6 Steps to Maintain Mental Health with a Social Media Job

Mental Health is at the forefront of conversations. Around the world, the whole of May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and those working in social media are no stranger to the pressures of maintaining your mental health. Social media has taken off in the last decade, with millions of people engaging and posting, but there are arguments for and against the platforms. 

social media mental health

On the one hand, they have allowed vulnerable communities to connect who would have never had the opportunity to before. But, on the other hand, it has created many problems in unrealistic beauty standards, a vast spread of misinformation, cyber-bullying and ‘trolling.’ From a business standpoint, social media is a great tool to connect with your audience on a different level from traditional marketing. It can also be an excellent tool for customer service to understand what they like and dislike, promote the business, find new customers, and show a business’ personality. 

In today’s world, more and more brands are going digital to grow their businesses, and with the rise of the Social Media Manager as a career, many are feeling the effects. For example, the feeling of constantly needing to be ‘on,’ needing to be creative, the ever-changing algorithm, the constant influx of information and the negative behaviour on these platforms can lead to many creators and social media managers’ feelings of burnout. Burnout is now officially recognized as a disease by the World Health Organisation (WHO). So it’s time to take it seriously. 

To help, we have listed six ways to look after your mental health while working in Social Media and how to avoid burnout. However, these steps are not intended to be used as medical advice, do not replace a consultation with your doctor.

social media mental health work

1. Plan & Schedule Your Content In Advance: 

Minimize the stress of juggling social media accounts by planning. It may feel better to post on the fly, but leaving it to the last minute creates additional pressure and the need to feel creative; plus, planning allows you to be proactive rather than reactive.

By planning and scheduling in advance, you can get yourself into a creative flow, allowing you to check your work later, which leads to further improvements. We suggest using Sprout Social, Hootsuite, or Sendible. You can also use The Facebook Creator Studio for a free alternative.

2. Turn Off Notifications: 

While this may initially make you feel more stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of missing something, in the long run, turning off notifications is much better for your mental health. You, of course, may miss a message or two, but you need to remember that it’s not the end of the world. Instead, be very organized with your time management.

Make sure to set yourself a task to check social media every day, so you do it at least once a day. You may find that you will drop into social media more than once, but at least you won’t be interrupted with notifications each time someone likes, comments or messages your brand’s account.

3. Remember Social Media Is A Highlight Reel:

When you spend your working day on social media, you spend your day watching someone else’s best bits, and you need to remember that this isn’t reality. You rarely see a person’s tough times, and you will compare yourself to this highlight reel, so remind yourself to be compassionate and realistic.

4. Monitor Your Screen Time & Take Breaks:

Working as a social media manager or doing the social media for your own company, it’s easy to find yourself glued to your phone. Then one week, you get the dreaded screen time report notification, and you are up 30% - this is why taking breaks from social media, both short and full week breaks, is essential. If you are reading this and can’t remember the last time you took some time off social media (or are thinking, “um, never’), you are due one.

On most smartphones, you can set app limits and set downtime hours. For your big breaks, don’t be afraid to outsource social media help to have someone post on your behalf or let your audience know that you are taking a scheduled break and when you will be back (see image below).

During this break, you can use a social scheduler to post generic content and set up automatic replies to messages saying that you are taking a well-deserved break, and you will reply to their message when you are back online.

Mental Health Social Media Job

5. Curate Your Personal Feed:
Mute, Unfollow or Block:

Most people who work in social media also have their own personal profiles (albeit often neglected), so a great way to combat a feeling of burnout is to curate your feed to include accounts that uplift and inspire you personally. Your day-to-day can be full of reading and responding to everybody’s opinion on the accounts you manage or your business and while that can be your passion, remember that it is not you personally.

By unfollowing people who make you feel bad about yourself, you can change the narrative of when you log in to the apps. On Facebook and Instagram, there are many ways to curate your feeds; for example, if you don’t want to see people’s updates, you can unfollow them while remaining friends with them or if you don’t want someone to contact you, it’s okay to block them. 

6. Practice Mindfulness:

Learning how to meditate is a great way to manage stress. Several resources are available through apps like Calm and Headspace or videos on YouTube. While it might not feel like it works for you initially, we recommend sticking with it and finding what feels good to you. Many studies have shown that meditation can lower stress, improve focus and awareness and reduce negative emotions.

6 Steps to Maintain Mental Health with a Social Media Job

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Tackling the social media side of work, whether as a social media manager or for your own business, can feel very isolating and overwhelming but know that you are not alone. Many resources are available, and it’s always okay to ask for help. Social media may seem an easy task to handle, but when you get to its nitty-gritty, it’s a full-time job, and there are lots of benefits to outsourcing the parts you don’t have time for so you can focus on what matters most to you and your business.

Here at Custom Fit Online, we offer a range of Social Media Management and Consultation packages; get in touch to see how we can help elevate your social media and minimize your stress levels.

Alice Arbuthnot
May 27, 2022
From the Custom Fit Online team

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