“Social media isn’t going away soon, nor should it. We must be ready to nurture the innovation that the future holds.” – the United Kingdom’s Royal Society for Public Health
On Monday, we had discussed about how social media affects mental health, especially in a negative sense. While social media usage may not necessarily be the sole causation factor for depression and other mental health issues, social media and the internet does play a big part in our well being these days.
What do you do when most of your job requires you to be online? How do you balance your workload with your own well being?
Here are a few tips from our team (and our colleague) about how you can manage your social media usage better for your productivity (and for your health):
Using Facebook can be a metaphorical rabbit hole: as you continue to scroll through your newsfeed, you further jump down another tunnel into another. Our staff uses the News Feed Eradicator Chrome plugin to hide the Facebook newsfeed on our desktop computers so that we can focus on the tasks we need to fulfill on Facebook for our clients.
Nicole Skorka of Sunnyside Station and Nico Associates adds: “If something or someone makes me upset on social media, I usually adjust my settings to no longer to see those posts in my feed. To make my feed more inspirational, I try to like pages that share good news and positive stories.”
Keeping social media apps strategically on your smartphone for only client account management is another way to set a clear boundary: log your personal accounts out of Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, so that you can solely focus on managing client accounts through your phone (especially during business hours).
If you want to check into your personal accounts at lunchtime, you can visit via the mobile website vs. the app itself. With this alternative, you have to make the extra effort to type in the website address, so you may persuade yourself you’re better off not checking into Instagram until later to see the latest photos in your feed.
Better yet, unplug
You can set aside time in your day or week to be completely off your computer/devices yet still stay productive:
- Do walking meetings around the office or outdoors.
- Eat lunch away from your desk.
- Take out a notebook and brainstorm with handwritten notes and sketches
- Take a full day off: turn off your computer and phone and go enjoy the great outdoors
Giving yourself clarity and space from social media could also spark further inspiration at your job.
Make time for offline interactions and activities
Oftentimes, it’s hard to remember that we could interact with others outside of screentime, so be intentional about setting aside time for your hobbies and your loved ones. Schedule time with friends (and family) after work and get active: take a stroll around your closest park (Denver has over 4,000 acres of parks alone!) or take a fitness class together.
Join hobby groups and expand your horizons: learn a foreign language, a new craft, or perfect your running time. We keep ourselves active and offline by going on hikes around the Denver area when the weather permits (best part about some of these hikes is that there’s little to no cell service for our phones). Staying active not only helps with physical health, but also helps with mental health.
As the quote at the start of this post alludes to, we cannot completely be ‘free’ from social media since it has been built into our day-to-day lives. However, we can still manage the extent we are consuming social media, even when we do a lot of our work online.
Do you have more suggestions about how to manage the balance between mental health and social media at work? Comment below with your insights.
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