Day trading is often seen as an easy and relaxed way to make money online. This view has been supported by many online traders who seek to attract people to their trading courses. However, the reality is that trading is more complicated than that.
It is a tough industry that can often lead to stress, burnout, and even depression. In this article, we will look at some of the best ways to overcome burnout in the market.
What is a burnout?
A burnout is defined as a “state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion" that is caused by excessive and prolonged stress. In most cases, this happens when one is extremely busy, has little time for other activities, and is not even feeding well.
For example, freelance writers who work 19 hours a day may experience burnout because they have limited time to rest. Similarly, a day trader who spends ten of hours per day trading may experience this exhaustion.
People in all areas, including students, go through a burnout in different situations.
Why burnout happens to traders
The idea that most people have about day traders is an illusion. They believe that traders simply wake up, turn on their computers, read news, and then start trading.
However, the reality is that trading is much more than that. In most cases, traders tend to go through significant challenges in their daily activities.
And at times, they are usually some of the most stressed individuals in the world. Let's analyze some of the reasons why burnout happens to traders.
Independent and institutional day traders work in an extremely high-pressure environment where performance is key.
For example, if you are working for a hedge fund or an investment bank, then there is a high probability that you will be paid based on your performance. Companies will only sustain you as an employee if you are performing.
Similarly, if you are an independent retail trader, there are chances that you will be under pressure to succeed. Therefore, this pressure can push you to work so hard that you expose yourself to burnout.
The situation is made worse when there are too many market moves and when things are not going on well.
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Market volatility and unpredictability
Trading is a different game from other professions. For example, as a doctor, you will often deal with similar cases. However, in trading, every day is different because of the unpredictable nature of the financial market. At times, the market may be extremely dull while at times it may be highly volatile.
Therefore, this market volatility can see you make some good profits at times and some spectacular losses in other periods.
This volatility could lead to significant burnout, especially when you are not performing as expected. It can also lead to a significant mental exhaustion.
As a solo trader, being isolated can lead to significant burnout since you are responsible for doing all the research and trading.
At times, being alone under pressure can lead to significant mental exhaustion. The alternative, which involves being part of a trading floor, is seen as a better option.
When trading as a team, you will often interact with your colleagues. You will also find yourself deliberating on key issues. In most periods, talking and interacting with other people can help you fight burnout.
Lack of rest
The other thing that can cause burnout is lack of rest as a trader. This happens when you trade for extremely long hours per day.
Some forex traders start trading in the Asian session and continue doing it during the American session. At times, they also trade other financial assets like stocks and indices in between. Doing all this can lead to substantial losses and burnout.
Burnout can be caused by financial pressures like the need to make money to handle several activities.
For example, if you are working to raise cash for school fees or building, you can be under pressure to become extremely profitable.
Effects of burnout in trading
There are several important effects of burnout in trading. Some of these effects are:
- Depression - Burnout can often lead to stress and depression, especially when you are doing too much and achieving too little.
- Productivity erosion - In most cases, burnout leads to low productivity among traders. This happens when you are trading for the sake of it. Also, over-trading can lead to substantial losses in the market.
- Increased risk-taking - Burnout can see you increase your risk-taking risks. When you risk too much, you can also lose too much as well. This, in turn, can lead to more risk-taking, which can lead to more losses.
- Illness - At times, it can lead to mental-related illnesses, which can have significant implications in the market.
How to overcome burnout in trading
Take regular breaks
A simple way to overcome burnout is to take regular breaks during your trading sessions. There are many ways to do this.
For example, you can implement trades, set their stop-loss and take-profit, and then do other things. In this case, the outcome will always be a loss or a profit based on the stop-loss and take-profit. You can also decide to take some afternoons off.
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Be in a trading floor
As mentioned above, one cause of burnout in trading is being a solo trader. This happens when you spend too much time alone trading.
You can handle this challenge by being a member of a trading floor. Fortunately, using a platform like DTTW can help you start your own trading floor or join an existing one.
Focus on few trades
Another way to fight burnout is to focus on implementing a few trades every day. For example, you can focus on trading American stocks alone. In this case, you can implement a few trades instead on opening hundreds of trades per day.
If you are a regular watcher of our TraderTV live trading series, you will find that our professionals usually open a few trades per day.
Ask for professional help
Finally, ask for help from professionals. A mental health professional will help you deal with the emerging issues of your mental state.
For example, they will recommend to you drugs that will lower your anxiety and diet that will improve your well-being.
There are other things that will help you avoid and beat burnout. For example, having a mentor, doing a trading journal, and opening few trades will help you deal with it.
You can also decide to automate your trades using algorithms or through copy-trading can help you.
External useful resources
- What are some ways to prevent burnout as a day trader? - Quora