Creator Economy

How Creators Can Beat Burnout

Creator burnout is real. The pressure to create content and be relevant for an audience isn't something everyone talks about. Here's what you can do to combat it like Emma Chamberlain and Lilly Singh.

Emma Smallwood
September 20, 2022
5 min

Creator burnout is very real.

Constantly coming up with engaging and on-trend content can be a challenge for even the savviest creator, and taking the time to identify and manage your stress could be the key to avoiding burnout.

Research suggests that when people's bodies and minds need to recover and reset the most, they are the least likely to be able to do something about it. For instance, when work is demanding and overwhelming, people often revert to a negative cycle of working more and taking fewer breaks.

When going through a stressful time, people are also less likely to eat healthily, even though adequate nutrition and hydration are vital to restoring energy levels. So, as you can see. It's best to deal with the immediate signs of burnout, and take measures to prevent it from going any further.

If you're still looking for more proof of the incredible impact burnout can have on creators, if it goes untreated (or even unrecognized) then take a look at none other than creator sensation Emma Chamberlain.

Emma Chamberlain (@emmachamberlain)

Imagine creating content on the daily and inspiring millions of people on YouTube but then one day everything changes — the world now has the ability to weigh in and more specifically judge you for it. The constant pressure to produce an endless stream of content becomes too much. So much so that it leads to you "quitting" creating content altogether.

Emma Chamberlain rose to YouTube stardom in 2018 with her unique spin on the vlog format that has gained her a total of 11.8 million subscribers on YouTube. Emma was producing an average 50 videos per month on her YouTube channel.

She deleted her TikTok account in late 2021, explaining why on her Anything Goes podcast. The same destination where she shared her struggles with creator burnout and the pressure of creating non-stop. Her creator burnout was so real it led to her hiatus on YouTube.

All of these external pressures and the internal pressures of balancing her workload caused unmanageable stress for the social media creator and made her question her career.

And it's not just Chamberlain who feels the brutal grind and pressure to produce. Even super-creator Lilly Singh had to take a break last November from her punishing creative schedule. She dumped her demanding twice-a-week video-production schedule, to focus on her mental health in 2019.

Lilly Singh (@lilly)

If you're looking for tips on how you can minimize the chances of feeling this way too, then keep on scrolling.

Tip #1 Schedule Content Days
Setting a specified time in your calendar to focus on just creating your content, will help you stay focused and creative. Plus, with the added benefit of having more time to take self-care measures when the creative process is feeling a little too demanding, which brings us to tip #2...

Tip #2 Pencil In Self-Care Days
Remember that your wellness comes first, especially when you want to produce your best work yet. Stress and creativity are not friends, and it's not breaking news that taking time to go for a walk, soak in the bath or meditate often result in the times when your best ideas come to you.

A simple way to build healthier life practices is to create more “headspace.” Headspace focuses on “the capacity to think clearly, without interference”, which is crucial in the workplace. Without it, we tend to make bad decisions, sometimes reacting inappropriately. People think that more is better. It’s not. If you don’t leave enough space in your head (and in your working patterns), you blow the cork off.

Tip #3 Reflect On What You Love
The best content you'll ever produce is the content that you genuinely enjoy creating. Sometimes it's important to stop, and take a step back to find balance in your work and personal lives, and take time to think and find out what it is about what you do, or the content you're creating, that you love so much. Then simply, find more ways to incorporate more of what you love to do, into your everyday working style.

Tip #4 Hire A Team & Learn To Delegate
Some of the best creators out there have an army of professionals who help them get the job done, from Gary Vee to MrBeast. If you need better editing on your videos, hire a creative editor. If you need better scripts, hire a copywriter.

Keeping with the mindset that you need to be the one to produce all the work, will simply result in content taking forever to produce and you become incredibly burnout... Fast. It's time to detach yourself from the mind frame.

When you have taken the time to hire your team, remember that overloading calendars can be incredibly overwhelming. Know when to delegate and when to say no to something that doesn't align with your goals.

Tip #5 Detach From Your Work & View Relaxation As An Investment
By taking downtime away from work, you'll not only beat burnout but become more productive in the process, too. High achievers often dismiss this idea because it sounds lazy and passive. so, to counter that: try switching "rest" for "recovery".

And while you're at it, don't forget to feel the guilt and do it anyway. Be patient with the discomfort that comes with taking short breaks. recognize it's not something you always need to take action on.

Being constantly online, and taking less time to relax and escape the online worlds and the pressure of being a creator, can often result in mass comparison. Comparing your perceived progress and success will eat you up, particularly if you’re using the perfected, typically not very representative visions of other people’s lives that are created in social media feeds.

The World  Health Organization is including “burnout” in the next edition of its handbook of recognized medical conditions. See if any of these apply to you:

  • Lack of energy or exhaustion
  • Autopilot and cynicism related to your work
  • Poor performance

If you relate to any of these, it’s time to pull back and make some headspace for yourself before that cork of yours blows. The internet has unlocked many amazing things and allowed many creative people to showcase their wide-ranging talents.

But it comes with some downsides.

Creators such as Emma Chamberlain and Lilly Singh are, in many ways, this era's idols. They’re the ones with the insane ability to generate and command vast audiences out of nothing due to their creativity, with the added ability to constantly churn out new material for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms.

Emma Chamberlain (@emmachamberlain)

But burnout is an important problem to recognize, and it's time to be brutally honest about what the pressure of constant production and looming audience expectations has on the mental health of the masses.