Chapter 12: Mental Health for Live Streamers
Streamers are required to spend hours on end sitting in front of a TV or computer screen. They have to keep their eye on what's happening on the screen while interacting with chatters via text or voice chat.
This process can easily lead to mental fatigue and physical strain if not appropriately monitored. Just like any other job, there are ways you can take care of your psychological and physical health so that you're able to do your best at streaming without putting yourself at risk for long-term injury or illness due to overworking yourself too much. We'll go over some of those ways and how you can implement them.
Physical Health For Streamers
When you're a streamer, you're essentially sitting for the entire stream. Recent studies show that being stationary for longer than 6 hours a day has the same adverse health effects such as being overweight.
Professional streamers have shared many tips throughout the years regarding physical health when gaming. You should implement these tips into your lifestyle if you spend at least 5 hours streaming per day.
Take a break - every hour or two, you should get up from your station and walk around for at least a few minutes. This increases your blood flow and reduces the amount of inactivity you have during the day. You may even want to take short and light jogs around your house or apartment for just 5-10 seconds every couple of hours.
Mind Your Posture - Your gaming position is very important when streaming. Sitting up straight or even standing up throughout the entirety of your stream will help reduce muscle strains and prevent injuries. Sitting down is great, but make sure you keep your back and knees straight instead of slouching over while streaming.
Get Active - If you want to exercise in between streams, visiting the gym is a great way to do so. If the gym isn't your ideal place, there are many other ways to get the heart pumping, like yoga, biking, Lifting, etc. These can all reduce the risk of you becoming overworked or injured from sitting down for too long on stream.
Eat Healthy - Our next piece of advice to keep your physical health in check is to eat healthy! Eating junk food while streaming will put your body at risk due to a spike in sugar and other weight issues, so always eat well. Maintain a healthy weight by eating the right foods and exercising regularly.
Hydrate - Another important thing about your health to keep in mind is hydration. To stay hydrated, you must drink lots of water throughout the day; however, this doesn't mean you should over-hydrate yourself and have to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes. Your goal should always be to maintain an even level of water that won't lead to issues in the future.
How to Reduce Screen Time?
As mentioned above, streaming for several hours a day can cause your eyesight to diminish over time. There are many solutions to this problem that professional streamers use.
- Break away from the Screen
- Anti-Glare Blue Light Blocking Glasses
- Calibrate your Monitor Setting
Getting away from the screen can be difficult when you're trying to make a living from streaming and have a schedule that doesn't allow you to go anywhere in between. However, the solution is simple enough and requires no extra expenses. If you're streaming for several hours at a time, it's very important to step back from your computer every once in a while and stretch your legs.
Mental Health For Streamers
While physical health is essential, mental fatigue can be just as important for streamers. Streaming can be a lonely job when you're trying to entertain hundreds of viewers by yourself. Certainly, interaction with other streamers and your viewers is a good thing because it makes everything more fun; however, if you're not careful, interacting too much on social media can lead to negativity.
Stress can lead to anxiety which can eventually result in burnout if you don't take care of your mental health. The most important part of dealing with stress is taking breaks and practice breathing.
How to protect your mental health?
The most important thing about protecting your mental health is pacing yourself and balancing real life with streaming life. Making time for yourself while still keeping viewers entertained is very difficult, but it's also the most important thing that streamers can do to keep themselves sane.
Learn how to Take a Break - Again, Taking breaks is important for preventing physical and mental fatigue or injuries, but it's also essential for protecting your mental health. It's easy to get lost in the stream life where you forget about everything else, but that can be dangerous if left unattended. Taking regular breaks will help you relax and get back to your normal self. If you're closing down your stream for the night, take a walk outside with a friend if possible.
Make Time for Friends - Streaming is a very isolating job, and it's easy to lose touch with your friends when you're focusing most of your time on entertaining hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people. However, making time for your friends in real life will help prevent loneliness, and sustaining friendships while streaming will make it easier to interact with other streamers.
Set Rules and Boundaries - While it's important to interact with your viewers as much as possible, setting boundaries for yourself will prevent you from overdoing it. Keeping things professional and not disclosing too much personal information about yourself or the people around you is crucial in protecting your mental health.
Accept That The Internet Can Be Mean - People on the internet feel more confident voicing negative opinions because they hide behind a keyboard. Hence, it's very easy to get depressed or feel anxious if you're too sensitive.
Even though it can be very upsetting, accepting that the internet is mean will help you keep your mental health in check.
Stay Physically Active - Even if you're stuck in front of a screen for hours at a time, it's still imperative to stay physically active, especially if your job requires a lot of sitting down. Regular exercise and healthy meals will help prevent mental health problems like anxiety.
When you're a professional streamer, both your mental and physical health are at risk. If you don't take care of your body and mind, you could face serious problems such as anxiety, depression, or cardiac problems.
The best solution we can give you is to create a schedule.
Broadly speaking, you should have these six elements in your program:
- Healthy Food and Lots of Water
- Rest and Sleep
- Breathing and Meditation
- Personal and Family Time