Have you ever felt like you spend so much time on social media that you want to throw your phone away? You’re not the only one!
For those who work in social media, or manage their business through social media accounts, all those hours staring at a screen can add up! To beat the burn out and continue to thrive in the social media world, it’s often beneficial to take a social media break.
A social media break is just that: a period of time where you step away from actively using your social media accounts. That’s right, that means no scrolling through friend’s feeds, no stalking an ex’s new girlfriend, and no fretting over what to post next. A social media break can last for one day to several months, depending on your personal needs and goals. No matter what period of time you choose, unplugging can aid with reconnecting with the real world, enhancing your creativity, and giving your eyes a much needed rest.
Social media breaks are important for your mental health and creativity! As much as we love social media, it can be easy to go into overload mode and forget to take breaks. When you’re in that overload mode for too long, you’re likely to get burnt out and end up taking an even longer break, no longer enjoying social media, or lowering your standards for managing your platforms. So ultimately, taking a well-managed social media break is healthy and can help you perform better on social media for a longer period of time. It’s also useful when you find yourself in a creative rut. Often, consuming content from others at such a high rate can actually wipe out some of our own internal creative processes.
Taking a step away from social media will help get those creative juices flowing and open your eyes to new ideas for your brand.
If you work in social media or your personal accounts double as business accounts, this is a very understandable concern. However, there are options and tools available to you in order to maintain some activity on your social media accounts, even when you are personally not engaging with them. While you won’t have the same engagement as you typically do, the tools can help ensure followers are still receiving new content while you’re on a break.
Prior to your social media break, there are a few details to consider to ensure that the break is successful and that your social media accounts are taken care of and remaining active in your absence.
1) Batch work to prepare content for your absence
Once you’ve decided how long your break will be, prepare content to share on your social media accounts while you’re away. If you have a big product launch, new blog post, or new video to share, make sure it’s scheduled for release on your website and all related social media sites. Also include a few posts for each platform that are “evergreen” posts. These posts will be relevant regardless as to the day/month they are posted.
2) Consider whether you want to hire a contracted social media manager to manage your accounts while you’re away
If you truly think your social media accounts need a bit more TLC while you’re on the social media break, consider hiring a friend or freelance social media manager to take over. You can still provide them with your batch worked content, and provide a schedule, but they can assist with making sure everything runs smoothly. This can include, fixing any issues with the social media tools, responding to comments, and maintaining engagement with other accounts.
3) Schedule posts in advance
Now that you’ve created the posts for your social media break, queue them up in a social media scheduling tool and get ready to relax! Don’t already have a social media scheduler you love? Feel free to take a look at the ultimate social media tools guide to see your options!
4) Make sure you’ve installed the Juicer social media aggregator
There’s no need to fret over whether your latest social media posts are being featured on your website with Juicer on your team. You can choose from 15+ social media platforms and create a custom feed on your website that updates automatically. Set it up before your social media break so that your website stays up-to-date with your best content.
5) Let your followers know that you’re taking a break and when to expect you back
Prior to your social media break, be transparent with your followers and let them know how long you’ll be gone. It’s important to be honest and let them know if you’ll have someone else managing your account while you’re away, or that while posts will show up, you won’t be responding like usual until your return!
6) Make some goals you want to accomplish during your social media break
This step is all about you. Take some time to consider what you hope to get out of this social media break. Relaxation? Exploring new ideas? Cracking down on an unfinished project you keep getting distracted from? Write down your goals and make sure you’re making steps toward accomplishing them during the social media break.
The big day is here! Time to enjoy your social media break. Follow these steps to set yourself up for success during this departure from the social media world.
1) Delete all the social media apps off your phone. Yep, all of them!
2) Make sure to turn off notifications from social media accounts on your laptop as well!
3) If you really anticipate struggling with taking a peek, consider putting a block on the webpages you’re trying to avoid. There are several ways to do this including the Block Site Chrome extension and the Cold Turkey app.
Now that you’ve made it through the hard part, enjoy your social media break! This is a perfect time to focus on relaxation, limiting stress, and re-centering so you get back to business better than ever. According to Harvard Medical School, some of the best options for reducing stress include mindfulness meditation, yoga, tai chi, and breath focus. And the best part is, it only takes about 20 minutes per day to reap the benefits.
Here are a few other activities to try during a social media break:
Once you’ve reached the end of the social media break, you’re free to head back online! Upload the apps to your phone again and go back to your regularly scheduled programming. If during your break you realized there are some positive changes you can make to your social media processes, take the time to implement them. Hopefully you’re making your return to the social media world with a renewed sense of creativity and ability to connect with your followers!
Upon your return from social media break, you might find your awareness of social media and phone usage has shifted in a big way! To continue to thrive on social media and create healthy habits for a balanced schedule, try using the following social media usage tools below:
Moment: This app tracks how much time you spend on social media (and other phone apps) and provides reports. It also can give you reminders during the day to step away from the screens for a moment, or you can set maximum time limits per app to ensure you don’t spend all day on your phone.
Offtime: Along the same lines as Moment, this app tracks general phone usage including how many times you unlock your phone, spend on your phone, and off your phone. You can also dictate certain times of day where your phone will lock down. This is a great tool for those looking to break a social media addiction and create some healthy habits!
Flipd: Another useful tool for those who need help taking time off after the working day is done, once you tell Flipd to block an app for a certain period of time there is no going back. Even if you restart your phone or attempt to remove the app, you’ll be forced to take that social media break!
Have you ever taken a social media break? Share your best tips in the comments below!