Podcasting is a passion! Podcasting is a priority. Podcasting is a pursuit…but podcasting is not always relaxing.
Friends, you may not be bored or even necessarily feel the need to unplug and unwind, but burnout is a real thing. The independent nonprofit Help Guide gives a characteristically helpful definition of burnout:
“Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”
The hardest hitting reality of their article on the subject is that as sources of stress refuse to relent, and the adrenaline and cortisol keep flowing like cheap drinks at a sketchy back country bar…a stressed individual will begin to lose the interest and motivation that led them to take on a certain role or project in the first place.
In other words, a stressed podcaster won’t be a podcaster for long. We do not want this for you. We want your podcasting career to be a long one, and your podcast to remain a passion, priority, and unfolding pursuit.
So in today’s article, we explore 5 strategies on how to Rest and De-stress From a Busy Recording Schedule. We also share some top tips within those strategies to really set you up for success!
Let’s check them out!
1. Get Quality Sleep
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated, but it’s benefits are often chronically undersold. According to the Sleep Foundation adults between the ages of 18 to 64 years need 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily. How do you measure up?
And whilst we cannot argue with the cold, hard numbers represented by seconds, minutes, and hours, the quantity of sleep you are able to bank should not overshadow the quality of said sleep. You wanna get down into deep REM sleep! This is the most restful phase of sleep where our bodies are repaired, our energy reserves restored, and our minds are rested and receive the necessary boost for the mental demands of the day ahead.
You can set yourself up for quality REM sleep by staying away from alcohol, kicking that nicotine addiction, skipping the heavy meals before bed, and going easy on the fluids – water is great, but waking up to pee every 30 minutes is less than optimal!
Related read: The Best Podcasts To Help You Sleep
1. Have a Consistent Bedtime and Wake-Up Time
Try training yourself to go to bed and to wake up at the same time every day. Make the verbal commitment to be in bed by a specific hour – 10pm is a great starting point. Share this goal with the person you live with. If you live alone, get a friend to hold you accountable and check in with you via text. Don’t go it alone; introducing another person into your journey will give you someone to risk disappointing, and that’s a pretty powerful behaviour modifying tool.
2. Try an Alarm Clock Hack
Waking up in the morning can be tough, and conquering this may mean redefining your relationship with your alarm clock! And that’s where this alarm clock hack comes in.
Set one alarm, and try placing it in a location where you have to get up and physically leave your bed to silence it (it could be at the other side of your room, or in another room altogether! You’ll find that the battle to get up in the mornings will be 90% won at this point – you’re already out of bed!
3. Don’t Hit Snooze!
Now that you’re up – you need to stay up! Resist that alluring snooze button and you’ll be well on your way to a disciplined daily bedtime and wake time!
Being intentional about turning down for the night and resting your body with a sufficient amount of quality sleep is ground zero of your rest and destress journey. And, believe it or not, our next important tip actually directly feeds into the quality of your sleep and will help to relieve any unwanted symptoms of sleep disorders…
2. Work Out
“Wait? You want me to squeeze into tight clothes, pick up heavy things, spike my blood pressure, and run until I can’t breathe? What happened to rest and de-stress!?”
Relax friends! Working out does not have to wear you out, and if the above hypothetical question is at all a reflection of how you feel about working up a sweat, then we need to first redefine your relationship with physical exercise.
The benefits of working out are myriad; in addition to improving the quality of your sleep it will help you with weight management, leave you feeling stronger and more confident, improve your memory and brain function, and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression – aka: help you rest and de-stress! For more info on the benefits of working out, check out this helpful related read: Top 10 Benefits of Physical Activity.
Make regular exercise a part of your lifestyle. Try starting with 30 minute sessions during which you move your body and push yourself will leave you feeling great. It may be all you need to help decompress the stresses of your current grind.
1. Join A Gym
There are many gyms and styles of gyms that are open and available. You may choose a larger, ‘big-box’ gym that has weights and machines for resistance training, sections of equipment dedicated to cardio, or even rooms for activities such as spin and group fitness classes (little perks like steam rooms and massage chairs are nice added bonuses too!).
You could opt to join a smaller boutique gym where the focus is community, be it a yoga studio, kickboxing gym, or a crossfit box. Or you could save money and invest in a home setup; dedicate a room or even just a space in your home for working out; let Youtube be your personal trainer and a set of resistance bands, dumbbells, and your own body weight may be all you need.
2. Get the Gear
As silly as this may sound initially, getting the right gear can really help you make exercise a habit, rather than a chore. Invest in clothes that you like to be physical in; whether you choose tight compression technology or roomy billowy shirts, they should be comfortable and look good, therefore they’ll make you feel good, and consequently, you’ll be more likely to do the workout.
3. Get a Gym Buddy
Again, try not to go alone. Find a workout partner, someone who will tackle this challenge with you. They could be further along their fitness journey or in the same boat as you, that doesn’t matter. What matters is that there is strength in numbers and power in accountability.
