If we’ve ever chatted, you most probably heard me at least once mention something about the importance of mental health. I’m so passionate about this topic that I just can’t shut up. Honestly.
I started working in social media during college from a desire to turn a passion into a profession. And I’m so happy I did because I fell in love almost instantly.
The industry is dynamic, changes quickly, gives you the opportunity to constantly meet new people, and takes you out of your comfort zone every single day. But what I didn’t know then was that social media is also very demanding and requires impeccable organizational skills. That’s if you want to have a life outside of work.
Tips for maintaining well-being in a fast-paced industry
Being a full-time social media manager can be a real tightrope walk. Ever since I became one I’ve been asking myself the following question: how do I make sure my mental health remains a priority while juggling multiple to-do lists, social platforms, and campaigns?
Here’s the thing. I’m still learning how to separate work from my free time and how not to let social dictate every moment of the day (weekends included). So if you want to share what has worked for you, hit me up. We’re all in this together, Wild Cats.
Until then, let me tell you what works for me.
I block off free time
I noticed taking deliberate breaks from social media makes a world of difference. Naturally, I started blocking free time in my calendar – and actually sticking to the plan. Finish work at 6? That means I’m off for the night, except for the 15 minutes of fast-checking social media before going to bed.
It’s important to set boundaries and commit to them so you don’t burn the candle at both ends. I can’t stress this enough: you have to take care of yourself first. Being online 24/7 just won’t do it. So unless something major happens, time off means time off.
I found a hobby
Finding hobbies that require 0 screen time was like stumbling across a hidden treasure trove. It helped me connect with myself and disconnect from the day-to-day hassle. Take painting, for instance – a recent revelation for me. Diving into this artistic pursuit demands my full attention and both hands – that’s if I want to be left with a beautiful piece of art by the end.
But this is just an example. I also like to go on walks, read books, play with my cat, or go out dancing. The idea is to find ways that help you unplug and do something that sends your dopamine levels soaring in a healthy way. Excessive scrolling can ramp up your stress and anxiety to dizzying heights. So find what floats your boat and intentionally sprinkle zoning-out activities into your calendar.
I did some soul-searching
We’ve already established that working in social media is very demanding. Not to mention, the constant consumption of content, exposure to digital platforms, and management of online communities come with a lot of pressure and challenges. As social media managers, we need calm waters to explore and process the emotional toll of our work – and this is where therapy comes in.
Although it’s a sensitive subject, for me, therapy was the best tool for learning how to manage stress and establish healthy boundaries. More than that, it helped me foster resilience and mitigate burnout risks.
Ultimately, therapy can help anyone navigate their professional responsibilities without putting our well-being and effectiveness on the back burner.
Work-life balance while managing multiple social media platforms
No matter the industry we’re in, time always seems to slip through our fingers. We’re in a constant race against the clock to tackle the various tasks on our plate. So we need to learn how to manage time effectively by prioritizing tasks. By doing so, you’ll be able to focus your energy and resources in the right direction with clarity and purpose. It will help with meeting deadlines, achieving your objectives, and reclaiming control over your workload.
And let’s not forget that we need to put our foot down and say no. In the whirlwind that is social media, it’s vital to distinguish between what you can do and what you should actually do. You’ll maintain the quality standards you desire, and you’ll deliver exceptional results that’ll blow everyone away.
Common challenges faced by social media marketers
By the very nature of our role, we’re expected to stay ahead in the digital landscape – and that comes, by default, with a lot of fear of missing out (FOMO). LinkedIn ditching the carousel feature? Twitter working on a verified organizations’ job ads feature? Another TikTok trend on the rise? You have to stay on your toes and be in the know. And that’s quite a lot, don’t you think?
This overwhelming feeling of falling behind looms large no matter how much time you spend researching and devouring the news. That’s why you need strategies to safeguard your well-being and have a work-life balance – to ensure a healthier and more sustainable professional journey as a social media manager. So I’m learning and relearning that you can’t see it all and do it all. And that it’s totally fine if you miss that one trend that’s going viral this week – there will be a new one next week, I can guarantee you that.
Don’t even get me started on the negative effect comparing yourself to others will have on your mental health. The constant exposure to curated and seemingly flawless online presence of other brands can fuel feelings of self-doubt. It’s a slippery slope that can trigger your impostor syndrome after all the years you’ve spent working on it. The comparison of followers, engagement, or progress with your competitors can become a vicious cycle. We all have to come to terms with the limitations of social media, nurture self-compassion, and refuse to let ourselves be defined by the things we can’t control.
I recently saw a post about working in social media that presented two sides:
1) the actual working in social media part, and 2) taking a break from working in social media by scrolling, researching, and dwelling on all things social media. And it’s funny because it’s true. We’re consuming so muuuch content and we spend time on social media because it’s cool, it’s fun, and everybody does it. Until you get your weekly average time spent on the phone notification, and it shows 11 hours a day.
So if there’s one thing I want you to take away from this is that it’s okay to take a day off when everything becomes too much. It’s better to skip that one post, postpone a meeting or leave the office early if that saves you from burnout. Life’s short, and we should all be able to enjoy it to the fullest. And social media is everything but real life. So be kind to yourself, and always remember to focus on the good stuff.