9 Effective Stress Management Tips for Freelancers

If you work as a freelancer, you know that, just like any other challenging job, freelancing can be stressful.  Stress management tips and activities can help you to cope when "the going gets tough". 

You may feel stressed out for many reasons, including situations like these:

  • You deliver a project that you believed met the client's requirements perfectly, only to be told that it must be completely redone.
  • You were sure you had plenty of time to get a project completed, only to have an unexpected life event occur.
  • The demands of work constantly encroach on your personal time, leaving no room for exercise, a social life, or family time.

The next time you're overwhelmed & feel like quitting, take a deep breath and consider some stress management tips that will keep things in perspective.

busy freelancer concept

Applying the Stress Management Tips 

Managing stress as a freelancer is easier said than done! Incorporating these tips into your day-to-day operations will help keep you sane even in the busiest of times:

  • Identify potential stressors and plan for them. Stress comes from many sources. Figure out what stresses you out the most and create a plan to address those issues. This is probably the most important strategy for combating stress, because if you are like me I find being overwhelmed by things to do on the ToDoList is one of my biggest stressors. 
  • Choose work you enjoy. Don't try to make a living doing something that stresses you out or requires more time than you can reasonably devote to the task.
  • Plan a reasonable return for your time. Low rates may attract clients, but if you are earning $5 per hour, you will resent your work. Set rates that provide a reasonable income.
  • Set boundaries. Give your spirit room to breathe. Take breaks and protect leisure time in order to keep stress under control.
  • Exercise. Don't neglect your body as you build your client base and income. Exercise reduces stress and also gives your brain a boost. If you lack commitment join a group. I am a member of a bike riding club that rides two or three times a week and this helps with commitment.
  • Spend time with family and friends. Invest in the important relationships in your life. They will still be there, even if work lets you down.
  • Give back to the community. Invest in your neighborhood, city, or county by volunteering or taking on a service project.
  • Live a balanced, mindful life. It's really easy to get your life out of balance when you're depending on freelance work to make ends meet. If you regularly resent the work you're doing, things are probably out of balance.
  • Consider "fun" ways to reduce stress.  Tickle your sense of humour… Laughter has therapeutic benefits.  It can help to reduce stress levels, and the break should energize and re-fresh your mind. 

Living the Life You Want

The next time you're tempted to throw in the towel, step away from it all for a minute and look at which parts of your life may be out of balance. Proactively planning your time with these simple stress management tips will help you to create a rewarding freelance career that keeps stress to a minimum. 

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