Stress challenges the way we do work -- whether you’re a freelancer or a full-time employee. If you're a freelancer, you should know how to deal with stress before it could take a toll on your health. Start by acknowledging it and its source, and by doing activities that can fight off its harmful effects on your well-being.
What Causes Your Stress
To be able to deal with stress, you must first recognize the signals. Can’t sleep? Have trouble focusing? Getting snarky over little things? Know what’s behind all these.
Freelancers are privileged to have the freedom to choose their working hours. When you’re a freelancer, you don’t have to commute and be stuck in hellish traffic on your way to work. You won’t be dealing with a closet full of clothes and complain every morning that you don’t have anything to wear. You don’t have to worry about where to eat for lunch. Still, it doesn't matter if you have the more laid-back setting -- you can still get stressed out. Often. Everyday maybe.
The most common sources of stress for freelancers are money, workload, and their clients. They’re basically just the same categories as that of a regular employee’s, but how they’re causing stress to freelancers is quite different.
- Money - not having a steady stream of income; pay depends on how hard you try to win projects
- Workload - accepting projects more than you can handle; not prioritizing daily tasks
- Employer - difficult to communicate with, hard to please, making impossible demands and deadlines
How to Deal with Stress
Stress comes in different forms, in different magnitudes. You can get stressed for a couple of minutes or for an entire day, but what matters is you know how to deal with it. If you feel that it’s creeping into your system, divert the negativity. Indulge in activities that make you happy.
There are plenty of stress busters you can do, and we’re listing down just a tiny part of that huge list.
Do in 5 minutes or less:
- Drink tea
- Do your favorite yoga pose
- Walk around the house
- Play with your pet
Do in 10 minutes or less:
- Call a loved one or a friend
- Do a quick workout
- Munch on a healthy snack
- Play your favorite mobile game
Do at the end of your workday:
- Cook your favorite dish for dinner
- Read a book
- Watch your favorite primetime show
- Bond with your kids (if you have any)
Do on weekends:
- Meet with your friends
- Take up a new hobby
- Play sports
- Try gardening
Stress in freelancing is not a thing of the past. If you can’t control it, deal with it. Take breaks as often as possible, but in a way that won’t affect your day’s output. Know when to stop working. If it’s in your agreement with your client, don’t open emails when you’ve already called it a day. Get enough sleep and nutrition to combat stress easier.
These are the things you can do to keep motivation, productivity, and happiness close. Don’t let stress knock you down!
What about you? How do you manage stress while freelancing? Share them in the comment section below to start a discussion.
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