Managing Your Mental Health While Working in Social Media

by | Aug 6, 2020 | Self-help | 2 comments

There’s no denying social media marketing is an essential tool for businesses today. While family and friends may oversimplify the workload as just a matter of thinking up witty captions and posting pleasing photos, anyone who has strategically managed social media accounts knows it is a labor of love… and a lot of hard work. Trend spotting, adjusting to platform updates, responding to comments (both positive and negative), navigating breaking news, and responding to current events thoughtfully, effectively, and in a timely manner, are just a few of the daily tasks smart strategists have to be on top of. 

When it comes to social media management, you always have to be “logged in” and “tuned in” to what’s happening around you online. This is stressful enough even when things are “normal,” but COVID-19 has added additional mental health challenges to the mix. Now people are juggling an increased demand for relevant content, with working from home and daily anxieties surrounding health and safety. The pandemic and stay-at-home orders have affected everyone’s screen time: with views on Instagram Live doubling in one week and Facebook and Instagram seeing a 40% increase in usage

But what if social media is your job? When your work requires you to be scrolling social media, taking a break from the online world can feel impossible. Fortunately, there are a multitude of ways to combat anxiety and relieve tension while still completing the work you love. Researching for this blog post was as much for me as it was for you, and I hope at least one of these tips can help you toward a happier and healthier workday mindset.

Be selective: 

Just because you have to be present on social media doesn’t mean you need to be present for all of it. If keeping your feed positive is what you need, take the time to make adjustments to your personal feed. Only follow accounts that align with what is important to you and unfollow all of the rest. If an Instagram influencer inspires you, following them is well worth it! But if that same influencer causes negative comparisons, following them is doing more damage than good. Simply unfollow, and move along. 

If you can’t unfollow someone because you know them personally, you can always mute them on Instagram and Twitter or “unfollow” someone on Facebook while still remaining friends with them. 

While you’re taking a critical look at bad accounts that you should unfollow, don’t forget to follow some new accounts that make you feel good! Instagram is being flooded with trendy accounts created by therapists looking to provide helpful quotes and practices to those who may not be able to afford mental health services. 

Especially in the current political climate, it can be easy to be swept up in posts that differ from your own beliefs. Why give posts that make you angry or upset any attention at all? If there’s something that makes you constantly feel drained or depressed, it’s okay to hide it from your timeline. Muting keywords on Twitter, which hides particular words, phrases, usernames, emojis, or hashtags from your timeline, can feel liberating. Filtering comments on Instagram is also possible: you can block certain words or phrases on Instagram and also can turn off commenting on specific Instagram posts. 

Practice Healthy Habits: 

The list of “healthy habits” you can incorporate into your day-to-day life is endless. Drinking more water, calling your family, journaling, meditation, exercise, and creative outlets such as cross-stitching or painting all can contribute to a more balanced mindset. Do your own research and come up with a prioritized list of habits you’d like to incorporate. Make sure to set aside time in your schedule for those tasks and stick to them just as you would a work deadline. At the very least, be sure to stand up and step away from your computer every hour and allow your body 10 minutes to stretch and walk around. Bonus points if your dog gets to join you on a walk around the neighborhood! 

Create an inviting at-home workspace:

This can look different for everyone, which is why it’s important you create a space that works for you. Sometimes it’s as simple as lighting a candle, setting a plant or picture frame in your view, or putting on a playlist that helps you focus. Personally, I’ve been a big fan of ambience playlists like this rainy coffee shop. If you’re looking for more ideas on setting up a happy and healthy workspace at home, check out this webinar

Incorporate “no” and “yes, but…” into your vocabulary:

You simply can’t do it all. Sometimes, you owe it to yourself to be honest with your boss or coworkers by acknowledging a task is too much for you right now. Oftentimes, the assignment can be adjusted or re-evaluated, but only if you let them know you’re struggling with it. It’s healthy to ask for help when you need it. Everyone has experienced burnout, so not only will your coworkers be able to relate but they’ll be glad you sought help instead of giving up or completing the task poorly. Besides, this kind of attitude to mental health fosters a supportive work environment for everyone! Next time you may be on top of things and can lend a helping hand to a coworker who reaches out to you for help. 

Do a digital detox: 

Like your workspace, this is unique to you and what you need. Whether it be a random Tuesday, a weekend, or your two weeks of vacation time, it’s important to step away from social media completely every once in a while. As long as you notify your team in advance, give yourself time and space to disconnect. Your mind (and your eyes) will thank you. Check out this blog post for a real-life example of a social media break and the lessons that ensued. 

Remember, you’re not alone: 

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, remember that your anxieties and work or COVID-19-related stressors are not just happening to you. Everyone is adjusting to the “new normal” and experiencing hiccups along the way. Reach out to others for empathy and support but also for fun conversations and distraction. A great way to do this is to remain social while staying safely distanced. Yes, Zoom calls are seemingly taking over the world but have you ever agreed to do a Zoom call with your friends in face masks? Or attended a doggie birthday party? Over on the NISM Facebook we have a private group for certified strategists where like-minded individuals are regularly in discussion. We also host a virtual Happy Hour to stay up-to-date on not only professional working lives but personal lives as well. These kinds of check-ins work wonders on your mental health simply because they remind you you’re never alone.

What have you found helps you stay clear-headed and happy? Share your tips and daily rituals in the comments below!


Author: Celeste Russell, SMS

Hailing from Las Vegas, Celeste began working with NISM as a summer intern in 2019. Since then she has found a real home in the community, earned her SMS certification, and currently works as the Social Media Coordinator for NISM and the Social Media Manager for OMCP. Celeste graduated from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Acting & Communication for the Arts. Her passions have always included effective communication both on and off the stage and she is grateful that working remotely allows her the opportunity to pursue her acting career simultaneously. She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her wonderful husband and their three pets.

Feel free to connect with Celeste on LinkedIn.

Check out one of her other NISM blog posts: Battling Imposter Syndrome as a Social Media Professional


  1. Natalie Droeske

    Great article! I’ve found that reading a chapter of fiction on my lunch hour out in the sun has done WONDERS for my mental health! Soaking up some vitamin D while allowing my brain to 1) not be looking at a screen and 2) engage in something non-work related is a great way to recharge for the afternoon.

    • NISMadmin

      Great idea, Natalie. Thanks for sharing. Reading anything exceptional this summer?

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