The challenge of being “on”: Self-care tips for social media marketers

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Responding to DMs led to reading comments, then checking email, because why not?

While I was perusing social media, my boyfriend was watching the movie we were supposed to be watching together. He doesn’t complain, ever, about my commitment to work. But he does worry that I’m, as he says, a little “extra” when it comes to my role as a social media and content strategist. That “extraness” can affect my mental health if I’m not careful.

Social media marketers are “on” a lot–we’re researching, reading, writing, strategizing, posting, and monitoring. Right now, we’re in the middle of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic so our plates are fuller than ever with crisis communications, and our roles are increasingly important. It’s our job to stay on top of what’s happening with our business and clients. All of that “on”-ness means we have a unique challenge with our mental health.

When it’s your job to be on social media, self-care is crucial. I learned the hard way through burnout that we don’t need to be checking accounts at all hours, doing all the things. When we take care of ourselves, we’re sharper, more energized and happier. It’s even more important to practice self-care during the current COVID-19 pandemic. I’m not talking bath bombs (even though I love them) and chocolate cake (also love). I’m talking the hard stuff that makes it possible to enjoy that bath bomb and chocolate cake.

Start now with my list of 7 ways social media marketers can practice self-care!


1. Set boundaries with your work.
Talk to your manager about expectations and advocate for your well-being. My manager and I are in constant communication about how we’re doing. Does my job require me to be available outside of typical work hours, especially during a crisis? Yep. But then it’s up to me to make sure I’m taking time to also have a life and take care of myself. If you have a team, make it known that you’re going to look out for each other so that everyone stays healthy.

2. Be present.
If you’re working, work. If you’re with your loved ones, be with them. Our friends and family deserve our attention, too. We couldn’t do what we do without them. Set the laptop down.

3. Sleep, eat, exercise.
It’s Adulting 101. We must take care of our basic needs. I’m unpleasant when I’m tired, hangry and haven’t moved my body. We are plants with emotions, people. We need to water ourselves and get some sunshine.

4. Limit personal screen time.
Do you *really* need to go down the social media rabbit hole after working all day to see what Jenny’s cousin’s sister’s fabulous new house looks like? Probably not. Set a limit on your screen time. I try for one hour or less per day.

While you’re at it, if you’re scrolling and someone’s posts consistently make you feel bad, mute or unfollow them. Maybe you’ve got work to do on yourself, maybe they’re just annoying. Either way, say bye. You deserve to feel good.

5. Ask for help.
If you have a team, ask them to help. That’s why you hired them, right? You trust them to do the work and do it well.

Don’t be afraid to get mental health help, too. Counseling and therapy do wonders (raises hand) for people who experience anxiety and stress at work. Mental health is important to our overall well-being–especially when we’re in crisis-mode.

6. Set boundaries with your work, for real.
I’m saying it again because it’s the hardest thing to do. Most of the time, nothing bad is going to happen if you don’t check that business Instagram account at 11 p.m. Set a power-down time and stick to it.

7. Remember how awesome you are!
Those engagement numbers? You did that! Pat yourself on the back for having one of the raddest jobs around and doing a role that requires a special type of person.


Take care of yourselves, social media marketers! If you need extra help with social media or crisis communication, connect with us.

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Anna Larson

Anna is a social media and content strategist and PR/social manager who creates community online and offline. Her 15+ years of experience helps organizations deliver engaging content on social media. She knows that adopting a customer-centric mindset is at the core of developing a strong brand and telling an impactful story. Anna provides both the detailed and big-picture thinking for clients. A natural born problem-solver and teacher, she never stops seeking out new ideas and inspiration. Her greatest passion is leading with empathy and helping her team grow and feel valued. She loves Brené Brown quotes and a good heart-to-heart. At the end of the day, what matters most to her is knowing she helped make a difference.

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