Foster Mental Wellness: At Work & At Home

The financial demands of living with the weight of student loans and aspirational goals of achieving career successes and a securing a work-life balance is tough. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and overworked.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called stress the “health epidemic of the twenty-first century,” estimating that work-related stress costs American businesses $300 billion annually in sick leave. Though WHO cites poor management and heavy work loads as the main causes of work stress, it is important to create a regimen that enables you to recoup from these stressors.

We interviewed a few hustlers working in the notoriously exhausting (but rewarding!) entertainment industry to get a grasp on their personal de-stress regimens. Try introducing the following into your busy schedule. We promise these little tips might become your new saving grace for productivity, mindfulness, and contentment.

At Work

Leave your desk and go for a short walk.     

We like to break up our work day with walks around the neighborhood. Find a relaxing walk surrounding your office, or walk to a park and enjoy the sun! Too busy to step away from your desk? There is always something to be done at Something Social, so one of our account coordinators likes to use these walks as time to focus on more relaxed daily tasks such as outgoing engagement or brainstorming. This promotes circulation, vitamin D absorption, and energy levels while combating depression. If you really can’t step away, try doing push-ups or planks or squats in the copy room. One assistant says this helps him “calm the nervous system and diminish the release of cortisol and the fight or flight response.”

Practice breathing exercises

Whether it’s steady, eyes-closed meditation or simply turning your attention inward on your breath, studies have shown practicing deep breathing steadies blood pressure, releases toxins, and strengthens ab muscles. (Score!) But like drinking water or taking your birth control, the little things can be difficult to remember in this busy life. A social media manager at The Television Academy recommends getting Siri’s help. ”No joke I have an alarm that goes off at 3pm everyday that says BREATHE. So I’ll count to 6 while breathing in. Hold 2 seconds, and then let it all out. It helps me recenter. It’s a way for me to show up for myself. If I don’t show up for myself first, I am in no position to show up for my boss, or friends or dating life.”

Create encouraging reminders to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals.

Every job has it’s harder moments, but it’s important to remember why you’re in this business! A Talent Assistant at CAA has “a Smile folder where I put work emails that either make me happy/laugh or remind me why I do what I do.” She recommends printing out some fun images to hang up at your desk or cubicle to keep you in good spirits during tough times. She sent us this Buzzfeed list of silly alpacas to get you started. We can’t deny it beats the end of day blues.

An Executive Producer at TNT likes to bolster his gratitude to get him through the tough times.“I try to focus on the better parts of the business: helping make good stuff better, and trying to help other folks out.” He sets reminders on his phone to push him to support those around him. “They say: “How can I support someone I know?” and “Remember that even the smallest projects [in this business] can touch thousands of people.” Those remind me to not get mired in the pain of pushing metaphorical boulders up the mountain every day.”

At Home

Yoga!

Unsurprisingly, this was the top suggestion! A showrunner’s assistant at CBS appreciates yoga to encourage physical mindfulness.“You have to focus on and be in your body, which for me really helps shed the stress of constantly checking your phone for calls, text or emails.” But this raved over exercise isn’t just for work week stress. “I also specifically love hot yoga because sweating that much really flushes you out, it’s actually great for hangovers.” Margs tonight, hair of the Downward Dogs tomorrow.

There are so many methods of yoga practice, it can be overwhelming to start. In addition to classes and videos, one assistant shared her nightly routine. ”I spend five minutes before bed doing just one yoga pose, but doing it for 5-10 minutes. It’s really taught me how to be present and focus on one task.” Try bringing your favorite pose or flow home with you tonight.

Experiment with creative activities.

Many of us in Los Angeles work in creative industries, so it seems natural that your go-to destressor might not be a creative outlet. You aren’t feeling creatively starved, after all. Several assistants encouraged doing creative work unrelated to your career path. Try practicing guitar, baking, or taking yourself on an Artist’s Date. An assistant at Sony suggests you “go to a museum, see a movie alone, or drive somewhere with some good tunes.”

Play video games.

Call it escapism if you want, but sometimes the best release is getting out of your head and into another’s. One coordinator recommends playing “games that are story-driven like What Remains of Edith Finch or meditative games like Journey or Flower.” Sometimes stepping away from the source of your stress is a great way to decompress. Think of it as a stay at home vacation in an infinite number of fictional universes! Stay tuned for our upcoming article on Fostering Mental Health Digitally. We’ll be introducing you to a few apps and games that might help you take the load off.

