Right here's the best way to keep your on-line presence when struggling together with your psychological well being
Content warning: Include open and honest (and sometimes personal) discussions about depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues.
Every year one in four people in England will have a mental health problem, according to Mind – and that's a statistic that comes from published articles In front the pandemic hit. The population of England is approximately 56 million people. This means that approximately 14 million people in England will suffer from some type of mental health problem.
Now let's take a look at the global statistics for mental disorders. According to Our World in Data, one in ten people around the world lives with a mental health problem that is believed to be more than 792 million people.
Those numbers are amazing, aren't they? And future statistics are forecast to be even more miserable after 2020, especially in view of the global pandemic, the global economic slump and volatile political events.
The reason I am sharing these statistics with you is to let you know that you are not the only person who is having a tough time with your mental health – and I will assume you are are You have a hard time when you land and are reading this blog post now.
Life is hard. We are often even tougher with ourselves … and that can make us NOT want to be sociable / productive / online. As you can imagine (or have experienced yourself), this is not conducive to running a successful blog or business. However, there are things you can do to maintain a social media presence when your sanity is in tatters. If you will allow me, I would like to share some of my best tips with you.
Grab some coffee guys. Make yourself comfortable. Let's make the social side of things a less overwhelming aspect for you.
1 – Don't go online
I know this is directly against the point of this entire blog post and what your aim is to achieve, but stay with me for a moment. I'm actually going somewhere with it.
First of all not NEED be online to be present online.
I talk about that in great detail Do you need social media to be a successful blogger?But the very short version of the story is this: you can be a very successful blogger getting millions of views without messing about on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Many bloggers are already doing this. And with a successful Pinterest and email marketing strategy by your side, you'll wonder why you've ever spent so long pulling your hair out via the Instagram-Twitter-Facebook game.
Second, you can be online without actually being online.
But I'll get to that point in a moment.
Third, you can cut out social media.
If you are feeling more anxious, stressed out, under pressure, or in any other negative way online, cut it out of your life for a while. Otherwise it will be a vicious circle. You will feel bad, get online to try, work, read a lot of negative things and then feel even worse.
The world won't Quit when you're a few days / weeks / months away from your social media platforms and getting back to what I just said: there are ways to be online without actually being online.
2 – Come to terms
I'm about to tell you the truth that you need to grapple with if you want to make being online a much easier place to spend time. The sooner you accept this truth, the easier your life becomes.
Are you ready for this
Your numbers will go down as you shorten or step away from your time online.
I'm talking about followers, engagement rate, growth and a lot more.
And yes, it will be super disappointing to see.
That decline will be much faster when you completely disappear from the online world. Even if you take just a little break, your analysis will sink and there is a pretty good chance that it will make you feel awful.
The good news is that there are ways to counter the decline. Granted, not completely, but there are many things you can do to ensure that you still have some online presence when you can't face the online world yourself.
Scheduling blog posts, videos, and social media posts is a great first step. Learning how to optimize your blog posts for search engines will increase traffic even if it doesn't on social media.
If you can't create new content, use old content for new purposes. Converting blog posts to YouTube or IGTV videos is easier than you think. You can also create infographics for Pinterest, video-text snippets for Instagram / Facebook stories, and much more.
For more information on reusing your old content, we recommend taking a look at some of it:
3 – Schedule Schedule Schedule
Do you remember when I said you could be online – have an actual online presence – without actually being online? Scheduling your social media posts is the way to go, and you can do the same with blog posts too.
I'll start with the blog posts. My personal battle with depression and anxiety is making it difficult for me to actually share my content online because I HATE to get noticed. Hence, I tend to blog posts and never actually publish them.
* looks at my hard drive full of complete blog posts that I've never shared … all 76 *
Is the title stupid? Are the pictures rubbish? Have I added enough external links? Does the comma go there? Why don't I understand semicolons? Does this sentence make sense? Does anyone want to read my stupid mind? Is my advice that helpful at all?
