Has forex trading left you feeling tired, frustrated, and just plain burnt out lately? Some might be under the impression that trading is an easy job. After all, you just sit in front of your computer, make a few trades, and sit back while the money comes in, right? True forex traders know that this is far from the truth. The reality is that trading can actually become quite stressful once the constant risk, undesirable market conditions, overtrading, pressures to succeed, and failing to meet your own expectations all set in. Add a string of losses to the mixture and you’ll find yourself with one stressed out trader.
Experiencing mental burnout is something that nobody wants to deal with, but it can be especially harmful when it happens to forex traders. This is because we need to be awake and alert so that we can make the smartest financial decisions. Once we become tired and frustrated, our cloudy head might lead us to overlook things, enter trades we shouldn’t or leave trades open too long, overtrade, practice revenge trading when we’re losing – you get the picture. Think about the things you were told when it was time to take a test in grammar school. You were advised to get plenty of rest, eat a big breakfast, and show up feeling energized to get the best results. Are you treating yourself the same way as a forex trader?
Step 1: Recognizing Burnout
Mental burnout is not something that will hit you right off the bat once you start trading. In fact, you might be able to go a long time without experiencing it. This is because it is something that sets in over time once a variety of stressful factors start to pile up on you. Did you know that some of the signs that you’re burnt out can even be physical, rather than only mental? If you want to avoid becoming a total trading zombie, you can start by recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental burnout:
- You’ve started to deviate from your trading plan and no longer care about your trading rules.
- You’re experiencing headaches or other physical symptoms like muscle aches or generally just feeling sick with no real explanation.
- You’re falling into a depression that leaves you tired and unmotivated.
- You become frustrated at everyone and everything for no real reason, both in everyday life and while trading.
- You begin to doubt your abilities as a forex trader, even though you’ve been successful before.
- You just don’t care much about trading anymore and you consider giving up despite past success.
If this sounds familiar, you are probably already dealing with mental burnout as a forex trader. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to get your head back in the game and to overcome those debilitating symptoms.
Step 2: Take Yourself Back to the Beginning
Do you remember how you felt when you opened your very first trading account? Were you an eager, starry-eyed beginner that had big plans and dreams? Try to take yourself back to those feelings. Think of the way you felt the first time you entered a trade, made money, and when you made your first withdrawal. Over time, trading probably became a habit and you no longer felt the excitement from those little things, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t renew your happiness with trading. Every dollar made is worth celebrating, so give yourself some credit for coming so far and try to soak in the small victories.
Step 3: Find Other Traders to Confide In
If you’re dealing with trading burnout alone, it only makes it that much more overwhelming. Having other traders to talk to who can say they’ve also been there and give you advice about how they overcame it is a great way to remind yourself that you aren’t the only trader that has experienced this. It can also be reassuring to talk with someone else that has experienced physical symptoms from the stress because you may feel more validated. If you confirm that this is happening to others and they’ve overcome it, then you may feel more confident that you can pull yourself out of the slump too.
If you personally know someone that trades, you should ask them if they’d like to get together and become trading buddies. Don’t worry if you don’t know anyone in person because there are online forums and communities designed just for this purpose. You shouldn’t have an issue finding one (or more) traders that relate to the way your feeling and your trading style. You can probably even find a more experienced trader that will also give you great advice that goes above and beyond dealing with trading burnout.
Step 4: Relax and Refresh
Whenever you’re dealing with stress from forex trading or anything else going on in your life, the best thing to do is take some time for yourself to unwind. Of course, this looks different for everyone. Some of us would prefer to sleep in or take a nap, relax on the couch, and maybe watch a movie. Others might be more into exercising or partaking in yoga or meditational activities. Sometimes, a night out can really do the trick, so consider treating yourself to a nice dinner, heading to the movies, or doing anything else you find fun. The key is to find something that you really enjoy doing and to do it often enough to keep yourself calm. If you start to feel stressed, simply take a break from trading, unwind, and come back with a clear head and zero frustration. It might seem unproductive to stop trading, but you will find that you get better results because you won’t be making trading decisions out of sheer frustration.