Schedule time for self-care.

Don’t just promise yourself you’ll do it. Schedule time for yourself so you’re less likely to blow it off for something your brain mind convince you is more important. This time can include incorporating a bubble bath or DIY spa day into your weeknights, enabling yourself to eat healthy, nutritious meals through meal prep planning or avoiding greasy takeout options, or remembering to drink water. A Production Assistant at Netflix uses essential oils and CBD oil drinks to combat symptoms of her mental health. “These have helped me to try and feel mostly human in some harder moments or unexpected bouts of anxiety and depression.”

Remember to sleep!

Arianna Huffington (CEO of The Huffington Post) is a HUGE advocate for getting adequate sleep. After years of over-exerting herself in an effort to keep up with her career, Huffington fainted from exhaustion at her desk. Literally! (She got five stitches for her broken cheekbone!) Now she has one of the most elaborate pre-sleep routines probably ever and we’re totally here for it. Check out her incredible Ted Talk here.  

Go off the grid.

As a social media management company this one is the most difficult but most important methods to implement. At home, be conscientious of your screen time. The virtual world is an incredible place, but it is also important to take time to be present.

Most Importantly

Mental Health goes beyond stress management. Make sure that you’re not only de-stressing, but also practicing good coping skills when you are thrust into the flames. It is difficult to keep calm in the midst of chaos, but this is a skill and should be practiced and honed as such!

And the most important to emphasize is that you seek help if and when you need it. One in five Americans experience a mental illness, and on average, Americans let Mental Illnesses go untreated for ten years. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Choose yourself and prioritize your mental health.

Written by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

Have some de-stressing tips you’d like to share? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or follow us on the ‘gram – @somethingsocial.

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Somewhere Social: May 2018

Somewhere Social: May 2018

We know you’re all about the experience. You’re a foodie. You’re committed to living in the moment. You love a thoughtful entree and appreciate a generous happy hour, regardless of the atmosphere. But Something Social knows that it’s not just about the food or the fun. Sometimes you’re doing it for the ‘gram. You need a solid aesthetic and good lighting to get the pics that will prompt the engagement you’re expecting.

When it comes to Instagrammable restaurants, Mediterranean is the mood of May. Bavel in DTLA’s Arts District and Kismet in lovely Los Feliz are our strong recommends. Each have their own distinct flavours and aesthetics, but you can get hummus at both. L’chaim.

The hottest rooftop spot this month is hands-down The Rooftop by JG at Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills. Jean-Georges Vongerichten has crafted the perfect summer menu featuring Latin American and Southeast Asian flavors, and the view is killer.

Our favorite experiential spots for the month are coastal. Venice’s Artists and Fleas Market and Santa Monica’s beachside pearl, Tongva Park. Each boast the relaxed and beachy lifestyles of their respective neighborhoods.. Read on for the details.

Bavel – Arts District

 

From the masters that brought you Bestia, here is the Mediterranean marvel, Bavel. The decorators of this space did not miss spring’s sunny yellow memo. The cushions are velvety and the booths perfectly mid century. A mosaic of fish tail tiles stripe the floors, expanding the space. Perfect, because #ihavethisthingwithfloors. @baveldtla Images courtesy of @baveldtla

The Rooftop by JG – Beverly Hills

Perched atop the Waldorf Astoria, Jean Georges has taken the focus and ingenuity from the restaurant downstairs and raised it to the roof. With unparalleled skyline views, this Beverly Hills gem is our new favorite rooftop. The space is filled with a gorgeous smattering of decor that will pair perfectly with the outfit you’re rocking for the ‘gram. Hit this spot for likes as endless as the skyline. Come for the view, stay for the Lobster Burger with Yuzu Pickles (its Pharrell’s favorite). @therooftopbyjg Images courtesy of @therooftopbyjg

Kismet – Los Feliz

 

This subtle spot in Los Feliz lets your date night ensemble do the work. Their jeweled crispy rice was nominated Dish of The Year by LA Magazine and it’s beautiful. Plus, their desserts are stunning without being pastel and Instagram-obvious. @kismetlosangeles Images courtesy of @kismetlosangeles

Tongva Park – Santa Monica

 

