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How long have you been a freelancer? If you’ve been doing it for a while, you’ve probably realized it can be very rewarding. Being able to choose what projects to work on, and when and where you work from is a brilliant way to work. However, there are aspects of being a freelancer that can be very stressful.
You can’t predict when your work is going to appear, or you find yourself doing several projects at the same time. The hours are also long and irregular. If your stress levels are getting a little high and you’re wondering how to cope, here are some tips to help you deal with the problem.
If there are certain things in your life causing you stress, they may be avoidable. That’s not to say you can avoid all of them. You first need to identify the things causing you stress.
If you’re struggling to get to sleep, is it because you’re worried about a client? Or is it because you’re worried about paying the bills next month because you haven’t found a new client? Both things you could do something about.
For the things you can’t avoid, you need to look at the bigger picture.
Relax and Have Fun
Working an ever-increasing number of hours every week is not good for your health. Take time out to relax and have fun or you’ll very quickly burn out. After a certain number of hours at work, your productivity drops so take a break as often as you can.
Better still take some time off and attend a local music concert. It’s very easy to find yourself working 7 days a week, and you should force yourself to take a much-needed break. If you want to know what’s happening in your area, look online and treat yourself to a play, concert or sports event.
Analysis Your Stress Levels
If you take a step back from the issue and look at it more rationally, you may find a solution that jumps out at you. It may also help you realize that the problem you’re stressing over is not as bad as it seems.
The outcome of this exercise is to alleviate the stress rather than remove the problem.
Eat and Sleep Properly
Your sleep patterns and your diet have a profound impact on your stress levels. If you find yourself snacking all day long on junk food, it’s going to make you feel tired and you’re going to put on weight.
Not sleeping at night because you’re worried about project results in you sleeping late and not getting the work done, thereby compounding the problem.
I often get busy brain about things I need to do and then can’t sleep. Writing it out helps me get some sleep at least.
Adopt a healthy diet, regulate your sleep and you’ll feel much better for it.
Exercise to Help Your Stress Levels
You might not think you’ve got the time or the energy for exercise, but you’ll be amazed at how different you feel if you include at least half an hour’s exercise every other day. If you can manage more then all the better.
Go to bed a little earlier so you can get up and go to the gym. Go for a run, take up basketball, yoga, or Pilates. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to include it in your schedule.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.