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Seeing Our Worth Through Depression & Anxiety



2019 has been objectively awesome for me:

  • Made it to PPC Hero’s Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts.
  • Traveled to Germany, Poland, Australia, Portugal, San Francisco, Tahoe and Philadelphia for work.
  • My best friends are all having babies.
  • I got a raise.
  • Jogged a 5k.
  • Began working on a book with a dear friend in the industry.
  • I was selected to main stage PubCon (my first “big” talk).

Despite the star power in my life, I spent more days than I’d like to admit in tears, feeling like my world was crashing down – feeling unworthy and that I was failing at everything.

I have been battling depression and anxiety since I was a little girl (mostly unmedicated).

Depression and anxiety are tough because they aren’t always present and you have no idea when your mind will put you in a cage of your own making.

Sometimes the sadness will give you a reprieve, letting you grow complacent in your thought patterns.

Other times, it surrounds you in a masochistically comforting cloak, blocking out the objective facts, only letting you see what you tell yourself: alone, unloved, unworthy, broken, or any other self-destructive thought.

My recent bout of depression was objectively interesting to me because it was brought on by something that should have been positive. Yet I was so close the edge, my mind twisted it into darkness.

Clawing out of it (and being able to see my worth/accomplishments) required exercising coping mechanisms I picked up over the years.

Important note: I am not a licensed professional and none of this should be taken as medical advice.

Simply the experiences of a fellow mind on the road to owning our star power instead of giving into our darkness.

My Personal Coping Mechanisms

These mechanisms have different effectiveness levels depending on how far the anxiety/depression has set in. I classify these percentages as follows:

  • 0-25% – Starting to feel “meh” or irked but you can recognize these feelings are focused on an individual experience/moment and not an indication of overall gloom.
  • 25-50% – Most things cause a sense of sadness or apathy and levels of focus begin to get compromised.
  • 50-75% – Rational thoughts are harder to form and most thought patterns are gloom, fear, anger, or numbness. You have enough control to keep people from “seeing you this way” but not much more.
  • 75-100% – The mind is completely overcome with darkness and self-destructive thoughts begin turning into self-destructive actions. It’s at this stage that medication or supplements are needed to help break the darkness so other coping mechanisms can be used.

Coping Mechanism 1: Hearing Something Happy About/from Someone You Care Deeply About

I am predisposed to put others needs before my own.

Hearing those I care about are doing well, or something really happy happened around them, helps distract my negative thought patterns long enough to see them for what they are.

When I hear the positive in other people’s lives, and their ability to voice it, it gives me a framework to begin focusing back on the positive in my life.

I specifically ask folks whom I know will tell me something happy as opposed to try and make me feel better, because in that depressed state, I know I see it as patronizing (as opposed to the kind gesture it is).

It’s important to note, this mechanism only helps me when I’m at 0-25% in a depressed or anxious state.

Asking to hear something happy and being able to truly be present with the person sharing takes proactive thinking, and may not be as impactful once the depressed state has taken a stronger hold.

Coping Mechanism 2: Helping Someone You Care About Deeply

What I love most about helping people is it forces you to stop focusing on yourself, which is the easiest way to diffuse the darkness.

One of the best parts of my job (and why I genuinely love digital marketing) is there are hundreds of these moments baked into client interactions.

Every conversation is about helping the people behind a brand achieve profit and happiness in their work.

Volunteering for a cause you believe in is another great way to energize yourself.

Depression and anxiety’s cruelest trick is making you think that you’re unworthy of happiness. Putting good into the world is a shield against that mental trap.

This mechanism is applicable up to 50% depressed/anxious state because past that, you may not have the energy to engage with people.

Coping Mechanism 3: Every Moment of Sadness Pays for a Moment of Happiness

This mantra has been my oldest and dearest friend over the years.

I’m a firm believer of naming moments of sadness and despair as payment for an even greater moment of glory and happiness.

Two key principles that inform a lot of how I operate:

  • Every mind needs a degree of “trauma” to survive so it knows it can beat back future hardships.
  • The world is meant to be balanced and karma won’t allow a single soul to carry more despair than joy in their life.

While this mantra helps me at all stages (even the dreaded 75%+), it’s been a life-long exercise to leverage it.

Every mind thinks differently, and it’s important to find a thought pattern that resonates with you in the moment.

Coping Mechanism 4: Listen to Power Music

Music has truly transformative powers and can unlock so many things in a person.

I almost exclusively listen to “fast” music, because the slower the song, the more likely it is to make me anxious or depressed.

I have a list of “power songs” I can turn to. They do three incredibly important things for me:

  • Fill my mind with positive ideas and feelings, so I can claim/reclaim my power.
  • Let me reset my charisma and people engagement, so I can interact with peers in a healthy way.
  • Help balance out my “analytical” perspective so my “creative” perspective can contribute to my world view.

I always listen to power music (does great things for my creative work) – but when I need to break free of depression/anxiety, these songs help me:

Coping Mechanism 5: Drinking Kava Tea & Taking Theanine

Reminder: I am not a doctor and none of what I’m sharing should be taken as medical advice.

When I’m at my worst moments (blind rage, panic attacks, crippling depression) I turn to kava tea and theanine to help me break the depression/anxiety.

These two aids do the following things for me:

  • Breaking panic attacks: Anyone who has ever had a panic attack knows they aren’t fun (physical and mental assaults on the body). I’ve found that taking theanine/drinking kava can break a panic attack within 10 minutes. Complete balance is usually achieved within 30 minutes.
  • Breaking pervasive despair and rage: When I’m over 75%, I know I need help to get to a place where I can leverage my other coping mechanisms. Both kava tea and theanine have proven time and again they can help me “reset.”

