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How to Avoid Burnout When Streaming

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For many streaming will eventually become tedious and you will begin to burn out and not look forward to your streaming sessions. This is an industry where your motivation and attitude have a direct influence on your content.

Building your channel and brand at first is fresh and exciting. You have ample amounts of energy and you can’t imagine a day where your new pet project will feel like a “real” job. You find yourself working longer hours than you expected and with every success, you work harder, determined to reach the next step, the next high.

Inevitably, however, the dream-project will become tedious and you will begin to burn out and not look forward to your streaming sessions. This is an industry where your motivation and attitude have a direct influence on your content. Your content, in turn, has an influence on your following, the life-blood of your channel. Therefore, it is important to prepare to combat burnout and quickly overcome it when it arrives.

How to Deal with Streaming Burnout?

Live-streamers can deal with broadcast burnout by taking an announced break, shifting the focus of their channel, or trying something new. Those who live a balanced life and moderate their streaming activity typically experience burnout less than those who stream several hours daily. 

Why Do Twitch Streamers Quit?

At the beginning of your stream venture, taking time off seems risky. Building a channel viewer by viewer is daunting and every minor setback can feel like a failure. Even if you are “working” on your time off, the pressure to not disappoint (and potentially lose) your viewers is intense.

This mindset can create an addiction fueled by stress and anxiety. Continuing down this path could lead to both physical ailments and mental issues. It can lead to strained relationships. The sad thing is, many in these positions aren’t earning enough streaming revenue to make ends meet.

Twitch Stress Can Burnout Streamers

If you are still in the honeymoon stage of building your channel, now is the time to create your plan to combat burnout. The following are a few suggestions:

How Often Should You Stream?

You wouldn’t want to spend your entire life at your day-job (unless you are a hardcore workaholic). Likewise, you inevitably won’t want to spend every hour working on your channel and brand. Typically, successful streamers spend more than 40 hours per week on their chosen profession, especially as they are building. This time is split into preparation, streaming, editing, social media, and brand building.

Set aside time for other activities and for your friends and family. When engaging with non-stream related events, focus on the activity at hand and not your to-do list. The list will be there when you return to work. Make sure that you spend quality time with the people you love and avoid using electronics with them if possible.

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It is also important to set aside time to be alone, for meditation and rest, avoid the temptation to return to work or plan things in your head. Go outside, take walks, read books… do whatever you need to do to enjoy your life.

Should You Stream on Twitch Every Day?

Many new streamers decide to stream every day and throw themselves into their work. Again, while you may have the energy to do this in the beginning, maintaining it long term is far more difficult. It also takes a while to learn the other aspects of your new job, grow your channel, and network with other budding new artists.  

Try to take at least one day off per week. Don’t stream, edit your channel, take part in your brand’s social media, or engage in your work in any way. Creating these boundaries upfront will help you burn out less quickly, and when you start to feel overwhelmed, you will have a day of rest to look forward to each week. For help setting up your schedule, read our article, How Often Should I Stream?

Create Twitch Goals and See Past Streaming

Few people hope to stream for the rest of their lives. While it can be a very fun and rewarding career for those who make it, it does require a lot of effort, diligence, and stamina to maintain your every level of success. Even if you are unsure about what you wish to do after streaming, your perspective can change your attitude. Viewing it as a step into your next venture will relieve some of the stress when you begin to dread your next streaming session.

Knowing precisely where you wish to go after your streaming stint allows you to utilize the time you spend streaming more efficiently. You can build skills that carry over to your next profession and focus on building a social network that will help you reach success.

That being said, remembering why you began streaming can help you keep your focus. For a refresher, read our post, 7 Reasons Why You Should Stream.

Simplify Your Streaming

Don’t invest your time in various projects relating to your channel. Limit yourself to a few things that can be modified as your channel grows. Don’t commit to anything that will require a lot of continued maintenance if you choose to change directions in the future.

Add Variety to Your Streams

Don’t build your Twitch brand on only playing one game or doing one thing. Having a variety to your stream allows you to focus on different things throughout the week. This will help you will burn out less quickly than your competition who only streams one thing. 

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Some streamers plan certain sections of their streams for different things. You can break up the monotony in this way as well. Take short breaks while you stream and engage with your following as you eat or play with your pet. People find real-life tasks relatable and will connect with you on a deeper level.  

Variety streaming allows you to reach viewers who wouldn’t otherwise find your channel. This will add a richness to your community as well as potentially helping them find something else they love to watch or do.

What to Do When You Burn Out on Twitch?

Regardless of how well you prepare, burnout will eventually bear its ugly head. To keep yourself sane and your viewers happy, you need to find strategies to deal with it.

When to Take a Break From Streaming

Once you begin to feel the burnout, schedule a break a few weeks in advance. Continually remind your viewers that you will be going on break (call it a vacation, holiday, gathering, whatever). Let them know when the break will begin and end. Streamers who give their following advanced notice tend to lose fewer followers than those who don’t. Most people will understand that you are human and will return to watching your stream once you return.

The fear of taking a break haunts every streamer. Horror stories abound about streamers losing their entire following when they leave for vacation, and there is a risk that you may have to do some rebuilding when you return. Burnout will also drive viewers away as it will negatively impact your content and attitude. It is a better long-term strategy to keep yourself happy and healthy than to worry about losing a few viewers at the expense of your mental health.

Shift Your Focus to Other Aspects of the Stream

If you have been playing the same game in the same way for multiple days/weeks, look for ways to gradually shift your focus. Don’t quit anything cold turkey. Your following is there because they enjoy your content and know what to expect. Gradually shifting your focus within a game to another perspective may give you a new sense of excitement while showing them that you can entertain them in another way.

Should You Try A New Game on Twitch?

Consider trying a new game in the genre as your current game. While you should still continue to play your original game (at least for a while) for the sake of your viewers, streaming another game may bring in new viewership and may rejuvenate your passion for streaming. You can also make this a regular practice from the start and mention it where you post your streaming schedule.

Play or Co-Stream With Friends

Shake up your content by streaming with friends, other streamers, or even your followers.  Streaming doesn’t always have to be about intense competition or being the greatest in your field. Talking to another person will not only help you create organic content, but it will also relieve some of your anxiety about doing something alone. Even if you have a thousand viewers, the silence can sometimes be overwhelming. 

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Learn to Deal with Trolls and Cyberbullies on Twitch

If you don’t have thick skin, dealing with Twitch trolls can burn you out very quickly. If you can’t learn to roll with their punches, then streaming may not be the hobby or profession for you. Don’t take what people say to you to heart. If they are offering constructive criticism, consider changing your style. If they are being rude, ignore them or have your moderators deal with them. Post rules for your chat and make sure to enforce them. Don’t react negatively or with emotion as that will generally make things worse.

Be Honest with Your Viewers

Talk to your viewers about your burnout and ask them for suggestions on how you can continue to bring them content that they will enjoy. Most of your loyal viewers will understand and they may have some good suggestions to get you back on track.

While you may lose a few viewers when you go on break, don’t stress. You can always rebuild your following again. For tips on how, read our article, Get 10 Times the Viewers: The Advanced Guide to Building Your Following

About the Author

Zac

Zac is a part-time tech blogger. He’s an avid gamer with a taste for old-school RPG’s and Indie Sandbox games. He excels at theory crafting and finding new ways to enjoy a well-loved game.

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