So first thing’s first, if you’re one of them, you’re not alone and there’s nothing wrong with you! Stress can be a motivator for some, but it is widely accepted that it is not a healthy state long-term. That said it’s pretty impossible to avoid stress altogether. Iff you care about what you do, you will at some point feel stressed – to meet a deadline, to do a good job, to make ends meet. What matters is what you do with that stress, how you handle it, and how you fight it back so it doesn’t take over your body and your mind, leading to the sinister cycle of stress generating more stress. For those who work alone, as most freelancers do, stress can go unnoticed or undiscussed, with nobody to share with or vent to at the printer or during a lunch break. So to all freelancers out there, don’t forget to watch your stress level and try to implement these few steps into your routine, if you start to feel you’re losing control in stressful times.
Move your body
All health professionals strongly recommend working out and exercising to combat stress and anxiety. And the few times we did it, we felt it: working out does work. The problem is that finding time to make your heart rate go up and take your muscles for a ride is not always easy, especially when you’re your own boss. But there are many ways to keep your body moving, even if you can’t find an hour daily to get to the gym. Walk during phone calls, ride your bike to your coffee shop, if you take a 10 minute break, don’t open Insta, instead stretch out, do a small yoga routine or a full-on short high- intensity exercise. You can find plenty of short routines online that can fit your schedule – see, you’re not alone with this issue!
Take a breath
Mindfulness and meditation have become mainstream in the past few years. The reason is that it simply works. By becoming aware of your body, clearing your mind and focusing solely on your breathing, you can slow everything down and keep the chaos at bay. Only a couple of minutes, in a moment of anxiety can help tremendously. It’s all about taking that first step of saying: instead of freaking out for 3 minutes, I will meditate. And then, all you have to do is literally just breathe – which we can all agree is easier than doing 50 push-ups! There are many apps out there to help you get into that meditative state, Calm or Mindfulness are some of the most popular ones.
Write things down.
When things get chaotic, when there’s too much to do, when you don’t know what to think or where to start, writing down what you feel and everything that’s on your mind is an effective way of regaining control. The simple fact of getting some thoughts out on paper is similar to kicking a demon or an alien outside of your body! By writing thoughts down on paper, they’re not spinning in your brain in a whirlwind, they’re out there, ready to be shared with people and ready to be tackled, one by one!
Treat your senses
Light a candle. Turn on some relaxing music. Watch an episode of your favorite sitcom. By stimulating your senses, you can infuse some peace into your body and remind yourself that there are beautiful and fun things in the world around you.
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