By the time I went through the carousel of fear-filled questions in my head, I made sure that all of my content is junk and no one will ever read it … so I don't erase it into the world. As you can imagine, that makes me a terrible content creator.
But planning my content made that easier. I can plan several blog posts that have already been written at the same time and distribute the publication times over the coming days / weeks / months. And as soon as I hit that schedule button, I forget everything. I don't hit the publish button so I'm not afraid to share my work with the world … although I will share my work when the post goes online.
If your fearful mind is playing tricks on you, you're playing tricks on it again. If you're afraid of tapping the publish button, don't click the publish button.
As for social media planning … well, the best social marketing ever happened is if you ask for my personal opinion. You can schedule posts to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook for FREE.
Pinterest has an internal planning service that offers 30 scheduled posts up to 2 weeks in advance.
The Business Suite covers the planning of Facebook and Instagram.
A Twitter ad account opens up scheduled Twittering.
They are all FREE, and there are plenty of other free and paid resources that you can use. Some offer hashtag suggestions and other features to encourage growth, as well as planning tools. Others have more detailed analytics than the social media platforms themselves.
I do the following:
On a good day when my fear isn't driving me crazy and making me think all my work is trash, I sit down at my desk, start my laptop and go crazy about planning. I can plan a full two weeks in just a few hours using Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram. And when I'm done, I'm done. Everything runs in the background, whether I go to the social platforms or not, and gives content to my followers even when I feel incapable.
Your engagement and likely your reach will decrease if you rely solely on planned content on social media without engaging in the community, but the alternative is absolutely no content. What do you think your followers would prefer?
Take a little break here – it's okay to calm down sometimes and let the planning take over. Yes, those followers, likes, comments, and shares are important to you … but they're just numbers. Your mental and physical health is definitely more important. Your brand or blog can't do well if you don't do well.
In conclusion, you can even put together and plan an entire email marketing campaign without having to be physically online and deal with people yourself. Literally any part of blogging and promoting yourself can be done in advance and scheduled for later.
If you want to learn more about email marketing and automation, take a look at these:
4 – Tell people about it
"Hello! I'm taking some time out on social media as it puts me down a bit. You are welcome to keep sending me messages and comments. I'll read them all when I get back! Take care of yourself."
You don't need to pass your courage on to a whole host of total strangers online, but when you remember how many people around the world suffer from mental illness in one form or another, you will find it open and honest online is about the way you feel can be a good thing.
You have people who look up to you, trust you, and follow your words or content on a regular basis, and there's a good chance a large section of your audience will feel the same or similar. Sharing your thoughts and experiences can encourage others to do the same – and encouraging people to SPEAK and SHARE when they are having a hard time is a very good thing.
That being said, the last thing you want is people to think you stopped blogging, running the brand, or influencing Insta. However, if you disappear, your audience might think you stopped or just disappeared. As a result, they might not be able to follow you. Every single account I've ever managed has lost followers during a lengthy dormant period.
If you let people know that you will take some time to focus on your sanity and wellbeing, your audience will know that you haven't stopped or have gone. They will know that someday you will be back. So there is no point hitting this button to unfollow. You can add your "On Hiatus" message to your bio, pinned post or tweet at the top of your feed, or as a highlight on Instagram.
You will also most likely find that people are very supportive and compassionate / empathetic about your struggles and share their own experiences or tips on how to make things better or easier. Once you've learned something from * this * blog post, imagine what else you could learn as you share your sanity with your community.
5 – Make it a better place
Do you see the mute and lock buttons? They are great for making your social media spaces nicer, friendlier and more enjoyable. You don't want an echo chamber where everyone agrees with your thoughts and opinions without ever encountering something that questions your opinion. At the same time, however, you don't want to spend time in a room where you feel even worse than before.
Muting is a great option for short-term shutdown. If someone says something that bothers you and you want them to be quiet for a while, mute them. You can always unmute it later. You will never know. (You might guess, but you will never know for sure.)
