Jessi Healey explores practical tips and strategies to help you manage your social media use effectively and protect your mental well-being from the stress it can cause.

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It’s no secret that social media can be bad for your mental health. Countless studies, and likely your own experience, can attest to the fact that lots of social media exposure leads to feelings of depression and anxiety.

This can be compounded when stressful industry or world events fill up newsfeeds, especially in an election year.

As professionals, most of us must use social media; it’s often vital to a business’s ability to generate and nurture leads. There are also many personal reasons to use social media; it’s a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, and staying away for too long might mean you miss big news in your loved ones’ lives, especially those far away.

How can you use social media and protect your mental health?

Thankfully, there are many ways to safeguard your mental health while using social media. It is important to remember that it is a tool; therefore, it is a good servant but a terrible master.

Time management

Time limits

One of the most effective ways to manage your social media use is by setting time limits. Many smartphones have built-in features, like Apple’s Screen Time, that allow you to set daily limits on your social media usage. Social media platforms themselves have also started adding a screen-time monitoring feature within the app; Facebook, Instagram and TikTok all have reminders you can use to help monitor and limit your screen time.

By restricting the amount of time you spend on these platforms, you can reduce the risk of falling into the endless scroll trap. A few other helpful apps to assist in taking control of your screen time and time spent on social media are RescueTime, Freedom, Flipd, Forest and more. With so many options, find the one that works best for you. 

Scheduling tools

For those who use social media professionally, scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Loomly can be invaluable. These tools allow you to plan and schedule your posts in advance, reducing the need for constant check-ins and helping you maintain a healthy balance between work and personal time.

Batching content

Another strategy is batching your content creation. Set aside a specific time each week to create and schedule all your posts. This not only streamlines your workflow but also minimizes the daily pressure of coming up with new content. 


If managing social media is taking too much of a toll on your mental health, consider outsourcing some or all of it. Hiring a social media manager or using freelance services can alleviate the burden and give you more time to focus on other aspects of your business or personal life. Services like Fiverr and Upwork make it easy to find someone to give you a little relief. 

Curate your feed


Make a habit of liking content that brings you joy or adds value to your life. By engaging with positive and uplifting content, you can train the algorithm to show you more of what you enjoy, creating a more pleasant social media experience.


Don’t hesitate to use the block or mute functions on social media platforms. If someone consistently posts content that negatively impacts your mental health, it’s OK to remove them from your feed. Your mental well-being should always take priority.

Scrolling on by

Not every post requires your engagement. If you come across something that doesn’t serve you or brings you down, simply scroll past it. You have control over what you choose to interact with.


Prioritize content with purpose

Be intentional about the content you consume. Follow accounts that inspire you, educate you or bring you happiness. Prioritizing content with purpose can make your social media experience more enriching and less draining.

Ask yourself what you want social media to do for you: enrichment, entertainment, learning, breaking news or something else. Whatever it is, set your intention and stick to it, and you’ll have a useful and enjoyable feed. 

Take breaks

Regular breaks from social media are essential for maintaining mental health and well-being. Whether it’s a digital detox weekend or a daily break from screens, giving yourself time away can refresh your mind and reduce stress. These breaks help prevent burnout, improve focus and foster a healthier relationship with technology.

By stepping away from the constant barrage of information and notifications, you allow yourself to reconnect with the present moment, engage in meaningful offline activities and ultimately enhance your overall quality of life. 

‘Touch grass’

This popular phrase emphasizes the importance of spending time in nature. Physical activity and fresh air can do wonders for your mental health. Make it a point to regularly step outside and engage with the natural world instead of the digital one. 

Tend to your mental health

Above all, prioritize your mental health. Practice self-care, whether that’s through meditation, exercise, hobbies or seeking professional help if needed. Remember, social media is just one part of your life, and maintaining a healthy mind is crucial to your overall well-being.

By implementing these strategies, you can use social media in a way that benefits you without compromising your mental health. Social media is a powerful tool; with the right approach, it can serve you well without becoming a source of stress and anxiety.

Jessi Healey is a freelance writer and social media manager specializing in real estate. Find her on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Threads.

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