A Guide to Health and Well-Being While Streaming on Twitch
There are seemingly two rules for Twitch Streamers… stream as much as possible and always be happy.
These are impossible goals. Nobody can always be smiling and always be streaming — both your body and your mind will need time to rest and some time to distract itself from the grind.
Give yourself a chance to breathe, or you will be increasing the chances of burnout or severe stress.
Don’t try and be somebody different, this is exhausting, you can play an exaggerated version of yourself (as many YouTubers already do), but don’t pretend to be loud and full of memes on Fortnite when in real life you’re super chilled, quiet and love to play slow story-based games.
If you need a break, take a break.
Listen to your body and don’t worry about taking a day or two off to recover both physically and mentally. Your mental health is as important as your physical health.
Remember, looking after yourself is looking after your stream.
I asked steaming coach, Ashnichrist, for her thoughts on streamer wellbeing:
“This industry is extremely passionate and can become addicting, so you need to know your own symptoms of burnout. Energy management is huge in this space, so be thinking of how you can best recharge your energy between broadcasts. Get to know yourself as well as you possibly can to prevent inner turmoil.”— Ashnichrist
It is recommended you drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, (around 2 litres). However, this depends massively on your age, height, weight, gender and even the amount you sweat. So take any advice as just a very rough guide!
No this doesn’t include energy drinks or coffee! Although those will help top up your body — your body is 60% water, remember to keep it full!
While there is a handy hydration calculator from CamelBak, it is focused on workouts or hiking so isn’t that useful for streamers…
You can use the Stay Hydrated Bot to give yourself reminders in your Twitch Chat based on how long you have been streaming!
Sleep is crucial for doing absolutely anything, make sure you get enough of it. The majority of people nowadays do not get enough sleep and are permanently feeling tired. While it may not feel you are doing much sitting at your desk playing games, you still need as much sleep as anyone else.
The recommended sleeping amount is around 8 hours. Although some people will be absolutely fine and bouncing around on 6 hours, others will need 9 hours to get out of bed in the morning. Be self-aware and learn what sleeping habits and sleeping pattern works best for you.
For example, some people are naturally night-owls and will have more energy during the latter parts of an evening, so think about whether you should have a little lay-in and stream until 1am to capitalise on this.
(Personally, my body starts feeling tired around midnight to 1am and if I get any less than 6 hours — I’m a walking talking zombie!)
Burnout is the feeling of being tired… all the damn time. Both physically, emotionally and mentally, burnout will make you just want to stay in bed all day, or it’ll make you want to procrastinate from doing your passions.
For Twitch streamers (or writers, vloggers, artists), we spend a lot of time indoors and alone. Make plans with friends and family or go for a walk, find anything that can take your mind off things. Broadcasters will try and say yes to everything in order to make the most of their opportunity,
It’s also difficult as a Twitch streamer as you are expected to play the same games, day-in, day-out for your community. While some have the mindset where they can continue to enjoy a single-game every day, not all can do so. To give your best self to your audience, you must be enjoying what you do. Especially the games you are playing
I’m not suggesting for you to start pumping iron at the gym, but make sure you move around, see sunlight and keep your body moving.
Why not take a long walk around a local park, up a hill or to the beach? Enjoy the weather (sun or rain!), nature and fresh air — you’ll be surprised at what a new view will do to your mind.
Doing something different than streaming & gaming will be wonderful for your mental health and your ability to grind away at streaming. Do you enjoy cooking? Playing table tennis? Watching a serious documentary on giraffes? Distract your brain from the same thing every day and you’ll find yourself feeling rested and ready to jump back in.
Yes, some days this will totally include staying in bed, eating biscuits and binge-watching terrible Netflix shows.
This is only an introduction to some of the things you should consider — every single person is different and what works for one will not work for another.
Be self-aware in what works best for you, listen to your body and remember, looking after yourself is looking after your stream.
All advice in here is not medically approved, I spent hours googling the Internet, chatted to people on twitter and thought about my own health for the most useful information I could find. If you have more questions about this, Google it or talk to your local GP / doctor.
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