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Mental Health Month: Avoiding Affiliate Burnout

It’s January, and that means, amongst the resolutions and avoiding drinking, it’s also Mental Health Awareness Month. While the gyms suddenly burst with people fighting over the last treadmill, you should also be thinking about what you need to do to keep your mind healthy. And there is one big problem that is prevalent when it comes to mental health in the affiliate marketing industry: burnout.

But what is burnout? And how do you avoid it? We’re looking at all things burnout in an effort to understand the illness and prepare yourself to avoid it.

What is burnout?

Burnout is a mental health condition that can be summed up in one sentence: you’re doing too much. Burnout is the result of your body and mind’s exhaustion at what you are doing. It can be characterised by three recognisable traits: emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, and a decreased sense of personal achievement.

Why is it important to affiliates?

Burnout has been getting more attention lately due to affiliates. There are people burning out in every industry, historically the medical industry is notorious for burnout, as is pretty much any university student. But there is renewed talk around the idea of burnout due to the number of influencers that are leaving their audiences behind for a matter of months in order to deal with their burnout symptoms. Big names such as Emma Chamberlain, PewDiePie, and plenty more have taken breaks from their channels. Some of them are using “burnout” as an excuse to avoid the fact that they are cancelled or pushed off their platform, yes, but more, smaller, less controversial creators simply need a break. Some come back. Some don’t.

Burnout is the condition, but the cause lends itself to the social media marketing and content creation industry. The internet never sleeps, and it’s leading to a culture of creators who don’t either. Between keeping up with consistent and hectic upload schedules, where the work (and network events) piles up the more famous you get and the more opportunities are afforded to you, the less time you take for yourself.

Signs of burnout

So, what are the signs to recognise that you might be burning out? They can be split into physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms.

Physical symptoms include feeling tired a lot, lower immunity so you’re getting sick more, headaches, back pains, muscle aches, or changes in your eating or sleeping habits. Emotional symptoms include feeling hopeless, self-doubt, feeling detached, a negative outlook, no sense of accomplishment, and most commonly, no motivation and disillusion with the industry and job.

This can result in behaviours like avoiding responsibilities, procrastinating, isolating, coping mechanisms like drugs or alcohol, and taking out frustration on others.

So, how do we avoid this burnout?

Set boundaries

The problem with the creator/affiliate industry is that it is mostly a freelance gig. This means that you don’t so much have to set a boundary with a boss that is calling in the middle of the night, as setting a boundary with yourself. While you might take the attitude of never looking a gift horse in the mouth and taking on every sponsorship or affiliate deal, it can also add pressure.

But this can also mean that you set how much you work. Set times to keep away from your phone. Limit your job responsibilities to only what you can handle, and the same with sponsorships.

Start setting time for yourself. The laptop goes away at a certain time whether you’re done or not. The phone goes away at a certain point before you set an alarm to go to bed. That’s right. You’re setting a time to sleep. It’s about resilience. Schedule time for yourself. That can be with your support system or without. Sometimes being sociable is just as exhausting and you need to schedule some time just for you.

Reassess goals

If you’re noticing any of these symptoms in your life, it might be time to reassess where you are in life and your career. You might need to set new goals or throw the old ones out the window. Maybe the genre of content you’re in doesn’t give you joy anymore. Maybe you need to find something that will make you excited again. Maybe not. Maybe you just need something to work towards slowly, rather than focussing on the next content deadline coming. Maybe you need a long-term project rather than another churned-out video/blog.

Build your support system

You will need both a personal and professional support system. The personal will mean dedicating time with family and friends, perhaps discussing what you’re going through and making steps to get away from it. The professional might mean having a conversation with affiliate partners or any team you have around you. You might have to discuss any barriers to your work, time management strategies, or lowering the amount of work you have.

If you are interested in more affiliate and social media marketing insights, take a look at our blog for all the latest news and advice. Or for a more personalised approach, book a free call with a member of our team.

Or, for the very best advice from industry peers, get your free tickets to gain access to our Amplify Virtual Summit. Coming in January of this year, Amplify aims to bring you the latest affiliate, performance, and partner marketing insights from across the globe. Don’t miss it.

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