Protect your greatest asset – YOU!

As you know, the need to create new and innovative content that keeps your audience engaged can be pressurised to say the least. You’re continually expected to come up with the goods but as a blogger or Vlogger, how do you protect your mental health in an industry that needs constant input from you?

Numerous studies support findings that social media has an impact on mental health be it positive or negative so finding ways to protect your mental health and wellness can bring its own challenges.

A woman running along a road in the morning, surrounded by foliage

As of June 2020, Cristiano Ronaldo had the most followers on Instagram (244 million) and Facebook (126 million), he’s also third on Twitter but back in September 2019, he gave an interview to Piers Morgan on ITV and spoke of the dark side of his fame. Being the most marketable athlete in the world with gazillions worth of sponsorship, he said he finds his fame ‘boring’ and that he has lost the right to a private life. He also said, ‘I’m not gonna cry but do you know how many times I’ve been in the park with my kids? Zero’.

An international sports analytics company called SciSports, teamed up with research university KU Leuven to conduct a study on how top players performed. Their results found that Ronaldo isn’t like anyone one else in world football when it comes to the stress associated with key moments in football games. They analysed 7,000 minutes of data and he came out top. Maybe that means if Ronaldo is seemingly ‘immune’ to pressure, that’s how he copes with the demands of social media?

Five key ways to protect your mental health

1. Start with YOU

Okay, you know some of the advantages of working in social media. Not having a boss to answer to can lead to increased energy, better output and more revenue. Then there is the bonus of more flexibility. But some of the disadvantages such as isolation, economic uncertainty, or lack of structure, mean that now more than ever it’s important to take care of YOU! A simple thing like getting a drink of water or some fresh air can be forgotten when you’re up against it and working to a deadline.

A free app called Aloe Bud helps with those simple things, like remembering to breathe! It also lets you set some self-care goals and will send you gentle reminders without making you feel bad. Trying a new hobby or getting some exercise can help you find a healthier balance to your work life but staying connected to the people you value most will help you stay grounded and better equipped to deal with success.

2. Control your feeds

Working in social media can start to affect your mental health and it can creep up on you without you being aware so why not try some of the following: You could mute trigger words on your Instagram or Twitter timelines that upset you. Lose those certain phrases, emojis, usernames or words that you are not finding helpful. Turning off commenting is another useful tool that can be used, this will keep any negativity or unwanted opinions related to your creative content away from you. You can also filter and delete comments in bulk and why not take this opportunity to review who you follow?

Try setting some intentions for your daily tasks.

3. Limit your screen time

Yes, I know! You’re a blogger/vlogger and it’s your job. But if controlling the content on your feeds isn’t enough to protect your mental health then try limiting the time on platforms. Although you won’t be able to stop using social media altogether, you could try setting some limits on your phone as a starter. Some phones, such as the iOS 12 and above on iPhone have facilities to let you track and monitor the time you spend on apps, you’ll get a notification when time is about to run out and be reminded to close the app.

Another useful app is The Moment app via Apple and Google, it essentially ‘steals your time’ and provides short daily exercises using the Moment Coach. This enables users to be present for the parts of their life that matter the most. It includes the Bored & Brilliant 7-day intensive bootcamp course, designed to break habits around screen time.

4. Ever tried meditation?

At times, you may experience moments in your day that feel overwhelming, meditation and reflection are helpful ways to enable your brain to refocus and press the reset button. As a practice that has been proven to help with stress, anxiety, depression, etc meditation can also increase resilience and creativity! Although you may never have tried it before, there are really easy ways to give it a go. You could try an app such as Headspace that provides you with free short and simple fully guided meditations that can help to destress and calm your thoughts at any point in your busy day. You might also want to check out Spotify’s new Daily Wellness playlist to guide you through your day and encourage mindfulness. The following podcasts are also helpful if you want to learn more about how important mental health is.

  • Selfie is a self-care podcast hosted by a psychotherapist and a lifestyle blogger, which explores themes like getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and balancing the body, mind, and spirit.
  • Tiny Leaps, Big Changes is a personal development podcast focused on exploring the day-to-day behaviours we all engage in that determine the results we gain in our lives.
  • Feel Better, Live More is full of easy health life-hacks and expert advice about how you eat, sleep, move, and relax.

5. When you need help – ask for it

Chances are, you’re often working in isolation, this can make it even more crucial to have a sounding board. That certain someone who you trust and can reach out to when the need arises. Yes, we’ve come a long way in how we view mental health but there are still barriers, fear of shame and discrimination are among the top reasons people don’t talk about their mental health problems. The Mental Health Foundation offers support and research for good mental health and offer tips in their How to Support Mental Health at Work guide.

If you want to find out more about Mindfulness, then Mind also has some excellent advice and resources available. However, if you are struggling, the Samaritans offer emotional support and a listening ear. We can’t all be Ronaldo but to be quite honest, I’m okay with that.

Back in the 1990’s Ekhart Tolle wrote a book called “The Power of Now”. In it he says;

If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.

5 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health for Social Media Creators