping. Changes and disruption are inevitable, I try to roll with the punches and get ahead of them if possible. @BrettBodofsky

R&R, need to have as clear of a mind as possible. @JonKagan

Sometimes when things go crazy, as with sports and many other things, you need to just go back to fundamentals and make sure that is solid. A strong foundation is key! @yaelconsulting

Q2: Is there anything proactive or preventative you do to help your mental health when it comes to this industry?

My work email is not on my phone and after I clock out for the day, I’m done. I also do not look at work or approach work on the weekends unless it’s an emergency – which my boss would phone me about. Once I’m out, I’m out. @amaliaefowler

Proactive – “do onto others…” Being good and doing good keeps the negative drama away and opens doors for opportunities… (This second: chatting with the past client (5yrs ago) @sprfrkr, giving feedback on his new app and he happened to know a good API dev I need! @yaelconsulting

A couple of things. I have a space that’s away from the computer that I use to re-center. I also schedule blocks of time – including the one that’s going to cut me off in about 15 min from #ppcchat Keeps me from locking on too long to an issue. @armondhammer

Stop watching the news…@JonKagan

This! Also, conferences and workshops. The more I feel I know (or know is coming), the less one particular thing throws me. @ynotweb

Something I’ve been bad about in the past is letting my work and home life be too intertwined. I’m really focused on unplugging after work hours this year. @anna_arrow

Set ground rules for yourself and write down processes/procedures/checklists. Be clear and transparent with everyone (especially yourself) on how you make decisions regarding campaign changes // platform changes // etc. Then stick to it. @DigitalSamIAm

Really – primarily keep up to date with this community!! even pre-covid I’ve freq counted on #ppcchat to help me realize I am not struggling on my own. & some answers are seriously just a tweet away. lately, I’ve also gained real-life friends in the industry. it’s the best!! @TheMarketingAnu

Don’t take anything personally. This includes when platforms change or if clients feel you are not doing good enough for them. It is a business and platforms, as well as clients, have their own goals and pressures. @lchasse

Read at least once a week about what changed in the industry. There are changes literally every day. @andreacruz92

I like to do an immersive task. Baking is good, walking or exercise is good. something that requires attention and your body, as opposed to tv/movies. sort of a chop wood carry water approach to clearing the mind. @JuliaVyse

Routines are key! For example, every morning I check budget pacing and perform live searches. @FindingAmanda

So it isn’t industry specific but as someone who has been through a bit in life, I find meditation daily is incredibly helpful. And keeping a daily journal. Ultimately our work is just one element impacting our mental health. @CJSlattery

1: Secondly, set aside time each day to learn – whether that’s logging onto PPC chat, watching a YouTube video, reading SEJ/SEL, whatever. But make a small amount of time each day to learn – the aggregation of marginal gains is a wonderful thing. @DigitalSamIAm

Professionally, keeping up with what is happening and reading posts by people with their fingers on the pulse, so to speak, helps be more prepared for changes that happen. Being able to vent and interact with you all regularly helps a ton too! @NeptuneMoon

Socially, stay away from the dark side of Twitter or other platforms. I remember the saying: You are the average of the 5 people you are around the most. This really includes the stuff we watch/listen to as well. The negativity can hurt our mental health. @lchasse

I’ll add that I like to build teams and work together. I do a LOT of public sector, so these days, campaigns feel urgent b/c they relate to public safety & come w responsibility. Never do that work alone. Loop in colleagues, your clients, focus panels. build a team. @JuliaVyse

I’ve been getting off social media outside of work hours too and that has done wonders. @amaliaefowler

I think our industry gets caught in group think sometimes but I love to be involved in multiple groups to get new ideas or thoughts. Between Facebook groups, slack groups, and now Clubhouse, I feel like new ideas are coming easier now. That & 10-15 naps & meditating. @RyBen3

When it comes to this industry, I think imposter syndrome is the worst for me especially now that I’ve moved away from day-to-day management and more overall strategic. I try to remind myself that the only reason I got here is because I’m good at what I do. @adwordsgirl

Q3: To use a term I am sure we are all sick of at this point – in this year of “unprecedented times” have you had to develop new ways to stay sane or grounded or functional in your work or personal life?

