Top 5 Mental Wellness Tips from a Social Media Manager
Over the years of working as a full time and freelance social media manager, there are times i had felt extremely overwhelmed, burnt out, and creatively drained.
It wasn’t until i started taking a more proactive approach toward my mental wellbeing that i started establishing rules, guidelines and routines that I made myself stick to.
Granted, this was easier said than done sometimes. Clients felt like everything needed to be done right away. It was all an emergency and if we didn’t get to it, the world would end. (and obv – it didn’t).
So, what rules and guidelines did i set for myself? Well – let’s jump in to those.
1. Keeping A (Comprehensive) To-Do List
One of the things i remember learning along the way was that you can’t effectively track your progress if you never actually made a note of what needed to get done. This doesn’t mean setting a few big tasks for the day and trying to get it all done.
No no. I’m talking about the little things, the important things, the not-so-important things, the routine things, the things that pop up randomly, AND THEN actually arranging them by priority and urgency.
It reminds me of this very helpful diagram I came across on Pinterest called the Eisenhower Matrix.
Essentially an effective way to understand what needs to be done, what can wait and what is just not worth your time or energy that maybe you can delegate to someone else or eliminate completely.
Things that are important & urgent are things with deadlines, and maybe consequences are involved if these are not dealt with ASAP. Finishing an important project, responding to an email.
Things that are important but not urgent are those that may not have a specific deadline but take you closer to a goal you want to achieve. Exercising, self development, research.
Things that may be urgent but not important can be delegated, or put on hold until more pressing tasks are completed. Maybe even if it’s a task that doesn’t directly need your skills, and can be completed by someone else. Getting groceries, booking a reservation
And finally, being able to understand what tasks are not urgent and not important can save you a lot of time and stress. These tasks can just be eliminated altogether because – what’s the point? Scrolling through socials, Netflix.
2. Virtually Clocking Out
The nature of my work means 80% of the day, i’ll be sitting somewhere with my phone, tablet or laptop. Just as you would any 9-5 job, you also need to clock out from your virtual office.
Keep an eye on your time, your progress, your to-dos, and at the end of the day, what wasn’t completed today can be done tomorrow.
The beauty about working as a social media manager is that most of the work we do can be done in advance, and the rest of time i can spend learning, researching, planning.
Being able to fully commit to a clock out time has given me a better work-life balance, time to rest, focus on self care, spend time with my loved ones – and my pets! (that’s usually the best part pf my day – Haha!)
3. Separating Devices For Work & Personal
It took me about 3 years to figure out that this actually makes more sense than having 1 device jumbled with work emails, personal messages, my clients’ SM platforms all in one.
I know a few people might be wondering “but wouldn’t have multiple devices affect the whole idea of mental well-being and virtually clocking out?
That depends on how you use your other devices. I’ve found that the easiest way to avoid getting sucked in to the wormhole of social media after i clock out is just not to have any other socials set up on my personal devices, except the bare minimum. Maybe my personal IG which is tailored specifically to the type of mindset i want for myself, ie, following pages that post inspiring quotes, people who share their productive routine, and others like them, as opposed to a wave of photos of people posting their 4th Range Rover, their perfectly aesthetic family, or the lavish vacations they take 8 times a year.
You get me?
It’s really not from a place of insecurity or bitterness. You’re happy for those people, but you’re only human, and you’ll find yourself measuring your success with their ruler. And that’s just not a healthy place to be.
Aside from the bare minimum of social platforms, only a handful of close family and friends have the number i use for my personal phone. So if I wanna catch up with them, i don’t have to worry about being tempted to tap on that work notification that just popped up, or a message that a client sent be because they saw me online.
4. Changing My Work Environment
You’re only as productive as the space you’re in. Sometimes a change in scenery while you work, can greatly impact the way you think, feel, and work.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to sit on a bench by an open lake, with a cup of coffee, and their laptop, and call that an office for the day?
Sometimes in the middle of creating content for my clients, i’ll hit a wall, my desk might feel cramped, my back might start hurting because I’ve been slouching.
Shifting to someplace outdoors, maybe sunshine-y, maybe a cafe, maybe the beach, any place that just doesn’t feel too … monotonous.
5. Allowing Myself To Have Unproductive Moments
This is one that i’m still learning to fully embrace. I’ve grown so conscious of that fact that time is something you’ll never get back, you can never be reimbursed of, you can’t stop, rewind or fast forward.
With that mindset, it was harder for me to allow myself to take breaks. I felt guilty, like i was wasting time and just idling, and could’ve been doing so much more in that time I sat on the couch watching an episode Blacklist.
But i’m still in the process of allowing myself to just be. Not be multitasking, not planning, not moving – just being present, and enjoying those little gaps of time i spend with my dad watching our favorite crime shows together.
I hope some of what i’ve share with you has helped in some way, or enlightened you on a way you can alter your workflow and ensure you’re giving yourself the time and space you need to rest.
You are not a machine. You need breaks, downtime, proper nutrition, sunlight and great people around you to make it all worthwhile.