6 Ways To Take a Break From Social Media When It's Your Job
Social media was originally intended to be a tool to document the highlights of your life to share with friends and family, and a fun way to kill a bit of time on your phone. It has since rapidly become one of the biggest industries in the world and a major force to be reckoned with. With new social media platforms being created every day, and all of the new updates on the existing platforms, the social media craze isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
In fact, social media has actually become a hugely successful career path, on so many different levels. Careers in social media include entrepreneurs self-developing apps, working for tech companies, freelance and in-house social media managers, bloggers, influencers, models, marketers, content creators, and so much more!
While social media has become an amazing way to make money, market yourself, and create successful businesses, there’s a few downsides to the industry as well. Like any other industry a major downside of the social media industry is burnout, the only difference between other careers and careers in social media is that typically with any other job you’re able to physically step away and take a break whereas with social media jobs, it’s a career as well as a popular entertainment source. In a recent report by the National Retail Federation during a study about how Gen Z is driving the future of retail, they surveyed and discovered that the average Millennial spends about 3.8 hours a day on social media and Gen Z spends about 4.5 hours a day. While that much time seems high considering the fact that that's an entire quarter of someone's day, add another 8 hours (minimum) onto those statistics for the people that work in social media and you end up with only an hour or two a day spent off of your phone. As you can see and have probably felt firsthand, social media, especially for those who work in the industry can be pretty consuming.
To help you take a break from social media when it’s your job, we’ve created some helpful tips and tricks to rebalance your life while remaining productive and impactful in your career.
What is social media burnout?
Social media burnout is a fatigue that happens when you’re spending too much time online. Unfortunately for those who work in social media and need to put in the hours, the time spent online can be unavoidable, especially leading to this burnout.
How do you tell if you need a break from social media?
If you have to ask this question, the chances are, you’re burnt out! But some other signs include but are not limited to,
- Mindless scrolling
- Unhealthy comparison with others online
- Becoming triggered by things you see online
- Compulsive urges to use your phone or to check apps
- If it's the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do before you fall asleep
- If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night because of the screen time
- Being unable to enjoy the moment without posting it first
- Increased irritability
How long of a social media break should I take?
The duration and stipulations of the social media break is completely up to you, some take time completely off of their social media to reset, but for those who work in social media, this time completely removed from the platforms probably isn’t possible. Instead, we recommend setting healthy boundaries around social media so you’re still able to work effectively while maintaining balance and your own mental health at the same time.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your job in social media, consider outsourcing tasks and check out MOOD FOR THOUGHT services so you can spend less time on social media and more time on yourself. Here are 6 more tips to take a healthy break on social media when you work in the industry!
Set strict working hours and time limits
With any other job, there are set work hours that are rarely changed or extended- keep those rules when it comes to your job on social media. Set strict working hours where you’re only on social media for a set amount of time. Depending on your workload or the hours you’re obligated to create and produce content, these hours could be your standard 9-5 or it could be a time limit, where you can only spend a certain amount of time on your phone before you need to take a break or sign off for the day completely.
These boundaries and time constraints are a great helper when it comes to taking a social media break, creating balance in your life, and improving your mental health overall.
Time block and take strategic breaks throughout the day
It’s easy to be consumed by our phones, our work, and by social media. One minute you’re scrolling on TikTok and the next time you look up a couple of hours have gone by. This is especially true when it’s literally your job to be active and present on social media. This is why time blocking and taking strategic breaks throughout the day is so important.
When we don’t have balance when it comes to work and breaks, one of two things happen, we become burnt out from being hyper focused and working too long and hard or we half-focus on tasks all day because we’re being consumed by distractions so we need to work longer while getting less done.
To combat this, set a timer on your phone for a certain amount of time to encourage ultimate productivity for those minutes/hours without any other distractions. Snooze your notifications, turn off the TV, and focus solely on producing quality content. When that time is up take a strategic break away from your work. Use this time to get some fresh air, take a quick walk, call a friend or family member, or whatever it is that helps you decompress.
When we take these breaks throughout the day, we’re able to fully focus on the tasks at hand without burning out and we’re able to have a better work/life balance throughout the day rather than being completely consumed by work or not doing our best work because we’re distracted.
It’s hard to take a break from social media when your phone is constantly alerting you of all of the things that you’re missing out on. When our new set work hours are over, it’s time to snooze those notifications. We recommend snoozing notifications for both professional and personal social media accounts for optimal rest and relaxation, but just snoozing professional notifications will work too! Doing this will allow you to decompress fully when work hours are over, rather than putting in overtime and draining yourself.
Don’t neglect your self-care
Taking a break is one of the most effective ways of bettering your work! It can be easy to neglect your self-care practices when social media work never really stops but the truth is, if you neglect the things that make you feel like yourself, your mental health will suffer and in turn so will the quality of your work. Ensuring that you make time for the things that fuel you ensures that you’re mentally and physically capable to give your all when it comes to work responsibilities. We recommend long showers, facials, bubble baths, an exercise schedule that makes you feel good, meditation, journaling, spending time with friends and family, and anything else that makes you shine!
Switch the location of your apps on your home screen regularly
In a recent Deloitte study it was determined that the average person picks up their phone approximately 58 times per day, that number is a lot greater for people who actually use social media for their jobs. It’s so easy to end up mindlessly scrolling social media and oftentimes we end up on these apps accidentally through distractedly clicking open the app while we’re on our phones doing something else. While it would be nice to completely delete these apps off of your phone completely, it’s a huge part of your job so you definitely need access to these apps when necessary. One of our best tips to avoid this mindless clicking and scrolling is to rearrange the placement of your apps on a regular basis. An even better tip is to replace the placement of a distracting app to one that's good for your mental health- we suggest an affirmation app! This way, you won’t accidentally click on an app out of habit that will end up consuming hours of your time mindlessly.
Leave your phone in another room overnight
One of the biggest culprits of mindless scrolling is time spent on social media while you’re laying in bed. This also contributes to trouble sleeping and so many more health and wellness issues. To combat this, leave your phone in another room overnight. This will allow you to wind down in bed without distraction and will improve the overall quality of your sleep. This also stops us from waking up and checking our phones in the middle of the night, disturbing our sleeping pattern. Another major benefit of this tip is having the morning away from your phone, this allows us to wake up in a peaceful state of mind and allows us to successfully prepare for the day without being bombarded with notifications and tasks first thing in the morning.
While it’s important to be successful and to create high quality content in the social media industry, never forget that the most important thing is always maintaining your own health and happiness, regardless of your workload and tasks. If you’re not mentally and physically healthy you’re not able to be successful in your workplace either. Balance is everything and we hope that these tips help you achieve even bigger success in the long run, while maintaining and even boosting your mental health!
If you’re feeling burnt out, let us help you! Contact MOOD FOR THOUGHT to learn more about our social media services.