There are countless awesome articles about how to curate, create and distribute content to support your business goals; one of my recent favorites is the Content Marketing Pyramid developed by Curata. In this blog post, however, I want to talk about the use of content marketing in stress management.
The Elephant In the Room
Stress continues to be one of those elephant-in-the-room kind of topics at work. We don't want our boss or team to know we're stressed because it's viewed as a negative thing and a weakness in the workplace. And often times, we are so caught up in it that we ourselves don't know how much it affects us. How serious is the situation? The United Nations has declared occupational stress a global epidemic. And according to research conducted by the American Psychological Association, almost two thirds of North American employees suffer from high levels of stress coupled with extreme fatigue.
So much so that some of us don't even realize that functioning out of a place of perceived danger and stress has become our standard mode of operation. Rude behavior at work, anxiety, depression, exhaustion, high blood pressure and loss in productivity are just a few signs that we're out of balance.
Content Marketing As A Stress Management Tool
Sure, you curate and consume content that guides you on effective stress management techniques. But how about creating content as part of processing the stressors in your life?
Take me as an example. We were about to start day two of our three-day session in ayurvedic medicine, a type of Eastern healing modality when news of the Nepal earthquake reached us. The moment I heard about the earthquake, I knew I wanted to do something. So a dear friend from class and I raised our hands to go to Nepal. It took us a while to get the "go ahead" and a month later, I landed in Kathmandu.
Arriving in a third-world country struck by natural disasters was something I had never experienced before. Even though Nepal had faded from the news, the aftermath of the earthquakes was (and still is) very real. And it was all around us. While we were there, Mother Earth said hello to us with 5 considerable earthquakes and a flash flood not seen in over 30 years; augmented by (violent) protests. Despite all this, the Nepali people remained hopeful, appreciative and welcoming, and we were over-the-moon thankful that we had the opportunity to spend some time there.
The stressors that trigger a stress response in your body need to be first understood and then processed. Journaling is an excellent way to uncover your triggers and process their effects on you. If you think about it, journaling is really a form of content marketing for yourself.
I documented my preparation and experience, and my journal became my "core content". In the business world, this might be your ebook. From there, I created "derivative content", including short- and long-form blog posts and "micro-content", such as short updates on my social channels and via email, featuring pictures and videos. Later, I selected a few visuals and compiled them into 1-minute video stories to make them easier to share and consume. Upon my return home, I hosted a fundraiser event and gave a short presentation on our work and playtime, and our lessons learned in Bhaktapur. I continue to share this experience in different forms, several of which I outlined in my 20+ Ways to Repurpose Content blog post. I had a lot to process, and each time I turned this experience into some form of content, I left a little more stress on paper and a little less stress in my body.
Next time you feel under pressure, grab a pen and start writing. Keep a journal of your experience, let the words flow and see what happens.
Image by Lynsey O'Donnell, freeimages.com