It’s important to note that I choose not to take SSRIs (traditional depression and anxiety medications) because I get really bad side-effects. I know people who take them and are fine.

There is no shame in knowing one needs medications/supplements to help battle depression/anxiety.

Coping Mechanism 6: Celebrating the Good I See in Other People/Situations

Those who know me, know I try to put a positive spin on most things.

I do this because seeing the good in others and celebrating it out loud keeps my mind on a positive track so I can see my own goodness.

The more I can celebrate others, the more I can help my brain focus on positive accomplishments in my own life.

Seeing the good in a situation or person becomes a game: can we win the “debate” that the entity in question represents a positive thing?

By turning the world into a game, I condition myself to see a challenge to overcome (instead of a hopeless mire of cruel intentions and insurmountable odds).

Final Thoughts

These coping mechanisms are how I own my mind and force myself to see the good in my life. It isn’t easy, and there are absolutely times I fail to catch myself before the dreaded 75% mark.

Being mindful of what situations will erode mental fortitude, as well as which ones will boost it, is critical.

We are worthy – never let anyone or anything cause you to doubt how much good you bring to the world.

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Want to speak at SMX West? Here’s how



Want to showcase your knowledge of search marketing to our SMX West attendees? We’d love to hear from you, and if you wow us with your proposal we’ll invite you to speak at the conference. To increase the odds of being selected, be sure to read the agenda. Understand what the sessions are about. Ensure that your pitch is on target to the show’s audience and the session. Please also be very specific about what you intend to cover. Also, if you do not see a particular session listed, this is because there are no openings for that session. Use this form to submit your request.

PLEASE NOTE: We have changed the pitch process. We’ve put together session titles that we plan to run at the show, and we’re looking for you to tell us what key learning objectives and takeaways you’ll offer to attendees. Detailed instructions are on the pitch form.

As you might guess, interest is high in speaking at SMX conferences. We literally sift through hundreds of submissions to select speakers for the show. Here are some tips that will increase your chances of being selected.

Pitch early: Submitting your pitch early gives you a better chance of being selected. Coordinators accept speakers as soon as they identify a pitch that they think best fits the session, just like colleges that use a rolling admissions policy. So pitching early increases the likelihood you’ll be chosen.

Use the form: The speaker pitch form ( is the way to ask to speak. There’s helpful information there about how your pitch should be written and what it should contain.

Write it yourself and be specific: Lots of pitches come in that are not specific to the session. This is the most effective ways to ensure that your pitch is ignored. And this year, we’re no longer accepting pitches written by anyone other than a proposed speaker. If you’re a thought leader, write the pitch yourself… and make certain that it is 100% focused on the session topic.

“Throw your best pitch:” We’re limiting the number of pitches to three per person, so please pitch for the session(s) where you really feel you’ll offer SMX attendees your best.

NEW: SMX Insights Sessions. What are they? 8-10 minute solo sessions that pack a punch and wow attendees with content they can’t and won’t see anywhere else. Tactical. Specific. Actionable. Speakers are challenged to deliver the goods in a limited amount of time: one must-try tactic, one nugget of sage advice, or one takeaway that makes you more productive. Have a gem to share with your colleagues? Pitch your idea and you may make it to the SMX stage!

You’ll be notified: Everyone who pitches to speak will be notified by email whether you are accepted or not.

And don’t delay—the pitch forms for each session will close as sessions are filled, with everything closing Friday, November 29.

About The Author

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Video: Danny Sullivan, Google Public Liaison of Search, on his transition from Search Engine Land to Google



We have a special video interview for you all at Search Engine Land. We interviewed Danny Sullivan, the founder of Search Engine Land and the search community, in a two-part series.

In part one, we asked Danny about his early days in the industry to him ultimately deciding to retire from his role at Search Engine Land / Third Door Media. Then accepting a job a few months later to work with the Google Search team as the Google Public Liaison of Search.

Part two is more about what it is like to work at Google and how he sees things differently as a Googler than when he was working on search from outside of Google.

Here is part one:

I started this vlog series recently, and if you want to sign up to be interviewed, you can fill out this form on Search Engine Roundtable. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking here.

About The Author

Barry Schwartz is Search Engine Land’s News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.

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Google Ads Editor update includes support for Discovery campaigns



Yes, the editing pane is still awkwardly placed to take up a giant chunk of the right side of the screen, but Google Ads Editor’s latest version does offer some handy updates.

Edit pane. Speaking of that edit pane, now you can at least condense some fields to hide them so there’s a bit less scrolling. (That doesn’t mean irrelevant sections no longer show, however. You’re still going to have to scroll past a grayed-out “Shopping settings” when you’re in a Search campaign, for example.)

Shared negative keyword lists. If you’ve built out broadly applicable negative keyword lists, you can now share those across accounts in the Shared Library in Editor. (Shared Library is located under “Account-level” in the left navigation pane.)

Search for errors. You can search for similar errors across your campaigns or accounts. In the search bar, type “rule” or “violation” and you’ll see a list of options. Similarly, when you find an error or warning, you can click on the “Show violations” link at the bottom of the screen to see them all.

New campaign support. If you are running App campaigns for engagement or have access to Discovery campaigns in beta, you can now create and edit them in Editor.

Why we should care. These changes are relatively minor, but may save you some campaign management time, particularly if you’re using the newly supported campaign types. It’s also a pretty good sign that the Discovery campaigns beta is coming along. At the very least, it’s a good reminder to check how and if you’ve applied your negative keyword lists.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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