Is hitting that “Go Live” button getting harder and harder every time you stream on Twitch? It’s quite possible that you’re experiencing burnout. Experiencing burnout as a streamer can sometimes lead you to abandon your hobby entirely. Mental health for streamers is often overlooked when building an online community. It’s quite common to quit streaming on Twitch, especially if you don’t understand the causes of burnout and how to manage it. If you fail to recognize burnout from constant streaming, you might mistakenly think you’ve lost interest in what should be your passion.
We’ll provide strategies to help you recover from burnout and return even more motivated. We’ll also cover healthy practices to prevent future burnout by examining its causes. With these strategies, you’ll be better prepared to stream consistently without harming your mental health. Often, your content will improve once you establish a sustainable routine that allows you to bring your best energy to every stream.
Understanding The Causes of Burnout as a Streamer
Burnout is physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. If you’re not aware of some of the signs of burnout it can feel like it comes out of nowhere and lead to more serious consequences if it goes unnoticed. No two streamers are the same, and what causes stress and burnout for one person will not affect another. So here’s a list of some of the top reasons why streamers experience burnout.
1. Excessive Streaming Hours
If you’re trying to match the hours of a full-time streamer while also managing a full-time job or family, you’re at risk of burnout. This can lead to poor sleep and a lack of focus in other important areas of your life.
Many people fall prey to the toxic hustle culture, thinking success comes from working excessively every day. This belief can create pressure to stream for long hours daily to achieve success.
2. Fear of Losing Viewers
Many streamers hesitate to take necessary breaks to keep a healthy schedule, fearing they’ll lose viewers. It can take months or years of daily effort to build a viewership on platforms like Twitch. Understandably, the thought of losing this progress causes anxiety and fear for many people.
This attitude could be rooted in a scarcity mindset, where you’re more concerned with keeping what you’ve achieved, rather than realizing that a well-timed break can actually help you return stronger and better equipped to engage your audience than before.
3. Lack of Results
Getting too focused on viewership and numbers can lead to prioritizing results over the activity itself. This is called extrinsic motivation. When external factors beyond your control don’t work out, it can be demoralizing and lead to a loss of motivation.
4. Creating Unenjoyable Content
Streaming games you don’t enjoy or following trends just for growth is a major cause of burnout on Twitch. Acting solely for growth, rather than personal enjoyment, can be mentally and physically draining. If this pursuit doesn’t lead to expected growth, it can worsen your mental health and lead to negative thinking. This is particularly harmful if you blame yourself for the lack of growth instead of recognizing what you can improve and what is beyond your control.
5. Lack of Support
Feeling isolated due to a lack of support from friends or family who don’t understand your goals and the time you invest in your passions can be challenging. This is especially true if they think you’re wasting your time and don’t recognize your passion for what you’re doing.
6. Overbearing Viewers
Some viewers may feel they have the right to dictate your actions on stream, leading to frustration or pressure for you. This could range from demands to play specific games to expectations for immediate responses to their questions, even if these actions don’t align with your enjoyment.
Avoiding and Recognizing Burnout on Twitch
Recognizing burnout signs early can help prevent severe burnout, which often leads to a loss of motivation or giving up entirely. If you identify with any of the burnout symptoms listed below, it’s important to pause and consider if they might be linked to your streaming activities on Twitch.
If you’re a high achiever or stubborn, you might ignore these symptoms, thinking they’re just part of the process. However, it’s crucial to honestly assess yourself. Ignoring serious signs of burnout now can lead to more severe consequences later.
Understanding your situation in the broader context can clarify things. Realizing that success on Twitch typically requires years of steady work makes it easier to see that pushing for quick success often leads to burnout. Consider your goal: is it to achieve sustainable success on Twitch, or are you just trying to speedrun your way to earning money?
If you notice any burnout symptoms, it’s important to act and restore balance to your life.
Signs Of Burnout
- Asking what the signs of burnout are
- Trouble hitting the go live button
- Loss of motivation
- Making simple mistakes
- Feeling anger towards your community
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling detached or alone
- Doubting your capabilities
- Negative thoughts
- Difficulty focusing
- Brain fog
How To Restore Stream-Life Balance after a Burnout
If you’ve noticed burnout symptoms in yourself, it’s important to act now to bring balance back into your life. Don’t wait until stress or anxiety become overwhelming. Making changes early is always better.
Take A Break From Streaming
If you feel totally unmotivated to stream, struggle with sleep, or often feel depressed, it’s beneficial to pause and assess your situation. A minimum one-week break from streaming can allow your body and mind to reset, helping you reevaluate your circumstances more clearly.
This might seem contrary to the common advice for small streamers about maintaining consistency. Yet, it’s important to add that consistency should be sustainable according to your personal situation.
Stream Less Hours
If you have a full-time job and family responsibilities, your free time is limited, and adding a streaming schedule might be too much. Striving for shorter streams, like 2-3 hours, at least four times a week, allows you to stay consistent while giving your community opportunities to engage with you for a few hours.
Focus On Inputs Rather Than Outputs
Focus on what you can control: the quality of your content and the consistency of your streaming. Invest your energy in producing the best content possible and avoid getting caught up in other aspects.
Ignore your view count and don’t fixate on metrics like followers or subscribers. While it’s fine to use analytics for learning, concentrate on areas for improvement rather than obsessing over growth.
Be aware of moments when you compare yourself to others. Such comparisons can steal your joy and trap you in a negative cycle of measuring your journey against theirs.
Stream Content That You Enjoy
Focus on creating content and coming up with stream ideas around a topic that you enjoy. This approach not only helps prevent burnout but also leads to higher quality content.
Chasing viewers and trends on Twitch can be tempting. With constant new game releases and events, the fear of missing out (FOMO) can influence you to create content that doesn’t genuinely interest you. This approach has led many big streamers to experience burnout and even quit streaming.
Interestingly, small streamers often report higher viewership when they stream in categories not focused on the latest trend. This happens because viewers dedicated to a specific game type might explore new streams in their preferred category when their usual streamers switch to the latest popular game or trend.
If viewers who overstep boundaries or try to control your stream are causing you stress and anxiety, it’s important to establish and enforce healthy boundaries. If they violate these boundaries, don’t hesitate to ban them from your stream. Building a strong community is based on respecting the stream’s rules and boundaries.
Stay Hydrated and Stretch
Sitting for long periods and not drinking enough water can make streaming less enjoyable and cause feelings of sluggishness and fatigue. Stretching helps counteract poor posture and tiredness from prolonged sitting. Always keep water nearby to stay hydrated during streams.
Healthy Streaming Habits
Communicating With Your Community
Keeping your community informed about breaks or changes in your streaming schedule is crucial. If comfortable, you can explain why you need a break, helping them understand and empathize with your situation.
By doing this, you show your community that you value them, but are prioritizing necessary steps for your well-being. Informing them about your break also lets viewers know when to expect your return.
Failing to communicate a break may leave viewers confused, leading them to think you’ve quit, and they will move on to other streamers.
While taking breaks can result in losing viewers, open communication about your reasons can minimize this impact.
Achieving success on Twitch involves patience, consistency, quality content, and hard work. The key is to balance these elements without harming your mental or physical health, ensuring your passion remains sustainable. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by streaming or discouraged about your progress, watch for signs of burnout.
Finding the right balance between streaming and personal life is possible for everyone. Success comes from being honest about what it takes to succeed and making necessary changes. Over time, these adjustments can help you rediscover the joy of streaming.