Looking for another great place to work out, and another way to rest and de-stress? Venture outside…
3. Get Into Nature
Podcasting friends, as I type this I hear birds chirping outside my window, I see wind rustling through leaves on the trees across the street, and it’s a beautiful grey, overcast day in my part of Canada. The roads are glistening with the evidence of a recent rain shower. Nature is beckoning, and I’m most definitely going to venture outside!
After being holed up in a studio in front of a microphone and computer screen working tirelessly on your amazing content, you’ll find that being in nature is definitely a place of refreshment and inspiration. Being in the sun allows for our bodies to synthesize helpful vitamin D, the fresh air filling our lungs and the general sights and sounds of life around us can be startlingly healing. Go outside. Walk, stand, sit. Just be outside, and just be.
1. Dress Accordingly
Again, talking about our wardrobe may seem irrelevant, but investing in clothing appropriate for the given season will make it easier for you to get out! If the weather sometimes takes a turn for the worst, (as it is so adept at doing in my particular part of the Great White North) bundle up in your warm clothes, sturdy boots, grab a hot drink and choose to be outdoors.
Is the heat sweltering? Is the sun unrelenting? Don’t give in and hide, lean in and find the sun block, your fave pair of shades, bust out the flip flops and shorts and choose to be outside. You could even work out, find a local park and try some creative HIIT circuits, or just opt for a good ol’ fashioned jog.
2. Schedule in Outdoor Breaks
Whatever you do, aim to get a daily dose of the outdoors. But simply aiming is not enough! These escapes into the great outdoors need to be scheduled into our plans, otherwise they will more than likely not happen as other things take priority. But I urge you not to neglect these outdoor breaks.
The change in scenery from workspace to wide open space will do wonders for you physically as well as mentally, and help you to rest and destress in the midst of all the hard work.
So, should you explore outside alone, or do you hit the trails with friends…?
4. Isolate or Socialise
To echo the words of the great grecian philosopher, Socrates, know thyself. Most people will find their personality profile to be a hybrid mixture of different elements, with no two individuals truly being identical, but you will find that you tend towards being an introvert (a shy, reticent person) or an extrovert (an outgoing, overtly expressive person).
1. Rest and Recharge
If you are an introvert, or more introverted, allow yourself time alone to rest and recharge. Find a great book that allows you to get lost and immersed in an exciting new world, cook a delicious meal, watch a movie, pray or meditate…or even sleep, which is a necessity for everyone!
2. Spend Time with Friends and Family
If you have a more extroverted disposition and find that you rest and recharge with and around other people, set yourself up for de-stress success. Go for your nature walk with friends, join family for dinner around the table, if you need to do a more individualised task like reading, settle in at your local coffee shop and do so around people.
3. Make Time to Meet Your Needs
The goal here is to unplug and unwind in a way that best suits you and puts you at ease. Mr Introvert, don’t subject yourself to soul sucking small talk! Mrs Extrovert, don’t banish yourself to a self-imposed isolation! Do those things with, or without people, and allow yourself time to unhitch from the wearisome work wagon that has a tendency to trail you all week.
Still got room for one more seemingly counterintuitive suggestion? Check out number five…
5. Listen to A Podcast
I know, I know, we’re supposed to be resting and de-stressing from the busy recording schedule, but hear me out – listening isn’t necessarily recording, and the results may be therapeutic, cathartic, and inspirational.
By listening to other podcasts you are subconsciously reminding yourself that you are not alone and you are part of a community; a community of content creators lending their voice and sharing their ideas with the world. This is huge, as it serves to give you a suitably grounded perspective that you are not going it alone but you’re plugged into something bigger and meaningful than just you yourself. This is super healthy, friends!
1. Find a Podcast Like Yours
It can also be a great de-stresser when you tune into another podcast and hear a fellow podcaster from your field tackling questions, sharing hilarious stories, and ranting about problems you too can experience release when light is shed and awareness is raised on a meaningful topic, or when an answer is found and a solution is reached, or even when you are simply reminded that you’re not alone in your frustrations.
2. Find a Podcast Unlike Yours
Lastly, tuning in to other podcasts and podcasters – regardless of style, genre, or niche – can be inspirational. One of the greatest sources of stress for a podcater is the pressure to come up with new content that is interesting and engaging. Checking out another podcast may inspire you to adopt new hosting techniques, introduce new segments and experiment with new topics. Great ideas breed great ideas. Tuning into different sources will make you a veritable breeding ground of creativity, and will help to give you much needed rest by lifting the content creation burden off your shoulders.
Related read: How To Find New Podcasts To Listen To [NOT Your Usual Suggestions!]
Mental health and self care have become buzzwords in their own respect, and some would be happy to dismiss them to the trash heap of all things cliché. But, as the cliché goes, things become cliché because they’re true! And if you want to stay on top of your podcasting game, the truth is you need to be able to rest and de-stress amongst your busy recording schedule and the busyness of life.
So invest in your podcast by taking care of yourself. Don’t burnout; rest, move, go outside, recharge appropriately and allow yourself to be inspired by others. These are sure fire ways to rest and de-stress from your busy recording schedule.