Every campaign professional, from the most seasoned manager all the way down to the rookie field staffer knows that being involved in politics is not for the faint of heart — especially when it comes to the final stretch in a competitive cycle.
And while many of you may think of several unhealthy ways to cope with surviving a campaign, I’m here today to offer you a different approach. Here are five ways to keep yourself healthy during the next three weeks:
Fuel your body.
One cannot live on coffee and e-cigarettes alone. Now, I don’t want to sound too much like your mother here, but if you want to be in it for the long haul, you’re going to need to plan ahead: get a water bottle, grab healthier snacks, and make sure the Grubhub app is set to a healthier option. We both know you don’t need another night of two-day old volunteer pizzas that sat out for hours. Making healthier choices will improve your brain function so you can outsmart the competition.
Blow off some steam.
Eating healthy and exercising naturally go hand-in-hand. This doesn’t have to be hours long trips to the gym. Can you set aside just 15 minutes in the morning for a quick workout? Or maybe take a couple walks around the block while you’re on a conference call, even just step away from your desk for a few minutes, you’ll clear your mind, get some much-needed fresh air and a change of scenery will do you wonders.
This also means taking some time to connect with a friend who’s not involved in campaigns. Go bowling, to a movie, or watch the football game. Your brain deserves a break and I guarantee if you walk away for just a bit, you’ll be more refreshed and ready to tackle the next challenge that comes along.
You’ll keep your head about you if you’ve got a plan. Now, you should have started this one sooner than the time you’ll be reading this, but it’s never too late to put a plan in place.
Work backwards from Election Day, layout your goals, your budget, your message and how you’ll get there – and then stick to your plan. Don’t let anything, especially your opponent, make you deviate from your plan. When things feel like they’re going off the rails, go back and work your plan. It will keep you grounded and sane.
Don’t say things you might regret later.
We know how this business works. Your political enemy today may be someone you need for an ally on down the road. Campaigns can be rough and tumble, but in the end, all you have left is your reputation: don’t do anything to screw that up. Keep it clean and don’t trash someone behind their back.
Don’t lose sight of why you’re doing this. Why did you get into this line of work, why this candidate, why now? All of those things mean something and what you’re doing makes a difference. Raise the bar, get the work done and reach back and help someone behind you get a foot up.
Don’t forget: politics is fun, even if it makes you a little crazy.
Nicole Schlinger is the founder and president of CampaignHQ, the best conservative call center in America. Since 1999, CampaignHQ has delivered millions of effective P2P text messages, voter ID, persuasion, advocacy, patch through, and GOTV calls for winning campaigns and conservative organizations.