Tongva Park is a gorgeous cluster of abstract sculptures, lovely fountains, native plants, interesting architectural features, and cocoon-like overlooks of the ocean. The space was transformed in the last few years by the same design team behind Manhattan’s infamous High Line. You’d never think this lush and rolling ecosystem, containing over 300 trees, was once a flat parking lot. Images courtesy of @laweekly and @michaelzazarino

Artists & Fleas – Venice

 Succulents, sweets, and seances, if you want it, Artists and Fleas has got it. This epic marketplace is decked with vendors selling all sorts of wares and services. Converted VW buses hawking vintage sunglasses and easy access to the Venice Canals make for the perfect Social Media Saturday. The market takes place every Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day along Abbot Kinney. @artistsandfleas Images courtesy of @artistsandfleas

Written by our Brand Communications Coordinator, Kaeleigh Morrison.

Where are you sippin’ this month? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

#SomeoneSocial: The LadyGang

Our next #SomeoneSocial is actually three someones. If you don’t know them already, your life is about to change; meet Keltie Knight, Becca Tobin & Jac Vanek of The LadyGang. The LadyGang is a weekly (and bi-weekly, long story) podcast focusing on the honest & real experiences of Jac, Becca and Keltie. Each week, the three are joined by a celebrity guest for a raw and hilarious look at what life is really like under the bright lights of Hollywood. Get to know The LadyGang.

Introduce yourselves to us by telling us your favorite account to follow on Instagram and why.

Keltie Knight: @Pawnatic – they post the cutest dog videos all day long 🙂

Jac Vanek: @Pardonthyfrench – my FAVORITE doggo instagram.  She’s a three legged runt Frenchie and i think i would cry if i met her in real life.

Becca Tobin: Lately, I’ve really been into @GaryJanetti. He’s a comedy writer for television so he’s witty AF and his humor is right up my alley!

Tell us about the inception of Lady Gang – what made each of you want to start it and how has that initial idea grown since the beginning?

KK: Personally, I was so annoyed with auditioning and waiting for other people to decide my fate in Hollywood. I knew I needed to chance something in my life and career, but I didn’t know it would be this awesome, and become this big!

JV:  Keltie and Becca approached me with the idea of starting a podcast and a loose idea of our concept and structure.  This was before podcasts were a “thing”…the only podcast I had ever listened to was Serial. It was really good timing in my life because I was feeling stagnant with my business and honestly a little bit lonely, so a new collaborative project was exactly what i needed.

BT: Similar to what Keltie said…we were ready to be our own bosses. As an actress, I never felt in control of my own fate and that was scary. Now, not only are we in control, but we get to do something we absolutely love whenever WE want to!

How has social media grown the Lady Gang community?

KK: Being able to wrap our listeners in our FB group and instagram in between has been essential to our growth. I also love that we have a community we can ask for advice on what to do next, or what is working and what isn’t.

JV: Our social media, and especially our Facebook group, has been an absolute game changer.  They are our focus group, our sounding board, our biggest fans and even our harshest critics (which we definitely need to keep us in check sometimes).  And I have even met some really good friends through there.

BT: The LadyGang wouldn’t be what it is without social media. Social media makes it possible for us to connect with the community and for them to connect with each other. That communication is why the LadyGang is so strong!!

Where do you want to see the Lady Gang in the future?

KK: I’d like to be able to hire a staff so that we can just focus on doing as many shows and tours as we can.

JV: We started the LG with the idea of turning it into its own powerhouse.  So whether that be through writing a book, going on tour, creating a wine, etc…we want to do it all!

BT: World domination.

What is your favorite way to engage with your audience?

KK: Obviously when they see me out in public and say hello and make me feel super famous!

JV: Again, i just love our Facebook group so much.  It’s so easy to keep in touch and engage with our community on a level where we are all equals.

BT: the LadyHang was my favorite way we connected with our audience! Putting faces with names and getting to feel the energy of the group was incredible. It’s a group of badass bitches!

As the community grows, are there any challenges that have come up?

KK: We ask everyone in our community to be kind, and that’s tough. Everyone has a different idea of that. Women are passionate beings and as our gang gets bigger and bigger we have to moderate our socials more closely.

JV:  With success comes haters and trolls in this day in age (and maybe a few LadyBoxes being burned).  You can’t please everyone, so we just have to stay true to ourselves, be kind, and keep doing our thing.

BT: The more popular we get, the more criticism we receive. Hillary Kerr (of Who What Wear) once said on our podcast “you can’t be everything to everyone” and nothing has felt more accurate. Some girls may totally relate to a comment you make, and some girls may take total offense to it. But, that’s the risk you take when you put yourself out there like we have.

