Mental health has been highlighted during the month of May throughout the US. But if you work in social media, what are you doing to ensure you’ve taken care of your mental health year-round?
Of course, many careers can have pressure all their own, but the stressors from working in social media have been on our minds BIG TIME since the beginning of 2020.
Taking care of your mental health needs to be at the forefront of your to-do list. Not only will you be better in your career, but you will be better for yourself and those around you in your everyday life.
We have some tips that have helped our social media team over the last year, hopefully, they will help you too.
Tip 1: Break Away
Physically stand up and walk away. Whether it’s to grab a cup of coffee or to take your dog on a walk, it’s good to stretch your legs (while resting your eyes and mind). In fact, stepping back from social media to reconnect with the outdoors needs to happen more often.
But there’s a caveat – you can’t check your email or client social media accounts! Instead, call a friend, listen to a podcast, music, or nature itself. Not only will you clear your mind, but you’re also moving your body and getting the blood flowing after sitting at a desk.
It’s not ok to normalize working nonstop. Somewhere along the line, we’ve confused doing a great job with spreading ourselves too thin. You can absolutely be a strong worker with boundaries. Think quality, not quantity. Too much on your plate will lead to burnout and a decline in your performance.
So, if you’re the type to work straight through the day, then set reminders on your phone or your calendar to take breaks. If you burn out, then you fail yourself and your team.
Instead, take those lunch breaks, walking breaks, deep breath breaks. You can come back to your tasks and client social media accounts with a clear head after a mini reset.
Tip 2: Disassociate
Disassociating is easier said than done for most. And if you’re a community or social media manager, then you’re fully immersed in a brand’s social media account.
Social media is tough on even the strongest minds, but you do need to remember one thing – it’s not directed at you. People will come hard for brands, but they are not coming for you personally.
The team of community managers at B Squared Media care a lot about the brand social media accounts they monitor. That’s a great thing! And even better, it comes through in how they respond to comments and questions. Of course, there are times when there’s a perfect storm of emotions at once (we’re looking at you 2020!).
So, how do you separate yourself from the hateful comments that you read all day long? One way is to have team members you trust to talk to about it. Instead of internalizing things, talking it out helps. And if things escalate, you ask for help.
One of the beauties of working remotely on social media is that you have that moment as a customer care specialist to step back and take a deep breath before ever responding. In addition to having a moment to breathe, you can ask your team how they would reply, and you can continue to remind yourself that it is not about YOU.
Tip 3: Don’t Unplug
Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking…why would I say don’t unplug? Because we need to remember there are aspects of social media that do bring us joy.
- Watch some cute videos with animals on TikTok or Instagram. It’s nearly impossible not to smile when you see cute animals! I’ve definitely watched these two shown below a few times.
- Follow accounts that are mindless and stupid-funny. If you haven’t checked out Awkward Family Photos and My Therapist Says on Instagram – do it now! Laughter = stress reliever.
- Use mediation apps. Headspace and Calm come to mind first. You can also view Creative Boom’s list of 10 here as well.
The key here is balance. You definitely do not want to spend a day working on a brand’s social media account and then scroll away when your shift is done. Pick a few go-to accounts that bring you joy and pop in on them for a quick pick me up.
Our tips are light and breezy for keeping you above burnout and nurturing your mental health. But, if you are feeling helpless, we urge you to speak with your doctor. Mental health is the foundation of your life. In other words, do not push it off to the side.
We aren’t experts on mental health but think of us as team members who care. Many of us have been there, and it can be tough to lift ourselves up at times. Internalizing your feelings will only tax your mental health in the long run.
The bright side is, you are never alone and there are many avenues to turn down for help. As Mental Health Awareness month comes to a close, please take care of yourself by keeping it at the forefront of your mind on a daily basis.
What tips do you have for taking care of your mental health? Please share with us in the comments below!