On Facebook, you can temporarily (30 days) and permanently stop viewing posts from other sites, as well as deactivate (30 days) or no longer follow regular personal accounts (but still be friends with them).
Sometimes there is also the option to mute hashtags (depending on the platform) and certain words. If certain things interfere or trigger you online, adjust your settings so that you no longer have to see them.
The block option is perfect for those people who have the worst views and opinions. I don't mean just the people who disagree with what others think or feel, but those who actively try to make other people feel bad about themselves. The kind of people who think that the only way to win a fight is to turn to personal insults rather than civil adult debate.
(PS: I would NEVER block KFC. I just used them as an example. Sorry, KFC.)
Your social media space can be anything you want it to be. It is YOUR room. Even if you're a brand or a company, this area is still your own. Businesses have the right to refuse to service anyone for any (good) reason. You have the same right – and you certainly have the right to spend time online without being offended or offended.
6 – Get online with a purpose
And by that I mean, don't just go on Twitter for half an hour of doom-scrolling, or Instagram to see how great everyone else's life is, or Facebook to see how much better yours is Friends are. Instead, move on to a goal. Focusing on something isn't just the bulk of negativity.
Sometimes having a goal is enough to do what you've put off. Of course, goals don't always work when you're dealing with a mental crisis, but setting yourself small, achievable goals every day can help you get back online properly. Start with small steps.
When you open the Instagram app, make a note of the actions you want. Turn on your phone's timer and allow yourself only 15 minutes (or similar) do Stuff – Click the "Like" button to view other people's content, leave comments (if you feel like it), or save posts for later.
The latter is a great option as you show support in the form of engagement ("saving" is classified as "super-engagement" – they're the best type of engagement you can get on the platform) and you don't actually have anything to do with it doing what REAL communication with the outside world involves.
Stories are a great way to connect and keep in touch with your audience / community. You can share someone else's story or post or even your older feed posts without having to come up with a hilarious caption or worry about your face being on screen, etc.
Better yet, it takes about 5 seconds!
However, don't just go online to be online, especially if you find the platforms toxic.
7 – Reduce your time online
I highly recommend you try this to limit your time on the social platforms. Finally, your phone has a screen limiting option for a reason.
The longer you stay in a toxic room, the worse you will feel and the platform in general. You might even hate the community. However, by getting online with a specific goal in mind and limiting your screen time, you are doing what is necessary to keep your account / blog / brand going until you feel better – no more, no less.
Open Instagram, throw a few likes, comments, share and roughly follow, then leave. No hanging around to see any of the bad, poisonous, triggering, disturbing stuff.
Personally, I also recommend doing digital detoxes every now and then – a couple of days when you don't go on the social platforms at all. You are giving yourself a break from toxic negativity and it is recommended that you take a break from certain social media activities.
Experts recommend sharing high engagement stories on Instagram (with polls, ratings, quizzes, questions, etc.) before going completely dark for 24 hours and not posting anything at all. On Instagram, content is usually moved to the feed very quickly, especially with stories. So if you get dark after a popular post, you can make sure it gets the airtime it needs before posting anything new.
Quality over quantity, as the saying goes.
8 – Make good days great
Not every day is a bad day that you struggle with your sanity. I recommend making the most of your good days, especially if you rely on your blog for a source of income.
For me, this usually means I post 100 times in 3 days and then be completely socially quiet for a month before starting the cycle again.
Consistency is essential to a social media or blogging strategy. Hence, short active bursts followed by long periods of silence and inactivity are detrimental. You lose more traction on the "off" days than you can regain on the "on" days, leaving you stuck in a shrinking circle.
Here is my advice:
Write down your funny thoughts and keep them drafts on Facebook / Twitter on good days. Instead of posting all of your funny / educational / witty / informative stuff on that one good day, hold back, keep some of them as drafts and share them on the bad days when you can't find anything else to post.