How has your career path changed from what you imagined it would be five years ago? How has social aided in that change?

KK: It’s been a blessing and a curse for me personally. Loving social and creating fun content has made me more in demand at my job, but in a world where ALL THAT seems to matter is your social following it’s really frustrating to be surrounded by people buying their followers AND likes.  

JV:  For sure.  Five years ago I was only focusing on my Jac Vanek brand and it was going in a completely different direction than it is now.  Today I am so grateful to have the freedom to work on other projects and expand my professional portfolio.

BT: I never would have been able to envision this career for myself in a million years! I always just assumed that I would be solely an actress, but social media and the podcast have given me this incredible platform to become a brand and not just an actress.

What apps would we see on your phone?

KK: I love shopping for house stuff on Charish, JotNot is a working girls savior, I listen to all my music and podcasts on Spotify.

JV:  I just deleted all of my dating apps (thank god) so now my most used app is Postmates.

BT: This may sound insane, but I try to eliminate the amount of time I am on my phone, so I’m not really an app girl.

Let’s be honest, who are you stalking?

KK: Mandy Moore’s instagram story of her home renovation is my life’s purpose.

JV:  All of the new Queer Eye guys!

BT:  My agent. To get me a job…

If you could photograph anything from anywhere in the world, what would it be?

KK: My husband Chris who is camera shy, and when I look for a picture of him I have to go back YEARS to our wedding photos. It’s very annoying.

JV:  I would absolutely love to see the Northern Lights.

BT: My dog and a pizza from the comfort of my bed.

Follow them:

@keltie

@jacvanek 

@becca

@theladygang

Listen to The LadyGang here.

 

Written by our VP of Operations, Marissa Stahl.

Wanna elect someone as our next #SomeoneSocial? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

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10 Key Takeaways from Social Media Week: Los Angeles

Last week, I attended Social Media Week: Los Angeles in Santa Monica. SMW is a worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world. With the amalgamation of creative minds from top companies all over the world, Social Media Week is the perfect place to be inspired, discover new technologies and change our own methods of digital strategy.

After attending Social Media Week, I’ve rounded up my 10 key takeaways that will help you improve your brand or company’s social practices.

1. Creative blocks will happen. Know what to do to get yourself out of them:

Brit & Co.’s Chief Creative Officer, Anjelika Temple discussed how to get out of a creative funk:

Sleep on it.

Talk it out with someone who isn’t in your industry.

Go for a walk.

Work on something else & come back to it.

2. Focus on making an impact on culture rather than “going viral”:

Marcus Collins from the Doner Agency gave a recipe for creating cultural contagion (content that will have an impact on & change society rather than just being a video that gets a lot of views). When you focus on having an impact on the way that people live or behave in their daily lives, instead of just creating something popular, you’re giving your brand an influence that will last beyond 200,000 views on a FB video. 

3. As technology shifts, companies need to shift their strategies.

Justin Rezvani from Amplify made a bold statement that “In 5 years, 90% of people will be making purchases through a chatbot rather than regular e-commerce.” With an ever-changing digital landscape, companies must stay on top of new trends, be flexible in their methods and take initiative to adapt new technologies or else they’ll be playing catch up.

4. “There is no better time in the history of the world to be a storyteller.”

Brett Patrick from Propagate emphasized how more emerging platforms bring an amazing opportunity for creatives & storytellers. With more outlets available to produce and promote your own content, you no longer have to rely on the “okay” of others before you create what inspires you.

While more platforms brings more opportunity, it also brings more competition; it’s increasingly harder to stand out & grab the attention of viewers in today’s digital space. Our tip: change your tactics frequently and keep your content fresh in order to keep users engaged.

5. Find your audience & discover who they are.

Netbase CMO, Paige Leidig stressed the importance of understanding your audience and how they behave. “Not every social channel is equal, and not every social channel for your audience is the same.” Every brand won’t need to be on every single platform. Do an audit of your content and engagement and focus your efforts on creating unique & exciting content for the platforms where your audience is the heaviest.

6. With the ever-increasing integration of social in our daily lives, we need to think about the impact it will have on our culture and safety.

It’s no secret that people are glued to their phones on a daily basis, but it is still a mystery of what the implications of having our entire lives online are. Jonathan Taplin, author of Move Fast & Break Things, has serious issues with the domination of Facebook, Google & Amazon in the digital & consumer space. We need to think about what a monopoly of these three companies means for business, community & safety online and in the real world. Buy his new book for a more in-depth discussion.