I have always been routined but now even more. Also, I listen to my body when it wants to do less – trying to develop a more intuitive relationship with it. Knowing my values has been key too – my pillar value is ‘Balance’ – which means NOTHING disturbs it. @amaliaefowler

Giving my dog a walk at the end of the day has allowed my brain to realize the “working day” is over and I am at home. @andreacruz92

Took up running. Turns out, I really really really hate it. @JonKagan

I wouldn’t say new, but I’ve definitely revisited some tips that I haven’t had to lean on since the last time I went through therapy. unprecedented events don’t always warrant unprecedented reactions. @JuliaVyse

I’ve taken to walking, an hour a day, usually first thing in the morning. I vary listening to music and podcasts. Most days I walk far enough to buy a cup of coffee. I walk fast enough to get a decent heart rate bump. I analyse the data in Strava, because. @jimbanks

I’m struggling here. At work I’m constantly obsessed with how the numbers are working out for the month and a lot of the “downturn” I’m seeing is outside factors. And personally, I just want to go to a hotel without worrying about illness with myself and my family. SOS! @anna_arrow

My cat, physical activity/getting out of the house as often as is safe, always having food in the fridge. Sad, lonely AND hungry is a dangerous trio! i don’t over-eat, i just make sure there is something that will cure a craving without needing to cook. @TheMarketingAnu

That’s been the tough part. Getting distracted creates a really bad cycle. It pushes work back, which makes more stress. And so on. And existential threats are constant. Simple stuff – pulling off notifications on the phone. locking in times for fun vs work. @armondhammer

I literally have to give myself longer breaks. Its not any one thing, but lack of travel and variety have made real “recharging” a challenge. I take most Fridays off to have 3 days to recoup mentally. I allow for less “productivity” in personal projects. @ynotweb

I am a routine person. I have Tello boards setup with my processes and I stick to them. We go for 3 mile walks every day, exercise and we have quiet family time with our coffee/tea and family meals. @lchasse

I haven’t. To be honest, the chaos of the world feels like an old friend to me. 2020 was actually the easiest year of my life for me so… I guess probably not too helpful. @CJSlattery

I used to have a lot of time by myself and now I have effectively zero time by myself. That has been a big adjustment on top of all the terrible. Puppy forces me to get out for long walks 4X a week, which has been good for me. Also, quitting caffeine. @NeptuneMoon

My main “sanity activity” was group fitness classes (shout out to @orangetheory ). I tried their at-home workouts but meh. I need out of the house! Lately, I’ve been jogging at a nature preserve and I love it! @FindingAmanda

My general coping mechanisms with life learned from $50,000+ of therapy and years of living in a nightmarish hellscape are: 1. Daily meditation 2. Daily journaling 3. Nothing is good or bad and we can choose how we react to everything. 4. Pause, then react. @CJSlattery

Anyone who follows me is probably sick of this but self care has been amazing this year. Dropped 40 lbs because I started drinking water, eating better, exercising and sleeping & hrs. Sounds simple but it’s made the world of difference. @RyBen3

I have been trying to help others more over this past year. I can’t always do big things, but I make it a point to check in on people a lot more now. @NeptuneMoon

Accepting this reality and deciding what to do to get where we want to go. We missed a few targets in 2020 and had to work hard to catch up. In our end of year meeting we acknowledged the miss and set goals to get back on track, in these “unprecedented time”. @yaelconsulting

I moved closer to my fam which I think helped. Aside from that, I didn’t really do anything else in 2020 but seeing as we’re in this for another year, I have been working on that now. I’m eating better, exercising, gratitude journal, and even tried hypnotherapy. @adwordsgirl

Q4: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, for PPC, world events or personal reasons, where do you turn for help?