You can even create drafts on Instagram. Just create a post as you normally would, including caption and hashtags, and instead hit the back button just before sending it to the Insta world. The app asks if you want to save the draft before throwing it in the trash.
Squeeze the last drop of productivity off the good "on" days so you can get to many things when your content creation skills evade you on the bad "off" days.
In my opinion, it is a smart thing to have a catalog of content that you can share whenever you want, whether you think you are mental health problems or not.
9 – Make bad days a little less bad
Don't think of what you're trying to do as this long, complicated, overloaded process that is completely overwhelming. Instead, break it down into smaller, more biting, more easily digestible pieces.
For example, let's say I plan to sit in a dark room all day, ignoring the world, and wallowing in my bad mood. I'm at home anyway, I might as well make the best of a bad situation, right?
Why don't I edit an older blog post so that it's search engine optimized and ready to share again on social media? I will not be online on the toxic social media platforms that could overturn me, nor will I draw my attention with a brand new blog post, nor would I do anything particularly strenuous.
The big picture, however, is BIG: I need to log into my blog, find the blog post, read through it, take notes, add changes, update the information, do a little research to see if I can improve it or make it more relevant Take a new image, throw in some updated graphics, write social media captions to promote it, and create new Pinterest Pins …
It's a big, scary, mind-boggling old picture.
So I'm trying to break things down. I make a list of things I have to do to achieve this and tick them as I do them.
I'll log in first and ignore the jetpack stats as I don't need to be reminded how bad my stats are. Completed step one, tick ✔️.
Then I look for a blog post and open it. Completed step two, tick ✔️.
Then I read the blog post from start to finish and made notes. Step three completed, tick ✔️ … and it goes on, every small step is manageable.
The ticks, stupid as they are, motivate me to keep going. When my mind is distracted and unfocused and my memory is in shambles, it helps me to have a definitive list of the EXACT things I need to do in order to actually do them.
It's better than having a to-do list that just says "Update old blog post" and then the article never gets checked off, right? ❌
10 – Takeovers on Social Media
A very clever way to spend time on social media without actually spending time on social media is to participate in an acquisition – and this can be done by a group of bloggers to help each other out.
A social media takeover is very simple: someone else takes over your social media account other than themselves for a period of time (they don't pretend to be you).
Brands and companies usually do this – they let a celebrity or someone with influence take over the site and answer questions, offer advice, go live, etc. This gives the brand a chance to attract some of the influencer's followers and engagement, and vice versa, just like regular cooperation.
It should go without saying that you shouldn't give your account details (we're talking username + password) to anyone if you don't trust them, but if there is someone or group of people you can trust why not leave them for one have the reins for a few days? You can repay the favor if they ever need it and have the option to share some of their content with your followers at the same time. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement.
As a little side note, if your budget allows, you can always hire a social media manager to keep your accounts up and running during a break. It's not an option that works for everyone, but it may work for you, especially if having an online presence is vital.
- Don't go online
- Resign yourself to an engagement / follower drop
- Schedule posts to be online when you are not online
- Let your audience know if you take a few days so they won't believe you are quitting
- Make your online space better, nicer and friendlier
- Get online with a purpose or goal
- Reduce the time you spend online
- Make the good days great by making the most of your productivity
- Make the bad days a little less bad by breaking your tasks down into manageable chunks
- Consider social media takeover to keep your accounts active
I hope I have given you a lot of advice on how to try to get through on / off cycles that are often associated with mental health issues, but don't berate yourself if you have days when you definitely don't to get something done you can try to concentrate. As we hear or read all the time: We live in unprecedented times. Nobody really knows how to handle things; we all just "inspire" it.
Social media platforms can be the most toxic, dishonest, and cruelest places at times, but they can also be productive, kind, loneliness damaging, amicable, and uplifting. It's about finding balance and, most importantly, taking a break when you feel like you can't stand it.
One final note: it's good to talk about mental health issues. If you need someone to speak to, United For Global Mental Health has a list of support helplines and websites worth checking out.