Sometimes, being a social media manager can feel extremely overwhelming. With each channel constantly needing its own unique content, it can be hard to take a break. Not to mention the feeling of always being connected and monitoring each channel for comments. We get it! We want to take you back to the basics and give you some tools for how to unplug from social media and get some deserved time off. After all, the more rested and refreshed you are, the more creative you’ll be!
Why It's Important to Take a Social Media Break
Once upon a time, posting on social media was sporadic, fun and without expectations. Then, the game changed and the pressure to be seen, heard, and perform amplified. And most of the time, even with the pressures, managing social media is fun. However, like with anything, too much of a good thing can become bad. If you feel like you have lost that social media sparkle and are grasping at anything to find content inspiration, we invite you to take a step back.
Inhale – Trust that your accounts will be OK while you take a break
By recognizing that you not only need a break, but you also deserve one, you can unplug without the guilt. Find a partner you can trade “off days” with so that you know your accounts are taken care of while you are taking care of yourself. Don’t have a business partner to keep an eye on the conversation? Ask a friend to keep an eye on your channels for a day or two and let you know if there’s anything you must come out of hibernation for and respond to.
Go pro and consider a tool that streamlines all of your social media activity in one place that is off the platform. This allows you to only focus on what’s relevant to your accounts and not get lost in the sea of content. We know of a great one, wink! Speaking of pros, Payton Rodewald, Social Media Specialist at PLANOLY says,
"The only way I’m able to completely disconnect is by placing my phone in a different room so that it's nowhere in sight. This way I can completely dedicate my focus to literally anything else, like cuddling with my cat and reading a book. Out of sight, out of mind!"
Once you schedule your break, take blocks of time completely unplugged and leave your phone behind for a few hours.
Exhale – Plan for your break with scheduled content
Planning your content calendar at least two weeks in advance with content batching will not only make the process more efficient, but it will also ensure your channels stay active even when you are not. Once your content is planned out, plug it into a scheduler and let the magic happen. What is more, this also helps keep your time online cut down to the essentials. Take it from Carrie, Digital Marketing Content Specialist at PLANOLY, who says,
"During the workday, I try to only get on social media when I need content inspiration or to discover any trending topics or social media trends. That way, I don't blur the line between what's productive and what's recreational."
Sure, this all sounds great for an occasional break, but what about taking care of yourself in between the breaks? The good news is, it is certainly possible to enjoy what you love about being on social media while also maintaining your mental health and avoiding burnout.
Three Tips to Avoid Social Media Burnout
#1 Limit Your Screen Time.
Many social media managers don’t have set work hours and tend to “always be on,” whether it’s a computer or phone. Set boundaries and limit your screen time. “My screen time limits give me an alert in the evenings. These reminders help me wind down from the workday so I can relax instead of mindlessly scrolling.” - Claire Dollen, Senior Graphic Designer at PLANOLY
#2 Get Proper Sleep.
This is important for everyone, though it is especially important for people who spend a lot of time looking at computer screens – your eyes need a break too. Experts say to turn off electronic devices about two hours before going to bed. Use this time to read a paper book or magazine, stretch or meditate, prepare snacks and food for the next day, relax in the bath, paint, color – you get the idea.
#3 Be Prepared.
We said it above and it is worth repeating; having a social media plan with content batched and scheduled is one of the best ways to create some flow in a world driven by disruptions. Dedicate your content creation time like an appointment, put it on the calendar each week or every other week, and do it. Then, step back for a little. Experts suggest leaving space in the calendar to observe any holidays or unexpected occurrences that would call for a post. Just because you have a plan in place doesn’t mean you can’t also be spontaneous and flexible.
We hope this post has empowered you to take the time you need to ensure you maintain a healthy balance. Trust us, taking a step back really does help propel you two steps forward. Social media management is an intense and demanding field, and it can take its toll. On the other hand, once you set a rhythm that works for you, it is a very rewarding and fun experience.
With the holidays just around the corner, revisit this timeless article about how you can maintain your mental health and avoid social media burnout.