With the rise of social media, everyone and their mother seems to be a creator. But you’re a pro. So, unlike mom, you can’t take days off to play in the park with the kids or go to the mall. The demand for your content never ends.
Make no mistake, creating content is a wonderful way to make a living. But there is also a darker side to this burst of online creativity. The “influencer” life can be stressful and draining. And with so much pressure from advertisers, brands, fans, and that everchanging algorithm pushing you to create more and more content, it’s easy for things to get overwhelming… quickly.
But don’t worry! We’re here for you! This post will explore ways for you to avoid influencer (or YouTuber, Instagramer, TikToker, writer, artist or whatever you call yourself) burnout.
What is Burnout?
Simply put, burnout is when you’re overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s a serious problem that has happened to many of us!
Burnouts are easy to spot. Like that person who is always late to everything because they have too much on their plate. Or the one who always says “yes” because they’re afraid saying “no” will disappoint people. Burnout happens when we overcommit, overextend, or lose control over how much work we bring in or how many responsibilities we take on.
So, what can you do?
Streamline your Social Networks
Social media is an important part of any content creator’s marketing strategy. But what if you are going overboard? While it may seem like a good idea to post as much as possible, and on every social media platform possible, this can lead to burnout and frustration.
To avoid this, make sure that every post you publish has a purpose other than just generating more followers or engagement. It should be adding something new and different to the conversation currently happening on whatever platform you’re on. While that cinnamon eating challenge may be trending on TikTok, it may be 2018 on YouTube. Which is why it’s best not to overload yourself with too many platforms at once. Focus on what you do best. And pick the platform that best fits what you do.
Set a Schedule… and stick to it
If you’re a creator, number one on your “must do” list is creating a content creation schedule that makes sense… and sticking to it!
Can you create one YouTube video a week? An Instagram video and a YouTube short? 4 TikTok videos? Whatever it is that you know you can easily and reliably accomplish, schedule it and stick to the schedule. Not only will this help keep you from burnout, but it will also keep you consistent.
Once you’re consistent, you can a schedule your posting days and times. Use an automation platform (you can use many of them for free) to do the physical posting for you, freeing you up to work on the next piece of content on your schedule. Remember: consistency is key when it comes to posting quality content and growing your engagement!
Take a Coffee Break
Breaks are powerful reminders that we are not machines. They help us relax and refresh, connecting us with other people, helping us think more clearly, and making us more productive. It’s why businesses have coffee machines and water coolers for their employees.
Even TikTok now has time management videos that appear in-feed when users have been on the app for a while. One of those vides even encourages users to take a water break: “Hold on, you’ve been scrolling for way too long now. Maybe you should get some food or water, and come back later.”
The next time you feel like you’re about to burn out, grab the keys and head for a large cup of Joe (or that Grande, bone dry, five-shot ristretto, extra-whip, two-raw-sugars cappuccino… no one’s judging).
Take a Mental Health Day
There are a few ways to take a mental health day. One, of course, (if you have a day job) is to just call in sick. But that might leave you feeling guilty about the time off and anxious over what your employer will think about your missing a day.
If that’s the case, next time you need a sick day, try this trick:
- Plan out what you’ll be doing instead of going to work. It can be anything from sleeping in till noon to going on a hike or heading over to the mall for some shopping—whatever makes sense for you.
- Schedule it. Just like you would do at work, add those activities to your calendar, making sure your first entry begins when you normally arrive at work, and the last entry ends when you normally head home.
- Then start and end your day on time. If sleeping in is scheduled from 9am to noon, start sleeping in sharply at 9am. For that last workday entry, make sure you finish on time as well. This will make you feel less guilty about taking time off. After all, you had a lot to do and look how much you accomplished.
Take a Vacation from Creating
You know how you feel when you’re tired? Well, the stress of constantly creating can make you feel the same way. The more you work, the more your body feels it. Experts recommend taking breaks so that you don’t get burned out and start making mistakes. If that’s happening to you, then a vacation might be what you need!
When taking a break from work, don’t feel guilty about doing absolutely nothing. The best pitcher in baseball will tell you that in the offseason, they don’t touch a baseball. So, leave that camera in its case and shut down that computer. Remember, that relaxation is just as important as being productive—in fact, for creativity, it’s vital.
Connecting with other creators is a great way to refresh. You can bounce ideas off each other, pick each other’s brains for what works, what’s trending, recent problems, or opportunities they see that you may have missed. The creator community is exceedingly open and encouraging. You don’t have to be a lone wolf suffering in silence. Go howl at the moon with the rest of the pack.
You can also connect with your audience. Engagement doesn’t have to be a one-way street. DM your biggest fans. Arrange lunch or boba tea dates. Find out what your fans love about your content, or what they would like to see in the future. Your audience doesn’t live exclusively online, they also live in the real world… join them there.
The power of positive thinking works. Remind yourself that you are doing a good job. If you don’t believe that, then how can anyone else? Be kind to yourself, be enthusiastic about your work, and stay motivated by setting small goals for yourself along the way.
Don’t get discouraged if things aren’t going as planned or someone doesn’t like what you’re doing; it’s just one person’s opinion! It doesn’t mean they are right. Don’t let a critic bring you down. Tune out the haters.
Self-Care is a Must
People hear the word self-care and think of massages, manicures, and other forms of pampering. But it’s also the small things. Read a book, listen to music, do yoga, or light a candle. Anything that you’ve learned relieves stress and tension for you. Or take a short break. Schools have recess, you need one too. Go walk the dog, ride a bike, or just watch the clouds. Find a way to turn off your mind and drift away from creating, if only for a few minutes.
I’m serious about this one: taking care of yourself will keep you healthy, motivated, and creative!
We hope these tips will help you stay on top of your social media game! Remember that you don’t have to take on everything all at once, and that burnout is a very real thing. Don’t let it be the end of your work as a content creator. It might seem like an uphill battle from here, but we know that you can do it. Just remember to stay positive, take breaks when needed, and focus on what’s important in life.