How to Avoid the Five Stages of Social Media Burnout

How to Avoid the Five Stages of Social Media Burnout

How to Avoid the Five Stages of Social Media Burnout

How to Avoid the Five Stages of Social Media Burnout

We’ve all been there: that state of burnout, where every step feels like you’re trying to walk in quicksand, and each new attempt at writing feels like pulling teeth, that feeling that being run over by a taxicab might be more fun. And I’m not even exaggerating!

Identify that You're in Burnout

Identify that You’re in Burnout

Identify that You’re in Burnout

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified five stages of death and dying, which can be applied to many other issues, including burnout. Stick with me here. The five stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. If you’re in that first stage, perhaps it’s your friends who are saying that you must go on vacation, get out of Dodge, take a break, or (gasp!) see a counselor.

To avoid being in this stage of burnout, identify it quickly. Listen to your friends and move on!

Separate, but Equal

Separate, but Equal

Separate, but Equal

Being in a social media rut, isn’t exactly the same as the death and dying model, but it’s close. So finally, your friends convince you that you’re in a rut. And you accept it. What then?

Anger Follows

Anger is like a giant Band-Aid® over lots of different emotions. Pull back the Band-Aid® and you’ll see the real emotion hiding underneath. Anger is our go-to, our automatic. However, it’s not very useful, and not sustainable for very long. Who can stay angry for hours or days at a time? But at least if you’re angry, there’s some sense of movement.

To get past the anger, something physically challenging is in order, such as working out with a punching bag or going for a long hike until your legs burn. By the way, here are the 11 Ways that Being Outdoors Can Boost Your Creativity.




Just who would you bargain with if you’re in a rut? Probably yourself. Do you hear yourself saying (to yourself) any of the following?

  • “Oh, I’ll just write this one article, and then I’ll move on to something else.”
  • “If this one post goes viral, I’ll do another one.”
  • “Please let someone “like” this post.”

Not that productive, really.

If you’re already talking to yourself, maybe make it more productive. “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it–people like me!” comes to mind. With apologies to Stuart Smalley–who is so doggone smart!




Yes, you are in a rut. Feel sad, if you must. In fact, you might want to wallow in it even more by looking at depressing quotes (these are from GoodReads). Depression is where the bounce is. That is, once you get there, the only way to go is up. So have a good cry, but make it fast! Because you’re almost through it, really.

Acceptance and Rebranding

Could rebranding be far off? Or some kind of reinvention, at the very least. Here’s an article about rebranding your startup that could help you get started. It’s important to get your entire team together to think through the elements of your brand that need to be retooled.

How Do You Avoid Social Media Burnout?

Or maybe you’re there now. Are you? Leave me a comment! I’d love to talk to you. Really, I would.


  1. Sometimes it difficult seeing the value in the intangible.

  2. This is so true, Carol. It’s easy to become angry because it’s not doing what we want or whatever. But taking breaks during the day, reading articles, watching Ted Talks, being part of an in-person conversation, and going on walks outside all help to rejuvenate and renew. Our brains need a break. And I need to start writing again.

    • Hi Bridget,

      I so love your writing. I do hope you do more of it. You’ve been through a lot recently, and sometimes the healing can take a long time.

      We do need a break. Sleep, rest, exercise, food: all that seemingly boring stuff that is necessary, and good. And friends, like you, make whatever path we choose so much easier to walk.

      Thank you,

  3. Hi Carol,

    Unplugging….. it’s hard to do since I am on my phone and laptop all day. Coming home and preparing a meal for the family has become my go to way breaking away. Trying to check in in-person with my teenage daughters and wife. Hard to do since we are all so busy, but getting away from all of it is crucial.

    Sometimes the best thing that happens to me when I am home is my phone dies…..forcing me to break away.

    David B Cuevas
    Inbound Marketing Manager

    • Hi David,

      Wow, I know what you mean about the phone dying. Occasionally the power goes out where I live and I get to go outside and see the sun and the trees! It can be a big relief! Yes, we are definitely tethered to our devices, and it’s nice to get a vacation once in a while!

      Thanks for commenting!

      See you at the park!


  4. What a super-awesome & creative post, my dear!

    I figured out a solution to my social media burned-out troubles.

    I’ve only been getting burned out on a topic with a specific social media P.R. timeframe thank God. It’s Maternal Mental Health Week, and I’m so glad it’s almost over.

    I muted everyone on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram who are currently sharing about MMHW, and I’m SOOOOOO happy I did that!!!!!!

    The MMHW social media announcements & memes claim to promote the primary postpartum mood & anxiety disorders (PMAD’s), yet they TOTALLY ignore the existence of my PMAD. It would be SO easy to fix what they’re doing. Believe me, I’ve spoken up to these organizations about my concern and told them how they could be inclusive by giving them sample wordings for their PR stuff (for want of a better word), and while they claim that I’m so “inspiring” and they publish my blog posts and even endorse my book, they continue to ignore my concerns & spew platitudes that I find hypocritical and offensive.

    It seems like a social media campaign such as this one is preaching to the converted, anyway. I have a feeling most of this country has no idea it’s Maternal Mental Health Week. I think the time, energy and money could be used in a better way.

    So even though I know I need to be less triggered about it, for now muting is the way to go.
    Woo hoo! It feels really good!
    And I’ve been going to the redwoods every day, which helps too. :)))
    Thanks for reading this vent, my friend. Love Dy

  5. Hi Dyane,

    So sorry to hear about your burnout, but also happy to hear that you found a solution! I haven’t used “mute” yet. Sorry you’ve been alienated by people who claim to be inclusive. And once you gave them the wording, you’re entirely justified in muting them since they don’t seem able/willing to listen.

    You’re probably right that most people don’t know that it’s Maternal Mental Health Week. More people know about May the Fourth Be with You! Maybe if there is more posted next year more people will find out about it.

    Thank goodness for the redwoods!

    Thank you my lovely friend!

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