By Sophia Smith– FXStorm
While working as a school Guidance Counselor, I had a very good idea what burnout was. It was an occupational hazard, and as such, during training, we the students were forewarned about it and advised as to how to recognize and deal with burnout.
In trading, however, it seems such an approach is not widely taken. This is unfortunate, as trading has enormous potential to cause burnout. If you have been trading for while, chances are, you have experienced a case of burnout in the past. Burnout affects all types of traders, but especially so, the day trader.
So, what is burnout? It may be defined as a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It is a gradual process that occurs over a period of time. Burnout is all-encompassing. It affects all areas of your life. You need to be paying attention to early warning signs or it can creep up on you without you being aware.
Here are some warning signs and symptoms that we as traders need to be on the watch for:
- You begin to question why you should care about following your trading rules
- Frequent headaches and muscle aches.
- Lowered immunity, feeling sick a lot.
- You are extremely exhausted all the time.
- Change in appetite or sleep habits.
- Sense of failure and self-doubt.
- Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated.
- Decreased sense of accomplishment.
- Loss of motivation.
- An increasingly negative outlook.
- Holding off in closing a trade you know is doomed anyway.>
- The abuse of drugs/alcohol, or using food to ‘fill the void’.
- ‘Kicking the dog’ scenario. You take your frustrations out on others.
- Entering and exiting trades for no apparent reason.
- Total disregard for your own trading rules.
Now that we know what burnout is, and what it looks and feels like. We will explore some prevention tips:
- Learn to recognize and remember the signs that burnout is approaching.
- Start the day with a relaxing routine. This may be meditation, a nice warm bath, or simply some quiet time.
- Do something you enjoy everyday. For me, it’s writing. I tend to tune everything else out and get deeply focused when I write.>
- Try and remember the feeling you had when you first started trading. Remember the excitement.
- Find a mentor, or simply another trading buddy with whom you can comfortably share.
- Laugh more! Call up some old friends and maybe reminisce a bit. If the old yearbook picture does it for you, so much the better.
- Pamper yourself once in a while; think full-day beauty spa for us women, or a spontaneous getaway with your family or just that special someone. After doing this your return to the charts will see with you at your absolute best.
I really do hope that this article has been helpful. If it helps at least one person, I will have done my job. I sincerely suggest that you take on board the seriousness of the issue, because burnout can prove lethal to a trader’s career if it is not recognized and properly addressed.
Successful trading requires alertness and clarity of mind. It is a worthy profession, but once the fire is gone…. fallen victim to burnout… you might well decide that trading, something you once had such passion for, is not really worth the effort anymore.
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