I like to look outside the industry for stuff like this. A good novel, a good album, a gallery (murals these days for outdoor). Something that refreshes, but also kickstarts the thinking part of the brain. Helps avoid rote/habitual reactions. @JuliaVyse

I am, admittedly, not great about seeking help. I am a “put your head down and power through stuff” person. That can be fine for short term things, but is terrible for protracted issues like COVID. Connecting with friends, industry & otherwise & being real helps. @NeptuneMoon

My own creativity. For PPC, I like to go review my old “ideas” notebook. You know, the one where you get riled up after a speaker or workshop? For personal, arts or craft projects. And if I can make a gift or do something nice for someone else, even better. @ynotweb

Family and friends. The #ppcchat community has been great to me, specially when I have questions that I can’t find answers to – I appreciate all of you. @andreacruz92

I pray a lot. My faith has really had to grow the past 6 months and has helped me let go of some of my worry at both work and home. I also try to talk to as many friends and family as I can through the week and just let it all out. @anna_arrow

Not a joke, I seek professional help. I recommend everyone does. @JonKagan

I would say going for a walk to step away from things. If you are having a tough time with an issue, then I pause and try and look up information on it or ask on here. There is a saying “If you are going through hell, just keep your head down and keep going” @lchasse

My PPC besties My journal My friends IRL My therapist. @amaliaefowler

Music and or long runs. Sometimes I do both together. A good playlist helps me realize it will eventually work itself out or inspire some ways I can help with change. @RyBen3

My real life industry friends. not only do they give me sound advice but they are a good laugh!! @TheMarketingAnu

Family – gives perspective about these “overwhelming problems” (dwarfs them) Network & Friends – the mutual support and help inspires us all back into action. @yaelconsulting

For platform changes & world events, I look at the community online. For personal, more often than not I just internalize it but I have gotten to have it I was speaking more about what I’m going through. Julie, you checking in on me has helped quite a bit. @adwordsgirl

Q5: What stresses you out the most from a PPC perspective right now? How are you coping with or managing that stress?

I’m generally anxious with uncertainty but I’d have to say that Google stresses me out the most. @amaliaefowler

I’ve had a lot more trouble dealing with the “accepted best practices” not actually being good marketing strategy. This goes beyond PPC but an example is stuff like display ads being in any way actually effective. @ferkungamaboobo

At the moment, the fact that my tried and true seasonality has completely gone out the window. @JonKagan

Forced, unexpected, immediate change. The irritation is not change, just change on someone else’s timeline– like I don’t have a million other things to worry about “now”, so having a change with no heads up is just RUDE. @ynotweb

I work primarily in legal and I’ve just seen huge increases in competition and costs. I’m obsessing over my final numbers. I’m not really successfully managing that stress. @anna_arrow

It’s certainly “been a year” as they say! Account performance being all over the place with seemingly no rhyme or reason is stressful. And continued data loss. Relying on my past experience and being as proactive as I can be with. @NeptuneMoon

lax platform controls on conspiracy theories are my main issue right now. I can manage weird performance or strange omnichannel challenges. But when I post an ad about road maintenance or online services that used to be in-person, the nonsense surrounding it is unmanageable. It’s not just going to be an algorithmic answer. Platforms have to be more proactive and accountable. @JuliaVyse

People being un-communicative. Sure – we are all busy, but please respect my time and stop canceling on meetings last minute. @TheMarketingAnu

I also have a team to take care of and I take that really seriously. I worry about them probably more than they worry themselves! @amaliaefowler

Our long term effectiveness as agencies/consultants. Each @GoogleAds update takes away data and control. Tools built for Search Terms, became less effective overnight. Inevitably, @GoogleAds pressure to increase profits, will be paid for by advertisers. @yaelconsulting

The unexpected customer behavior for accounts, some crazy good and some not so good. Google is also pretty stressful with their changes that seem to benefit nobody but their shareholders, not the customers who depend on their platform to drive revenue. @lchasse

