Working in Social Media:
How to Protect Your Mental Health
It's safe to say that most people are suffering from some form of social media addiction. This is no surprise given the addictive nature of the platforms. The infinite colorful content and the sheer fun of endless scrolling sucks you in, and before you know it, it's been two hours, and you haven't done any actual work.
To make matters worse, the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic messed up our work-life balance pretty severely, and the social content production and consumption reached new heights.
Aside from the fun element, social media is causing some serious threats to people's mental health, especially those whose job requires them to be continuously plugged in. If you're a social media manager, an influencer, or a small business owner managing your social media, you've probably felt the negative impact of social media.
Whether it's the constant need to present the perfect image of yourself, the unrealistic expectations, or the crazy amount of BS social media myths, it's pretty challenging to keep your mental health in check when you're regularly exposed to these messages. For an in-depth analysis of false Instagram myths, read more on this website.
To help all of you who feel like a social media job is taking a toll on your mental health, we've prepared a guide to help you protect your well-being.
Limit your social media time
Sure, the job of a social media manager requires the "always-on" mindset. However, to prevent social media's negative side from interfering with your mental health, you have to set some limits. By doing so, you're limiting yourself just to the task at hand. For example, if you set the limit of one hour to answer to Instagram DMs, you're leaving no time for useless scrolling. And let's face it, it's so easy to get distracted by flashy content.
You can use apps like Moment to get better insights into your screen time and get some guidance on using your time online more productively.
Additionally, you can take a regular inventory of your workload. This will help you prioritize better and organize your workday more efficiently. So, instead of burning out over some less significant tasks, you'll be able to delegate, outsource, or remove the item from your to-do list altogether. Prioritizing the important work will improve your efficiency, evoke fulfillment, and prevent burnout.
It's so easy to get into a negative spiral of comparison on social media. Comparing your real day-to-day with someone else's curated version of reality can damage your self-image and cause some symptoms of anxiety and even depression.
To shift this narrative, focus on the content that provides inspiration, rather than comparison. Mute or unfollow any account that doesn't evoke positive associations and.
Re-shift your focus to finding inspiration in social media content. Whether it's the fitness motivation, dietary regimen, or home décor, focus on what you can learn instead of comparing yourself with the curated images on social media.
Be in control over your reaction
It seems easier said than done. However, with the right set of tools and strategies, you can take back control over your mental health when it comes to social media. Working in social media often means being exposed to negative commentary and stressful customer service situations, and it takes a lot of effort not to take it personally.
Here are some of the activities you can start implementing to prevent the stress caused by negativity on social media:
- Create a response procedure – Create a clear plan of action for these situations. Inform everyone in the company about the protocol. For example, this could be a semi-default one-time answer. This prevents endless back-and-forth with internet trolls and abusive conversations.
- Filter out the negativity and abuse – Use Instagram's Manual Content Filter and Twitter's Advanced Muting Options to nip the harmful content in the bud.
Give yourself permission to log off and take care of your mental health. Dedicate a specific time in the day to de-stress. Use this time to meditate, self-reflect, exercise, spend time in nature or talk to your supportive group of friends, family, or loved ones.
Additionally, you can explore different hobbies and stick with the one that feels most relaxing.
Practicing self-care activities will help you regain back energy and focus after a stressful workday. Moreover, it will help you get a clearer perspective and achieve a better work-life balance.