Day trading can be exciting as well as profitable. And it can be stressful. Prolonged and excessive stress can lead to what is commonly called burnout. That is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. An individual feels emotionally drained, overwhelmed, and becomes unable to meet the constant demands of their work. A common endpoint of burnout is that a person who used to love this kind of work loses their motivation and basic interest in day trading. Avoiding burnout is possible by applying sustainable practices to one’s day trading.

Recognizing the Signs of Burnout in Day Trading

When one first starts getting burned out in day trading it can be difficult to recognize it for what it is. Partly this is because burnout from work often spills over into all areas of life. One’s social life and life at home can also be affected by burnout at work. Keeping in touch with your feelings helps. If you feel helpless, resentful, and are increasingly cynical, these can be early signs of burnout. In the realm of work, burnout takes away energy and makes you less productive. If you are keeping track of your trading results, a drop off in profitability may trace back to burnout rather than simply having made bad trading decisions.

Establishing a Balanced Trading Routine

Everyone will always have ups and downs in their day trading results. Burnout has more to do with how we approach the job than with how successful we are. Folks who tend toward a type A personality have higher rates of burnout. These are people who have a constant sense of time urgency, are ultra-competitive, and generally inpatient. When the markets are quiet and not likely to generate profitable trading opportunities, the best course of action is often to take the day off. However, the type A personality trader will work even harder trying to create profits where none exist. The “cures” for this are to set up a trading routine, follow it, and to track your emotions. That includes both cutting back on trading frequency when there are no trades that fit your desired strategy and routinely taking time to assess your emotional state and adjusting your routine accordingly.

The Importance of Physical and Mental Wellbeing

In life there is work and there is the business of tending to life’s obligations. And then there is the “stuff of life.” This is the sum total of things that make one’s life worth living. Burnout all too often happens when our work sucks up all of our time as well as our physical and emotional energy. The human body needs routine exercise which it does not get sitting at a day trading terminal. And the human mind needs more to chew on than technical indicators and fundamentals that drive markets. Time is the key and how you spend it as well. Learning how to do something every day that puts a smile on your face or bumps up your physical energy level will help keep burnout away and, probably, make the time you spend day trading even more profitable!

Setting Realistic Goals and Expectations

It is an excellent idea in day trading, or in any job, to ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. What do you expect to be the outcome? And that means expect and not hope! If your expectations and goals are realistic, you are more likely to be able to accomplish them. And you are much less likely to get sucked into the type A personality trap where you are constantly beating your head against the wall trying to make the impossible become reality. Down that path burnout awaits the unwary day trader!

Building a Supportive Trading Community

It is pretty rare in life to encounter a situation that nobody else has ever dealt with. Thus, the answers to how to deal with most issues in life are available if you just talk with others. We often think that by working with a trading community we will get profitable trading tips. This can be true. But the greatest value of networking with other day traders is often the social support it provides. Day trading can be a job that causes personal isolation. Working in a supportive trading community can make all of the difference in your mental health and avoiding things like burnout.