7. Diversify your content per platform.

What performs well on YouTube will fail on Facebook and vice versa. In the MACHINIMA workshop, we discussed how important it is to produce content per platform & tailor when necessary. Each platform has it’s own rules, audience & community. Your content for that platform should reflect that platforms community & engagement relationships. The days of posting the same content across every platform are over. If you want to grow, you must diversify.

8. Every brand will need to go through a refresh.

Has your brand been around forever? It may be in need of a marketing and strategy refresh. Execs from Morton Salt discussed how they implemented new creative initiatives to take their century-old brand to the next level & keep it current in digital times.

Set aside a time each year to go over past marketing strategies and discuss what is working and what could be improved upon. Doing a yearly audit is an important step in making sure that your brand is heading in the right direction.

9. Everyone goes through times of challenge.

Kelly Osbourne brought up the important fact that not every single day in the digital marketing world is going to be a walk in the park. It’s okay to go through times where you don’t feel organic or aren’t excited about what you are putting out into the world. The important thing is to recognize these times, take a moment to step back, & refocus on what you are really trying to accomplish.

10. Trust your gut.

Buzzfeed‘s Ashly Perez stressed that the most important thing is to trust your gut. You know what feels right to you & that you have something unique to offer to the world. Don’t forget about what you started out to do; keep doing it, even when others around you are doubting you.

Written by our VP of Operations, Marissa Stahl.

Were these helpful? Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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8 Ways to Use Instagram Stories to Make Your Business Stand Out

Since the rollout of Instagram Stories in August of 2016, brands and users have adopted the platform at an impressive rate. With over 200 million active users in April 2017, Instagram stories is becoming an important way to interact with your following & grow your brand.

With any new social platform or app capability, there are some great ways to use it and some not so great ways. We’ve seen some brands get really creative with their content & we love exploring new ways to use the feature ourselves. A new feature can sometimes we overwhelming, so we got together to list our favorite 8 ways to use the platform to showcase a brand.

Plan out your content ahead of time. Just as it’s important to plan out your Instagram feed ahead of time, it’s also important to plan out your Story Content. Keeping a consistent schedule will help followers know what they can expect from your brand & what they can look forward to seeing each week on your channel.

Treat Instagram Stories as it’s own Platform. We’ve seen a lot of brands treating Instagram Stories like Snapchat. In our opinion, Instagram Stories is completely different and both platforms have their place in a well-rounded social media company profile. Instagram Stories is more curated content, that is still aesthetically pleasing & in line with the brand’s values, tone & voice. Snapchat is more on-the-fly and less curated. Because you can upload content more easily, create specific branded content with your logo & different fonts or design elements. Don’t have an in-house graphic designer? Download the app Canva for help designing easy-to-upload content.

Utilize the swipe up feature to drive traffic to your website. Now that all business accounts can add a link to Instagram Stories, use this feature to push your followers to your website or event page.

Tag other brands & fan posts. Remember to stay social! Social Media is all about collaboration & community. Highlight other brands that you love or shoutout fans that have posted about or mentioned your brand.

Highlight behind the scenes. People love seeing the BTS. Share some shots from an upcoming photoshoot or a video of how you edit a photo. You can give your users an inside look about how your product works or what a day in the life of your company is.

Share insider tips & tricks. At SSLA we like to share different editing tips, try out new editing apps & give special social media tricks on our Instagram Stories. What are some insider tips from your industry that you could be sharing?

Ask for Audience Interaction. Instagram Stories are a great way to speak directly with your audience. Ask questions directly to your followers & invite them to message you their opinions, thoughts & feedback.

Vary types of content. Use what’s available to you! Users love seeing a mix of videos & photos on Stories, so be sure to mix it up. Varying content types will also keep your Stories from becoming stagnant & keep your users engaged.

For more tips, check out our blog for our Top Tips for Eye-Catching Instagram Stories here.

The possibilities are endless. Because Instagram is a creative community, we’re always seeing new & interesting ways brands are incorporating content & ideas into Instagram Stories.

Written by our VP of Operations, Marissa Stahl.

Have some fave ways to use Instagram Stories? We wanna hear about it! Tweet us  @somethingsocial or tag us on Instagram- @somethingsocial.

 

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