Last week was an overwhelming week for myself, like many others I'm sure. Due to my position, I spend more than 80 percent of my day on social media, and even though I have a love and passion for social media and the Internet in general, with the spread of the Coronavirus constantly updated across all of my social feeds, both personal and professional, on top of being on a crisis committee that provides constant updates of the company's response to the Coronavirus, I became super burnt out and wracked with anxiety about the pandemic.
It can be easy to say "get off social media" to people as a form of self-care, but when it's your job to be on social media during regular work hours and even after hours, that phrase can seem a little empty. As someone who is still navigating setting boundaries of social media for work and play, here are some suggestions I have on how to manage self-care, specifically for social media managers.
Use your personal feeds to take a break
My personal Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feeds are used to take a break from my work social media feeds. This means that if I'm feeling overwhelmed from answering DMs and posting Coronavirus updates on social media, I can switch over and laugh at memes from silly accounts I follow related to kittens, food, and other things I find interesting, to get a break every now and then.
The "mute" feature is your best friend
If you go to Settings > Content Preferences > Muted on your Twitter account, you can mute certain words. If you're having a hard time dealing with Coronavirus on your work social media feeds and personal feeds, I would recommend using this feature. This isn't so that you can become totally ignorant to what's going on, it's to combat the information overload that I'm sure you're feeling.
Set your boundaries
There have been plenty of times where I will be in my bed after 11:00 p.m. answering DMs and responding to comments. This comes with the industry, especially if you are in the midst of a crisis where changes can come at any minute. A form of boundaries I set for myself is to stop looking at social media or answering messages for a certain time period. This can be anywhere from 8:00 p.m. to when I sit down in my office in the morning. It's important to set these boundaries, especially at this time, in order to keep your mental health in check as the Coronavirus spreads and you'll have to continue making updates for the foreseeable future.
As social media managers, there's only so much that we can do to keep anxiety and information overload at bay. Here's to hoping that this article gives you a little solace if you have been having a hard time with constantly making updates, staying aware of the pandemic, and taking a break for yourself. If you're looking for a list of social media accounts to follow to take your mind off of things, here are a few of my favorites:
FatCatHarvey - an Instagram account dedicated to an overweight cat, Harvey, living his best life in Texas after being rescued during the hurricane in which he shares the same name.
R29 Unbothered - Refinery29's Instagram account created for the empowerment of Millennial Black women.
Endless Screaming - if you can't let out a scream in your office or home, tweet this account and they'll do it for you.
AITA-Reddit - an entertaining Twitter account posting stories from the sub-Reddit Am I The Asshole?, where people post stories from their lives and ask the community whether they were in the wrong or not. Spoiler alert: about 75 percent of them are the asshole.
Here's to good health, whether it's physical, emotional, and mental, to all of us as we digitally navigate through this Coronavirus pandemic.