It’s no secret that live streaming can be a very demanding activity. For many streamers, it’s their job, and they need to put on a show for their viewers. This can be a lot of pressure, and it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of your mental health while live streaming. Here are some tips to help you stay sane and healthy while online.
The study, “Constant Pressure of Having to Perform”: Exploring Player Health Concerns in Esports” by Northeastern University suggests that the top effects esports players feel include mental health-related stress, anxiety, burnout, and physical effects related to prolonged hours sitting in front of a computer. In this blog, we’ll cover each of these and some tips on how to manage them.
Stress and Anxiety
Mental health-related stress, anxiety, and burnout are common among esports players. Although live streamers and esports professionals are two different things, the factors they face lead to similar stressors.
For example, both groups are under constant pressure to perform. This can be in the form of streaming for long hours or feeling like you need to win every game. The latter is especially true for esports professionals who may have sponsorships and prize money on the line. However, live streamers also have to worry about maintaining viewership for potential sponsorships and keeping their channel going. In many cases, streamers rely on tips and support from their community to help cover costs associated with streaming.
Live streaming can be a very stressful activity, and it’s important to find ways to manage your stress and anxiety levels. Here are some tips:
- Take breaks often: It’s important to take breaks during your live stream, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Step away from the computer to stretch or take a walk. This will help you clear your head and come back refreshed.
- Have a good support system: a critical factor in dealing with stress is to have a good support system in place. This can be friends, family, or even just other people in the community who understand what you’re going through. It’s also important to take breaks when you need them and not put too much pressure on yourself.
- Set realistic goals: Don’t try to do too much at once. Setting goals that are achievable will help you stay sane and avoid burnout. Viewers may also be more willing to engage with your stream if they see you or only one or two subs away from hitting your goal.
- Exercise regularly: Exercising doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous. Taking a brisk walk or going for a light jog can help relieve stress and improve your overall mood.
- Get enough sleep: This one is especially important. Live streaming can be taxing on your body and mind, so make sure you’re getting enough rest. Screen time, especially one hour before sleep is shown to “screen insomnia.”
In addition to the effects gamers experience like stress and anxiety, there are also physical effects too. These can include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: This is caused by repetitive motions of the hands and wrists, like those often used in gaming. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and wrists.
- Eye strain: Spending long hours staring at a screen can lead to eye fatigue, dryness, and even headaches.
- Bad posture: Slouching in front of a screen can cause back and neck pain.
So how can you stay healthy while live streaming? Here are some tips:
- Stay Hydrated: According to the study Gamer’s Health Guide: Optimizing Performance, Recognizing Hazards, and Promoting Wellness in Esports, staying hydrated is crucial for gamers. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks.
- Nutrition: Similarly, a balanced diet is crucial. The Who recommends a caloric intake for young people (18 to 25 years) of 1800 to 3000 calories depending on the person’s activity level. Eating healthy helps avoid obesity and other health problems.
- Ergonomics: The ergonomics of your gaming setup are important to avoid injuries. Make sure your chair, desk, and computer are at the right height and that you have good posture. Check out this guide for more tips.
- Strength and conditioning: Exercise is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for gamers. It helps improve your mental health, reduces stress levels, and can prevent obesity. We recommend strengthing the core muscles to help hold the body in good posture while gaming. Key areas you can focus on include the hip and pelvis, trunk, upper back, shoulders, and neck. Training these areas can reduce the risk of skeletal and spinal injuries from prolonged sitting.
- Eye Care: Although there is a lack of scientific evidence to suggest wearing blue light glasses reduces eye fatigue, some streamers find them helpful. Adjusting the brightness and contrast of your screen, taking breaks every 20 minutes, and using the 20–20–20 rule (looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes) can also help reduce eye strain.
In summation: Stress, anxiety, and the physical effects of sitting in one place for long periods of time can all take a toll on your mental health. Taking care of your body and mind is essential to maintaining a healthy streaming lifestyle. Implementing some or all of the tips above can help you keep a positive attitude snd stay healthy while online.