From individual influencers to international corporations, anyone who has consistently produced social media content understands the mental and emotional demands the job entails. Creators are often so focused on the minute details of consumer behavior, thoughts, and emotions that they forget or neglect to be mindful of their own thoughts and emotions. Social media overexposure, especially within work, can wear on one’s mental health. When social media is your job, you can’t just walk away from scrolling…but you can take mindful action to combat burnout and protect your mental health daily.
Social media is a fantastic marketing tool for creatives. These digital platforms allow you to reach and engage with thousands or even millions of consumers within seconds. Social media campaigns can be a cost-effective solution to scaling your business, especially when algorithms are leveraged. Lastly, social media can be a key vehicle for increasing brand awareness, boosting consumer trust, and driving sales. There is no wonder why 91% of businesses use social media for branded marketing. However, too much of any good thing can become a double-edged sword.
Protecting Your Mental Health in Social Media
The demanding workload within a content creation agency can make creators feel like they must work at a frenetic pace to meet project deadlines. Social media managers juggle multiple, complex tasks daily, and taking a mental health break can fall by the wayside under the tremendous pressure to generate high-quality, engaging content. Unfortunately, spending excessive time lost in social media inspo-scrolling, engaging with consumer comments, squashing online trolls, and noticing brand-relevant trends can lead to a host of negative reactions within our nervous system, including creative burnout, FOMO, compassion fatigue, imposter syndrome, loss of quality sleep, and high levels of stress. Because social media also provides our brains with dopamine rewards as we scroll, overexposure to social media can also lead to social media addiction. While some may dismiss these ailments as necessary byproducts of the job (or worse, as illegitimate reasons to “complain”), they are very real psychological conditions that can lead to larger mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.
Protecting your mental health as a social media manager is critical. As a content creation agency, (spark) acknowledges that staying mindful of your well-being, setting personal boundaries, and sometimes asking for support in social media content production is necessary. Whether your brand has an internal content creation team or hires an external content creation agency, here are five quick tips to help you protect your mental health and stay mindful as a social media manager.
- Monitor your screen time. Yes, screen time is a large part of the job, but so is your ability to focus and multitask—two skills that are infinitely more difficult when you work through lunch and forget to step outside occasionally. Taking small, regular breaks and connecting to the real world is not a luxury, it is a vital component of good mental health. You might even consider setting a “take a break” timer on your phone or scheduling in five-minute coffee breaks with a likeminded coworker to help keep you on track!
- Keep things fresh at work and online. Getting stuck in a rut is never good for creativity, and as every good content creation agency knows, creativity is key to creating great social media content. Try adjusting your daily routine or working in a different environment to help jumpstart new ideas and keep things lively. If you work from home, consider working one morning per week from a local coffee shop or outdoor space. Even refreshing or reorganizing your desk space could bring a much-needed breath of fresh air and injection of creativity.
- Remember your achievements. Many of us, regardless of industry or job title, have a difficult time recognizing our daily, weekly, or yearly contributions. It may even feel like all your hard work is for nothing. Regularly looking back on your work history and celebrating your achievements will help remind you of the ways your work has contributed to your company’s success.
- Log out when you leave work. Are you the type of employee who is tempted to answer work emails and check engagement after you have closed your laptop or left work for the day? Do you mentally note social trends on weekends and file them away for Monday morning content creation? While it can be difficult to walk away from work, both physically and mentally, learning to set boundaries with your time and keep a healthy and clear work/life balance will do wonders for your mental health.
- Prioritize your wellbeing. If your workload is more often overwhelming than manageable, spend a few moments reviewing your daily and weekly to-do lists and delegating or asking for support where you can. If a colleague tagging in on a project could allow you time to both complete your work and focus on self-care, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
The (spark) team works to actively protect their mental health so that we can continue to produce top-quality media for our clients. We understand how critical rest and repair are to the creative process. If your social media manager plate is often overwhelming and your mental health is beginning to suffer, consider implementing a few of these mindfulness tips to help protect your mental health from burnout, stress, and anxiety. Remember that taking care of yourself is a necessary part of creating great social media content.