Social Media and Mental Health Part 2: Strategies for Self Care

It’s midway through Mental Health Week 2017. In our post from earlier this week, we discussed the role of community managers, and how mental health can be impacted by frequent social media use. We know that being in this role can put you at risk for developing mental health concerns. Today we will discuss strategies on how to manage some of these challenges.

We know that part of being a community manager requires work outside of typical work hours. We understand that the demands of your role are high and you have many responsibilities. Fortunately, there are some small changes you can try in your personal and work life that might help reduce some of the stress related to your role.

Personal Strategies

  • Recognize what is depicted by people on your network is curated and not entirely realistic

  • Set time boundaries and limits on when you use personal social media

    • Maybe using your personal social media accounts less frequently will give you a break. On the other hand, perhaps using your personal social media accounts is something meaningful and stress relieving for you, in which case, keep it up! What ever you decide, try to be purposeful about your choices and actions
  • Turn off notifications
    • Consider what you really want and need to know about in real time. Turn off the notifications for apps you don't need immediate updates from, so you decide when you get information from those programs and platforms
  • Be purposeful when you check apps and close them after checking 
    • Don't check your accounts unless you have time to respond. Be aware of when you find yourself halfway through your Instagram feed before realizing you opened the app and try to be purposeful about when you're checking your accounts 
  • Unplug at night
    • Try to make a change if your phone is the first and last thing you see each day. Get an alarm clock to replace your phone by your bed. Charge your phone overnight outside your bedroom to give yourself time to unplug before bed

Strategies for Work

  • Set time boundaries with your work
    • Be mindful of when you check your email, social media platforms and other accounts you are in charge of. This is likely a big part of your day but you can be purposeful about when you’re doing these job duties to reduce stress
  • Debriefing with managers or colleagues
    • If a difficult situation arises in one of the communities you manage, have a discussion about how this can be handled. Do you have a brief chat with your manager? Do you have a team meeting? Do you send an email? How can you communicate this challenge to your team, get support for yourself and improve how a similar situation is dealt with in the future?
  • Be prepared
    • Plan posts in advance and use online tools to schedule posts when able
    • Have a plan for when you receive complaints or challenging messages on social
  • Take social media breaks
    • Take time over lunch or for a few minutes in the morning and afternoon to step away from your computer/device
    • Talk to your colleagues about non-work related topics during your breaks
  • Self care strategies
  • We know your work as community managers requires work outside of typical 9-5 office hours. But, does it require you do this all the time? Are there others on your team with you can share the load? Can you make a schedule so only one person is on-call each evening/weekend, instead of the whole team? Think about making a small change to your work roles so the whole team isn't required to monitor all accounts all the time
  • Can you change the expectations of your community? Respond to customer complaints and questions at consistent times during the work day instead of immediately after they post something to manage expectations
  • If you work from home…
    • Working from home can be great for creating flexibility, reducing commute times, and efficiency. But, it can also be isolating and difficult to manage work-life balance. If you work from home, try these tips:
      • Get dressed every day in work appropriate clothes 
      • Go outside at consistent times, like first thing in the morning, or after lunch 
      • Make sure you talk to real people at least once a day
      • Set timers to monitor when you're working and when you’re taking a break

Making it Happen

It can be hard to implement something new into your routine. Try these strategies out to make some positive change happen:

  • Set alarms throughout the day to remind you to do whatever strategy you’ve chosen
    • Example: Set an alert on your work email to go off once an hour to get up from your desk
  • Use timers
    • Set a 5 minute timer for some meditation in a quite space, or go for a walk in the afternoon for 15 minutes
  • Tell someone about the change you want to make - be accountable!
    • Having people ask you about your progress holds you accountable
  • Involve your team
    • Pick one strategy to try with your colleagues and hold each other accountable!

Have you tried any of these strategies? Do any stick out as good next steps for you and your team? We'd love to hear your thoughts on these and any other tips you use in your role to manage stress and mental health. Please comment below or tweet to us @corporatemh

Happy Mental Health Week!

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