In this day and age, gaming as a career is a real possibility and one you can work towards and ultimately become very successful at. While it does take some luck, a ton of hard work and hours put into a game or streaming is very much needed.
However, burnout is a real concern, and having a balanced diet, good mental health practices, knowing when to stop, and many other factors all play a part in preventing burnout. Here are the best ways to avoid reaching your mental and physical limits.
What is Burnout?
In simple terms, burnout is when you just can’t do something anymore, no matter how much you love it or how badly you want to do it. In terms of gaming, you get to the point when you are so physically and mentally drained that you couldn’t be bothered to turn on your PC or pick up your controller.
This is clearly something that would derail any gaming or streaming career, and it is a double-edged sword, you have to work hard every day to get to the point of success, but going just too far will stop you in your tracks, this is why managing your time is essential.
The symptoms of burnout apply almost across the board, no matter what you do. You have zero motivation to partake in the game you were playing or the streaming you were doing. This one is very noticeable.
You no longer find joy in things you once enjoyed, and this doesn’t have to involve gaming. If you enjoyed hiking or reading or whatever it may be, if it just isn’t enjoyable anymore, that is a clear sign of mental exhaustion.
Lastly, reduced performance. You just won’t be good at whichever game you play anymore. You won’t be able to concentrate, you won’t have the same reflexes, you will just be average, or worse.
How to Prevent It
There are a few things you can do to avoid burnout though. The most important tip to remember is you should be aware of how your body is feeling, your body and mind will tell you when to stop, you must listen.
You often see streamers streaming until 4 or 5 in the morning or people pulling an all-nighter because the game they’re playing or wanting to master is a lot of fun. However, ignoring sleep or having a shoddy and ever-changing sleep pattern is a killer.
Your body needs sleep – know when it is time to relax and let your mind take a break. Sleeping at around the same time and waking up at the same time is also just a healthy practice, and ensures you are always recharged and full of energy.
Even if you are getting enough sleep, you must still remember to take breaks. It is very easy to get stuck in the loop of ‘just one more game’. Even if it is just for 15 minutes every couple of hours, going outside or moving away from your screen is essential.
You can’t stare at a screen for hours on end. This is why almost every employed person on the planet takes time for a break – it gets you away from what you are doing, gives you a chance to reset and then you can get back to what you were doing.
If you are working to become a pro gamer or streamer, your diet is probably something you don’t think about too much. It is way easier to order a takeaway instead of taking an hour to prepare a meal, and this is the problem.
If you eat poorly, you aren’t going to feel great, the saying ‘you are what you eat is popular for a reason. Making sure you eat at least three well-rounded meals, at proper times, is essential for keeping your body and mind working to the best of your ability.
Change of Scenery
Knowing when to take a day off and spend time away from screens is also a vital aspect to avoiding burnout. A day off isn’t going to make or break your gaming or streaming career, so make sure you fit one in every now and then.
The change of scenery will also break the inevitable monotony of what you are doing. Why? Because no matter how much you love something, you will always get to the point where it feels less like something you enjoy, and more like a chore.
Lastly, make a schedule. Monday to Friday, add in the time spent at your computer or in front of a screen, when you take a break, when you go to bed, and when you wake up – and then stick to it.
This gives you a framework that ensures you are sleeping properly, taking enough breaks, and still playing or streaming as much as you need to.
It is very easy to fall victim to burnout, mainly because you don’t know you have until it is too late. However, using these tips you can stop it from happening and ensure you have a successful and productive day, every single day.