I think the uncertainty of all of it is what causes anxiety for me. We don’t know what changes are coming for platforms and what they will affect. We also don’t know if covid restrictions are going to change which does definitely affect a lot of our clients.@adwordsgirl

The anxiety of iOS 14. Just happen already so we can all adjust, identify and measure. I’m coping with it by reading as much as I can and trying to process what the consensus is from everyone. @RyBen3

Google will continue to eliminate our access to data so we can make informed choices, minimize costs, and maximize performance; cause ads to appear on more and more irrelevant keywords, and unethically make clients burn money they never intended to spend. @nicholasjblazer

Q6: How do you find bright spots when things are not going well? What helps you keep moving forward when you really don’t feel like it? Where do you find motivation when it seems elusive?

Ok, so this is a bit of a Gratitude journalling. No joke. I used to pooh-pooh the idea of it, and then the October I was at SMX in NYC a friend in New York gave me a gratitude journal and told me to commit to it for 30 days. @amaliaefowler

Motivation is…elusive. but for bright spots, I like to look at the last 12 months and find something I’m really proud of. even if that’s just surviving. Hold onto that for a few minutes and remember even in the worst times, we can only do our best. @JuliaVyse

The thought is, if find the smallest bright spot, it helps me ignore what is going on outside. @JonKagan

Motivation, at least how it used to look and feel, hasn’t been here for quite a lot of months. I keep going on days I don’t feel like it mainly because my sense of professionalism won’t allow me to do otherwise. Rolling w/ its ebb & flow without judgement is good. @NeptuneMoon

Fleeting motivation, but we do have some “wins” and I focus on those as well as any of the good things that are happening with clients. Also, truth be told- I am looking at my far future retirement goals as motivation. @ynotweb

What I mean about rolling without judgement is not being too hard on yourself. These last 10 months have been terrible on so many levels. We are all dealing with some level of trauma from it. Be kind to yourself about that. Banish “SHOULD” from your self talk. @NeptuneMoon

I just got 2 more new clients this past week from referrals, so I have been very luck in that regard. Some days you just need to give in if you don’t feel motivated. Go play outside, with pets, kids, friends. Get right back at it the next day. @lchasse

Also leaning into emotions. I’ve come to realize I’m an emotional person and that translates to emotional leadership, investing in and caring about clients, team members, etc. That was always framed as a negative thing but I prefer to think of it as a superpower. @amaliaefowler

It really is trying my best to step back, from the work, my desk, even the house if i’m finding the previous not far enough. And remind myself – at the end of the day i’m defininitely not trying to save lives here. @TheMarketingAnu

A simple affirmation of “it’s okay to have bad days” is usually a key component. You’re not being real with yourself if you don’t allow yourself to have bad days. To recover, I plan out my next day, plan some self care and get it done. @RyBen3

When motivation feels elusive I get a cup of coffee, turn on a motivational podcast and repeat one of my fav mantras “don’t think about it, just do it!” @FindingAmanda

Ouf, good question. I think my bright spots reside in my dogs and music. My dad is always singing in the house or sings prayers. I’ve always found the temple to be a very centering place so when I listen to music, It’s almost like I went to the temple.@adwordsgirl

A simple question for perspective. When something goes wrong, I ask myself if my entire career and work was completely contingent on that NOT happening? Now that it did, should I pack my bags, close shop? No! Sure, it sucks,.. So what’s next? @yaelconsulting

Q7. Are there any habits you have or have adopted that help your mental health and wellbeing that you’d like to share that you haven’t already?

