The past year and a half have been unlike anything we’ve ever seen with the COVID-19 pandemic raging, and if you work in social media for your agency, it can be easy to get swept up in all the negativity.
Now more than ever, social media managers are burnt out, and you may be feeling the same, whether social is your sole job or not. But working to get important COVID-19 messaging out to our respective audiences doesn’t mean we have to neglect or compromise our mental health. After all, you can’t help anyone stay healthy if you don’t stay mentally well.
Here are some practical tips you can follow to make sure you’re putting mental health top of mind during this unprecedented time:
We’ve all been there – you’re checking your agency’s Twitter or Facebook notifications and then the next thing you know, you’re going down a rabbit hole of negativity. Don’t let yourself do this! Give yourself a designated amount of time to look at your notifications and respond to questions or concerns from your constituencies. For example, perhaps you schedule 30 minutes at a time at three different points in your day, or you do it at the beginning and end of your workday. Keep it task-centered and don’t allow yourself to scroll, scroll, scroll. There may be times where scrolling to see what your community is saying about a particular issue is necessary, but try not to get caught up in all the news coverage and opinions out there.
Take time for you
Living during a global pandemic can be exhausting and overwhelming, especially when you add social media management on top of that. So, it’s important to take care of yourself and “unplug” every now and then. Self-care looks different for everyone – for you, it might mean taking a break with a 10-minute walk, getting a massage or binge watching your favorite show (or all the above!). It can also be helpful to talk to someone, whether that’s your supervisor at work about what you’re experiencing, or just a vent session with a friend. If you feel like you need more help, don’t be afraid to talk to a mental health professional.
Give yourself the gift of time for yourself, and it will give you the clarity and resiliency to press on.
Remember, it’s not you – it’s the pandemic
Do you feel like you’re losing your skills? Maybe you feel like nothing you post or share is permeating or helping the COVID-19 surge? Don’t despair. It’s not an indication of you or your ability to do your job. People are flooded with information on social media, and all we can do is get the correct information out to them from our respective agencies. Remember, you are a public servant doing the best you can – what you do matters, and you are making a difference!
These three tips are small but impactful steps you can take as a social media manager to help de-stress during the pandemic. In addition to doing our best to keep our audiences educated and informed, we are also personally affected by the pandemic, so it’s important to take time for you. By making these changes to your routine, you can navigate the COVID-19 social media world, and stay healthy and happy!
Interested in becoming a Featured Contributor? Email topics you’re interested in covering for GovLoop to [email protected] And to read more from our summer/fall 2021 Cohort, here is a full list of every Featured Contributor during this cohort and a link to their stories.
Libby Champion is the Digital Communications Coordinator for Orlando, Florida. Social media is her jam. She oversees the city’s social media presence and works to bring a cohesive voice to each platform. She is passionate about digital communications strategy and helping residents feel proud and excited to live in the City Beautiful.
Libby is an Orlando Business Journal “40 Under 40” award winner and a former Disney cast member. When she isn’t tweeting or discovering the latest TikTok trend, she enjoys cuddling her pup, dancing and hitting up all the Orlando theme parks with her husband Stephen. You can connect with her on Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.