The Self Investigation hosted an online masterclass for journalists on stress management and digital wellness for journalists. “There are a lot of good journalists leaving the profession and if we want good journalism, we need to keep them and keep them healthy,” said Kim Brice resilience trainer and personal development coach at Self-Investigation.

Self Investigation is an initiative that provides a variety of services aimed at improving media professionals’ well-being. It is led by multi-lingual, certified coaches and trainers with five decades of media experience combined.

Mar Cabra, an investigative journalist and co-founder of the organisation said she was inspired to start Self Investigation after she had burnout and had to quit her job as the only way to recover.

Brice said that it is important to take time away from digital platforms, “we are a lot better at keeping our digital devices charged than we are ourselves.”

“Our bodies are designed in such a way that it starts to crave rest and recovery after just one hour to an hour and a half, depending on who you are,” said Brice. Every hour, more or less, your body is sending you some signal that it is time to take a break and recharge the battery. Those signs are yawning, tiredness, lack of concentration, restlessness, regularly drinking coffee or eating chocolate,” she noted.

“We need to start incorporating well-being as part of our working routine. In order to take care of ourselves we need to start relating to technology in a different way,” said Cabra.

Journalists always feel the need to be connected and multi-task, for example, having different social media platforms open whilst writing an article or checking emails. “We tend to think that a good journalist is a multi-tasker but not many can multi-task well and by multi-tasking, you are losing time and being less efficient,” said Cabra. She encouraged journalists to move from multi-tasking into single-tasking.

Cabra said that “we assume everything is urgent, every time we receive an email, we think it is more urgent than it is”. She said that it is important to ask yourself, “Is it urgent?”

The practical tips to apply at work:

Tip 1: Stop! Take a breath and check-in with yourself and then take action!

Tip 2: Recharge your inner battery at regular intervals throughout your day

Tip 3: Avoid back-to-back meetings

Tip 4: Do shorter meetings to allow you to take breaks

Tip 5: Schedule blocks to focus on one thing at a time without distractions

Tip 6: Avoid being always on! Check emails or social media in batches

Tip 7: Set boundaries! A request is not a demand

Tip 8: Clarify in your email when you need a response to reduce the urgency bias

Tip 9: When working outside of office hours, schedule your emails!

Tip 10: Habit change takes practice and support from others.

Self-Investigation offers a variety of programmes and training to help journalists deal with stress. For more information, click here.

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