How to deal with stress as a freelancer

As a freelance worker, it is nearly impossible to avoid stress completely, however there are certain thing you can do to reduce stress and the effects of it. Constantly dealing with stress can have serious negative impact on your mental and physical health. Therefore, you really need to be proactive in reducing stress causing factors.

Stress can be caused through multiple things from financial insecurity to feeling like you are neglecting your family and friends. To minimise the stress that comes with being a freelancer, follow these few tips.

Getting motivated

You are bound to lose motivation when working for yourself, its normal to face these lows as a freelancer. However, what matters more is how you pick yourself up and get the motivational momentum going again. You should understand and highlight what gets you motivated, this will vary for different individuals. Some of the most common reasons that gets freelancers motivated is their family, their responsibility to their clients and focusing on why they started a freelancing in the first place. You should keep these in mind and really think about other factors which make you love what you do. Having these in mind will help you get through the harder parts of working as a freelancer.

Support system

You need to have a good support system around, including likeminded people who are in a similar place to you. You could start of my networking and getting to know people in the same industry as you. Having people in your circle that are in a similar position to you that may be able offer constructive criticism, could really help you grow as a person and a freelancer.

It’s important to open up, share and talk about your stresses and mental health. You can even do this with family and friends, as they are the people that know you the best. By talking about it, you may be able to get a better perspective of why and how your stress levels build.

Prioritise

Prioritising can be a big struggle for freelancers, however it is essential to do, in order to keep stress levels low. You need to get organised and start prioritising, this will give you time to focus on the most important tasks at hand. By working in an order of most important to the least, you can relieve some pressure.

Work culture

Work culture is not just for business with multiple staff. As a freelancer you can create rules to build a culture for your workspace. Create a culture to look after mental/physical health and wellbeing, starting off by allowing yourself to take a break and take time out when needed. Additionally, set yourself work hours and finish when the clock hits the end of your day. The great thing about freelancing is the freedom you get with deciding your working hours. However, this can sometime lead to overworking. Therefore, set yourself working hours, for example you may be productive in the morning, so set your working hours from 6am to 1pm.  

Also ensure that you are taking regular breaks, especially if you are sitting in front of a screen during the most of your working day. Consider taking walks and getting some fresh air as this can mentally help to relax you.

Schedule time out

It can be sometimes be difficult to stick your schedule, but you must absolutely try to take time out occasionally. This could vary, it could either mean taking an hour out for lunch, a weekend trip away or not missing your child’s Christmas play. This will enable you to spend time with the people that are important to you and it will make you happy. It also means that there is less strain on your personal relations.

You might also want to just take time out for yourself. You should spend some time doing something you love as it will help you clear your mind. This will also be beneficial for your work as it will allow you to have a refreshed mind with a new perspective.  

Eat, sleep and exercise

The combination of three will make sure you have a healthier and more productive lifestyle. They are the three most basic things that you need to in order to release stress and recuperate after a long day. Exercising regularly will benefit you physically but it can also work wonders for your mental health. It enables your body to increase the endorphins level, which make you feel better and happier.  

Although the amount of sleep each individual needs varies, you should still try to sleep for around the average of eight hours. Getting enough sleep is essential to decreasing stress levels and increasing productivity. It will also ensure that you have a clear mind which will make you a better decision maker.

Have a balanced diet, and make a conscious effort to eat clean and healthy. When you are over working and have minimum time, you are likely to go for the easiest and the most comforting kind of foods. The problem is that those tend to fatty foods, which don’t benefit you, rather leave you feeling lethargic and tired. You just need to get organised and think a little more about your food to ensure a healthy diet.

Stress is inevitable in most work places, even more so if you are running a business. However, these are some of the steps you can take to ensure that the stress doesn’t become over whelming.

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