So you’re feeling a little burned out. On your quest to reach a million subscribers, a hundred thousand views, or a couple hundred merch sales, you’ve been burning the candle from every direction. Your body is begging you to take a break, but you’re too scared of losing your place in the algorithm to let yourself even take a breath.
Every creator has either been there or will find themselves there at some point. Burnout is incredibly common among vloggers, even though it makes you feel all alone. Just as working out and eating healthy keeps your physical wellness in tact, self-care is important to your mental and emotional wellness. The healthier your mind is, the more creative you can be.
These are the seven self-care tips every creator needs.
1. Limit the amount of time you spend on social media.
When social media is your job, it’s easy to spend all day on your phone. You’re not just mindlessly scrolling, though. You’re tracking your analytics, reading comments, answering emails, and replying to tweets. Engaging with your online audience means you’re doing your job.
However, all that time on social media can have a severely negative impact on your well-being. According to a Forbes article from 2017, social media can become an addiction, with studies finding participants experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. Other studies the article cited found that social media can lead to sadness and social comparison as well as jealousy and loneliness.
Therefore, it’s important to limit the amount of time you spend on social media every day. You may consider setting “office hours” for yourself, in which you only go online during your working hours. You may even consider keeping a log of how much time you spend on social media so that you can track yourself and see where you could cut down on time.
2. Keep a creative hobby that’s just for you.
Most content creators get their start because they want to share what they’ve created with the world. YouTube has launched the careers of many filmmakers, musicians, and comedians. Many content creators wear lots of different hats as well. You may make comedy sketches and covers, or you may upload daily vlogs and the process behind your latest art piece.
Lots of creators use their many talents to create multiple streams of income. Gabbie Hanna, for example, released music and a poetry book, which she also illustrated. While using your talents to make money is a wonderful thing, it can also deplete your creative energy much faster. When everything you’re making is monetized, you can lose the passion you had for it in the first place. Even when you love what you’re doing, it’s still work.
So, you should have a creative hobby that’s just for you. You don’t have to be good at it; it just has to be fun. Take up a new instrument. Give pottery a go. Sign up for a dance class. Practice writing poetry. Whatever you do, don’t make any plans to monetize it. Allow this hobby to be your personal creative outlet.
3. Enjoy some off-screen entertainment.
It’s no secret that too much screen time is bad for your brain. Maybe you’ve seen those blue light glasses that are designed to protect your eyes from the harmful light radiated by devices. As advances in technology shove endless entertainment in our hands, science is seeking to understand the full impact it has on our brains.
According to Psychology Today, too much screen time has a plethora of negative effects on one’s most important organ. These side effects include impaired cognitive function, impaired dopamine function, and compromised white matter integrity.
Taking time away from your devices doesn’t have to be boring. Go out for a phone-free coffee date with friends. Take a hike or play with your dog. Read a book from the library or pick up a newspaper. Find something you enjoy that doesn’t involve technology, and try to make time for it every day.
4. Watch your caffeine and alcohol intake.
Western society praises the overworked individual. The busier and more exhausted you are, the harder people think you must be working. While working hard is fundamentally a good thing, it should not be equated with working too much.
When you overwork yourself, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed. You may be tempted to knock back another mug of coffee to help you keep working through the night or another beer to help you unwind once your work is finally finished. While both caffeine and alcohol are okay in moderation, you need to carefully monitor your intake of both.
Talk with your doctor about how much caffeine or alcohol is too much for you. The answer varies based on factors like gender and weight, so it’s important to know what’s best for you personally. If you feel like your consumption of any substance is getting out of control, contact your doctor or another health professional to seek help.
5. Reach for healthy snacks.
Your physical health and your mental health are linked. Think of your body as a car. It runs superbly when it’s brand new. However, in order to keep it running well, you need to give it the right fuel. If you put higher grade gasoline into your tank, you’ll get a better performance out of your car. On the other hand, if you fill it with the wrong fuel, such as diesel, your car will be in need of serious repairs.
Food is, of course, your body’s fuel. While chips and candy may keep it going, healthier snacks will increase your physical and mental performance. Reach for protein and vitamin-rich snacks such as nuts, hummus, and fruit slices.
You can find plenty of easy, healthy snack recipes on YouTube. Check out videos such as the one below.
6. Prioritize proper sleep.
Proper sleep is just as important to your overall well-being as healthy food and regular exercise are. If you don’t recharge your phone, then it becomes unusable. Sleep is recharging your brain.
According to the Mayo Clinic, adults should be getting between seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Even if you feel rested after only a few hours, you should try to sleep for the recommended number of hours to keep yourself at the top of your game.
The quality of your sleep is just as important as the length. To improve the quality of your sleep, stay off your phone before bedtime. Try journaling or meditating to slow down your mind. If you need extra help, put a few drops of lavender essential oil into an essential oil diffuser.
7. Schedule breaks for yourself.
Finally, you can take care of yourself by scheduling breaks into your daily routine. If you were to start an office job tomorrow, you’d likely be required to take breaks by law. Since you’re working as your own boss, you need to schedule breaks for yourself throughout the day.
As a good rule of thumb, give yourself a fifteen minute break every two hours or so. Pause your filming, editing, etc. and just relax. You might text a friend, watch a video, or grab a snack. Make sure you give yourself time for meals, too.
Self-care is essentially the maintenance for your emotional and mental well-being. When you take care of yourself, you’ll be able to perform better, thereby improving your videos and your work ethic.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.