After weeks (months?) quarantined in your house, you may have noticed your relationship to social media has changed. In the age of COVID-19, our phones have become a window into the outside world. While most of us likely spent too much time on social media before the COVID crisis, we now may find ourselves tethered to the social lifeline that is Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
The result? Burnout.
For many of us, working from home has blurred the lines of our work/life balance. Rather than showing a decrease in productivity, many employees are struggling to find the end of their work day. Our work and social lives have moved primarily online, spending hours on end consuming content, staying up to date on local and world news, and staring at a screen. We are all managing information overload, not to mention the overwhelmingly heavy climate we find ourselves facing.
While you may want to throw in the towel and take a social media break, now more than ever your presence online needs to be maintained. With your consumers spending more time online, you have an opportunity to connect more frequently and authentically. So how do you balance managing an online presence without getting burnt out?
To stay connected, productive, and balanced, use the following tips to help manage social media burnout.
1. Curate Your Feed
Whether it’s a stream of negativity, improbable conspiracy theories, or simply irrelevant content, there are ‘bad eggs’ in your social media feed. I’m talking about the kind of content that leaves you feeling emotionally drained. It might even just take up too much bandwidth within your social consumption. Take the time to carefully curate your feed. This may mean silencing or unfollowing accounts that aren’t aligned with you, even if they come from folks you know personally. Aim to have a feed that you find informative, educational, inspiring, or enjoyable. Curate your feed to match your priorities rather than spending your time absorbing the noise.
2. Set Timers
Whether you use an app or the settings within your phone, find a way to set time limits on social media. At the end of each day or week, review how much time you are spending on your phone. Is your time spend aligned with your goals and priorities? Set a realistic time on your social apps so you don’t find yourself mindlessly scrolling. Instead, consciously unplug.
3. Connect with your Body
We’ve all been there; hours slip by in front of a screen and eventually we realize we forgot to eat lunch.
With so much time online, we can easily become disconnected from how we are actually feeling. We may miss the initial signals of stress and the body’s subtle nudges that it’s time to take a break. To connect back with your body, ensure that you are setting aside time everyday to exercise, even if that’s simply a walk through the neighborhood. Not enough time to leave your desk? Try a few breathing exercises to relax and check in with your state of mind.
4. Stick to your routine
Without a solid routine, you may find yourself flexing to social media at the hint of a lull. Keep in mind that your pre-quarantine routine might not serve your current needs or circumstances. Craft a schedule that reflects your new work environment and time table. Do your best to fill that schedule with family time, creative pursuits, self care, anything that involves time away from your devices. We’re all still adjusting to the ‘new normal’; create a routine that supports you through this transition.
5. Spend More Time Creating and Less Time Consuming
Part of information overload and social media burnout can come from an imbalance in the amount you create versus the amount you consume. After hours online, you can easily fall into a creative block, feeling like all of the original ideas have been taken. Before diving into the morning news or your Instagram feed, take time to write, create, and brainstorm. Get your ideas out before taking in new information. Being creative can fuel our day and help social to feel inspiring, instead of draining.
Don’t let burnout keep you from making an impact on social. To learn how to optimize your LinkedIn for lead generation, click here.