I started my streaming journey three years ago on the RealWomenOfGaming Twitch channel. I didn’t know much about streaming, but it seemed like fun being able to hang out with people while playing games in the privacy of my own bedroom. I remember the day well – which is saying something, considering I can’t remember what I had for breakfast.
I lived in Los Angeles at the time. It was a Tuesday afternoon. I played Funcom’s The Park for the first episode of a horror series called “Wanna Don’t Wanna.” I finished the game in about an hour, then I ended my stream.
Three years later, I still stream horror games for Real Women of Gaming. I’m on the Mixer channel now, with occasional appearances on Twitch. I also stream on my own 3-4 days a week under VanriTheRogue.
In my time streaming, I’ve come up with some self-care tips that help me. I’m really hoping they can help you too:
It’s important to keep yourself hydrated throughout your stream. Not only will this help your throat – since streaming is near constant talking – but it will also keep you from getting dehydrated under the bright lights you most likely have surrounding you.
You don’t need to be at your computer every second of the stream. Take breaks to go to the bathroom, get more water, grab food, etc. Also, don’t stop yourself from taking time off from streaming in general. If you’re running yourself ragged, your content will suffer. Take breaks from streaming as needed to keep yourself fresh, motivated and happy.
Eat Healthy Snacks
It’s easy to fall into the snack food trap when gaming in general. You want something you can grab and eat quickly without taking your eyes off the action. It’s the same with streaming, maybe even worse since you’re dividing your attention between a game and a chat. Chips are definitely the go-to for this. If you snack, grab something healthier. Nuts, carrots, celery, protein bars, protein shake, etc. Grab something that will give you sustenance, not just empty calories.
Play games you WANT to play
If you go with what you think will get views instead of games you’re actually interested in, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. Not only are you competing against 100+ other streamers playing the same game, but you’re not enjoying yourself, so your content will suffer for it. Gaming is supposed to be fun. Keep yourself happy by playing games you want to play and people will come.
It shouldn’t be a chore to stream – @IcyRhain
On a similar note, try not to grind one particular game every single stream. By doing this, you risk two things: 1) you are very likely to burn yourself out on that game; and 2) you only attract people who are interested in that game. By diversifying the games you play, you’re saving your own sanity and casting a wider net to bring in a more diverse audience. If you want a specific audience, consider grinding a genre, not just one game within that genre. For example, play a variety of Battle Royale games (they’re everywhere!), not just Fortnite. Or, if you do want to just play one game, try playing a different game once a week or twice a month, just to give yourself a break.
Plan for Quality, not Quantity
There’s a huge push in the streaming world to “grind” to be successful. To a lot of people this means streaming every single day, with minimal days off. This can be dangerous for your health as well as your content. This can be the equivalent of a content mill, where you’re just putting out content to put out content, not necessarily worrying about the quality of your content. Take the time to make your content better quality, even if that means putting out less of it. Your viewers – and your health – will appreciate it.
MMORPGs are grindy, streaming shouldn’t be – @Akiblo
Don’t Stress Over The Numbers
Streaming is supposed to be fun. You’re supposed to be doing something you love and sharing this love with other people. Don’t worry about how many views you’re getting or how many follows you get in any given stream. If you’re doing what you love, and this love is shining through your content, the people will come. You can’t compare yourself to people who pull in hundreds of viewers per stream because we all move at different paces. We all need to do what’s best for ourselves.
Acquire Excellent Mods
Mods can be amazing for relieving some of the stress of streaming. If your mods are on point with your chat, you won’t have to worry about a thing regarding trolls or any inappropriate behavior. Be clear with your mods about what your standards are and let them exorcise their best judgement in uncommon situations. You worry about your content and growing your community. Let your mods worry about the trolls.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. You’ll attract more people if you’re genuine, this is true, but you’ll also keep sight of who you are if you don’t pretend to be someone you’re not on camera. Be yourself, stay true to who you are, and make genuine content that you’re proud of.
First and foremost you have to do the things that make you happy. And some people are happiest playing trash. And that’s okay! – @Rorifett
Streaming is supposed to be fun. Gaming is supposed to be fun. Being creative is supposed to be fun. Finally, creating content is supposed to be fun. So don’t turn it into a chore. Have fun with it and you’ll end up exactly where you need to be.
I hope these tips help you the way they’ve helped me. I’ve gathered these from my own experience, as well as from speaking with other streamers, both big and small, on both Twitch and Mixer.
What are some of your self-care routines while streaming? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!