Daily routine documented in @NotionHQ Journalling my worries each Sunday and coming back round to write what ACTUALLY happened the next Friday Defining and keeping in mind my core values. Only doing one darned thing at a time. Asking for help when I need it. @amaliaefowler

Always start the day positively & how you want it to continue. For me with prayer & gratitude. I’m alive, i have good shelter, my health, food in the fridge, family & friends are well and are only a phone call away. @TheMarketingAnu

Also avoiding toxic positivity and falling into the trap of feeling like I need to hustle. I work my way, and you work yours, and as long as we aren’t hurting each other then that’s all good. @amaliaefowler

Long walks and farming chickens @JonKagan

I have started verbally saying what I am grateful for which has helped a little. I would like to add walking more into the mix more. Also, I practice real smiling. Several studies suggest that if you consciously smile, it helps with being happier. @adwordsgirl

I haven’t explicitly said this, but read fiction. not hot-takes, not business books. Read fiction. take in art, metaphors, other ways of thinking. Immerse yourself in a series (ahem, Witcher) or deep allegory Piranessi. Read good fiction. it helps. @JuliaVyse

I started reading for pleasure before the pandemic and I am so glad I already had that in place! Also been listening to music more while working. It just makes me feel better (which seems so obvious, but. @NeptuneMoon

I cannot emphasize enough doing good for others when its not expected. It makes them feel good, it makes you feel good. It can be a card, a tin of cookies, a bottle of wine left on their porch, a cute novelty item ordered online and delivered… whatever. its win-win. @ynotweb

As a final point, cutting out alcohol has been a huge help for me the past year. I haven’t drank since May 2019. I never want to be preachy about it, but I know how tempting it can be to use it to tamp down emotions. That never served me. @amaliaefowler

Writing a list of things I’ve accomplished each week, even if it’s small stuff, gives me a mental boost. A related mantra I love “the validation you’re searching for is your own.”@FindingAmanda

Meditating or prayer can help center you if things get rough. I start every morning with a cup of coffee and some smooth jazz. Family time/walks are also very helpful & hugs. Reading enjoyable material or even a good movie can also be helpful. @lchasse

Drink 1/2 your weight in ounces . At least 7-9 hours. Understand your BMR and be disciplined. Move your body 30 minutes a day. Shut off work at 5-6pm, spend time with kids. @RyBen3

A visit to our office “chill out room”. A dark room with: – Massage chair – Zero-gravity reclining chair – Kasina mind media system – Small water electric water fountain for that flowing water sound 15-30 minutes there and, as my wife says, I’m “Fresh as Lettuce”! @yaelconsulting

Q8: What can we, as a community, do to provide support for PPC pros’ mental health and well being?

I think just reach out to your pals! It’s hard to band together as a community with no overriding body (pros and cons there) but these weekly. @amaliaefowler

Well, we all contribute to NABS in some way, and this year we need them. I think we can keep talking, keep destigmatizing therapy, keep encouraging each other. @JuliaVyse

A8. Honestly, this was helpful. I would love to do more PPC Chats like this. @adwordsgirl

Just be there for folks if they want to chat. I don’t leave my house so if anyone wants to talk, I love being able to chat with someone, lol. I try and have conversations with my dog/cat, but they just sit there and look at me… Just be there for folks. @lchasse

I’ve tried to create a discussion board for people to share – not much community but it’s still available (alwaystomorrow.org). I plan on posting more here and welcome others to as well. @armondhammer

Share our knowledge and experience with humility and without judgment. We’re all just doing our best. Great chat Julie! Gotta run now! @ynotweb

You already do it by running #ppcchat every week. It’s a great sanity check to know others are still there and still doing their thing. @jimbanks

I am so happy to keep these chats and community going (shout out to the wonderful @Matt_Umbro who started this thing!). I know having this community helps me so much. @NeptuneMoon

I love how open and vulnerable everyone is! Maybe it’s a sign of the times? But in my past agency life showing anything other than total strength was a no-no. Let’s keep being honest, open, and sharing our survival tips! @FindingAmanda

loved this idea shared in a private Slack group. Set up and use Slack statuses to create boundaries. The pandemic has merged work/life more than ever and we need to find ways to set better boundaries so we can work to provide the life we want outside of work. @RyBen3

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