Whether you are a full-time freelancer or someone that likes to dabble in online work on occasion, stress is always an issue. Combining a part-time online job with your real-world obligations can be difficult. With all the work you need to do it’s easy to consider that stress can ruin your mood, productivity or even social skills.
But how can you keep doing what you love and still maintain a Zen-like mood? Let’s take a look at some effective, short exercises to alleviate your stress whenever you need that extra push.
Talk your heart out
It can sometimes be a good thing to just talk to someone. Whether you live alone with a pet or have someone to call 24/7 – talking can always help. Social media and chatting don’t do this activity justice – you have to actually speak and use words.
Speaking your mind about whatever you are doing that day and how you feel emotionally can be very helpful. Even if you don’t feel the ease creep in while talking, you will realize that you feel lighter as soon as the conversation is over.
Listen to relaxing music
Whether you are into violin, guitar or soft jazz, music can help your mood tremendously. Listening to music without lyrics and lowering it to a bare minimum volume while working can do wonders for your productivity. As freelancers, we are often surrounded by the silence of our mouse and keyboard.
Knowing that there is a soothing sound coming from the speakers can be a great way to focus and let bad thoughts go away. You can play music whenever you feel like the work is becoming stressful, even without pausing should you choose to do so.
Perform physical exercises
Anyone who spends extended periods of time in front of their computer should do some exercises. Physical exercises help your blood flow; they keep your muscles active and help with back pain and weight issues. Most importantly, exercises help you relieve any stress you might have accumulated while working on your projects.
There are numerous freelance professionals whose help you can find on PeoplePerHour, should you need any help with your work. Becoming so stressed that you can’t work properly isn’t going to help neither your client nor the project in question. Take some time to stretch, bend, squat or even jog once or twice a day.
Exercise guided imagery
If you ever watched BBC’s Sherlock TV series, you are familiar with the concept of a “Mind Palace”. This is a place in which you are safe, outside of anyone’s influence. Guided imagery works in a similar fashion, allowing you to transport yourself to a place of safety and stress-relief.
You can practice guided imagery by playing soothing music (see above) and closing your eyes in a comfortable position. Think of the time, place and people that make you happy. These ideas are responsible for shaping you into the person you are today. Call up old memories and feeling you have towards them by closing your eyes and breathing slowly, deeply.
Organize your workspace
We often find ourselves in a messy work environment for seemingly unknown reasons – things just happen at random. A great stress-relief exercise is to simply organize your workspace back to its previous state. You can implement a bit of your inner OCD into cleaning up your desk, dusting the floor and airing the room you work in.
Segment your work into milestones
Sometimes it’s difficult to comprehend the amount of work we have in front of us. Segmenting that work into smaller chunks is not only recommended but required for most freelancing work. This is a good way of incentivizing yourself to work harder and faster as well.
Putting small personal rewards at each milestone will keep you focused on what matters. Stress won’t have a place in your head due to the small dose of success you experience every time you get to the next milestone in your work.
In the end
The type of exercise you choose to perform depends on your personality and spare time. Some people prefer jogging while others turn to their pets for comfort.
While work is important in order to pay the bills and keep the fridge stocked, it’s also important to look at the bigger picture. You are your own most important friend, so make sure that you live a long and stress-free life for as long as possible.
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