Mental health - we all have it. It’s made up of so many different parts and it is just as important to look after your mind, as it is to look after your body.
Social media - we all use it, and there’s a belief that it can be harmful if you spend too much time on it. However, there are a lot of positives to being on the platforms and there are also ways you can manage your time (and life) to ensure you get the right balance between the screen and the real world.
As a social media agency, and on World Mental Health Day, we wanted to share our top tips for looking after our mental health in an industry which some may believe has an “always-on” approach.
Relax, or exercise:
Every so often, it’s important to take time away from screens to do something different - and to look after the other parts of your body. Sarah, one of our copywriters, likes meditation and feels that sleep is something you can’t skip:
“I try to meditate whenever I can - usually before bed or in the morning, to help declutter my mind. Also, I make sure I prioritise sleep, because if I am tired or stressed, my mood can dramatically drop and I am not able to function properly.”
Chanun, an account executive, likes to walk it off:
“It's so lovely to go out for a walk - even if it’s only for 15 minutes. Getting some fresh air can really help to clear your head!”
Personally, I like to go swimming whenever I can - as it gives me something else to concentrate on, and can help build up my physical strength.
As an office, we’re regularly lunging and stretching during lunch hours, or in the afternoons, to keep the blood pumping, and to take eyes away from the screen.
Believe in positivity & be inspired:
Social media can sometimes be a fertile ground for comparison, as people often edit to share only their most positive moments. It can also be filled with negative news stories or opinions - so how do you filter the “good” from the “bad”?
Bongi, a junior executive, feels you need to keep it fresh:
“Keep your social media feeds clean - there’s a danger of following people/accounts that make you doubt your abilities or focus on things that don’t really matter. Follow accounts that are inspiring / artistic / positive instead!”
Elana, our Head of Account Management, feels the same way:
“Follow positive people who inspire you, encourage you and lift you up, so every time you check in, you see awesome, uplifting thoughts and ideas. On the same note - unfollow anyone who doesn't do this - anyone who makes you feel inadequate, anyone who pretends to preach acceptance and positivity but 'with conditions' and anyone who brings drama. I tend to stay away from most consumer brands, celebrities and even some people I know IRL because of this.”
You could also save the posts that make you feel great, and revisit them to boost your morale - something which Elana does when she’s “feeling a bit yuck”.
Switch off completely:
While you can filter the content you want to see, sometimes it can be healthy to switch off completely.
Lauren, one of our account managers, likes to escape into a good book or podcast:
“I always try to read something that isn't the news or listen to interesting podcasts from a variety of people. A bloody good book works well, with a balance of fiction and non-fiction, thriller and romance/comedy. Escapism is key.”
Hobbies are also very helpful. Sarah likes to paint regularly, as “it is really therapeutic and grounding, as I usually paint something from nature like flowers or animals”, while our junior designer Olly loves cooking and likes “to try to experiment with new dishes at least once a week.”
Explore & visit new places:
When deep in the world of social, we can sometimes forget there’s a whole world outside - filled with fresh air, people and experiences.
Olly likes to try new pubs or restaurants:
“I've just moved to a new area and don't know too much about it. I try to meet my housemate at a new restaurant or pub for a drink before we go home. I feel it's vital to see and try new things as much as possible, even if they're small things like walking a new route home from work.”
Lauren also really enjoys going further afield:
“I try to travel to a new place at least once a year. Obviously this isn't a regular or cheap thing to get into your everyday life, but planning a trip, going somewhere fresh and getting perspective of other places, people and cultures is so important. London can be such a bubble!”
And of course, once you have explored or travelled, and you feel relaxed, you can always share the photos for your friends to see.
Finally, and possibly the most important tip: talk. As a team, we try to support each other as best as we can in the workplace, but this can also happen with your friends, family or even other people in the industry - to create a professional support network.
Take the time to reach out to those around you, and check that they are OK.
Laurence Hebberd is a Community Manager at Cubaka.
With a background across both B2B and B2C clients, Laurence has spoken at various conferences and events around the world - and has worked on everything from tea to electrical products. In his spare time, he performs stand up comedy and loves live music.