Whatever line of work we are in, we are bound to get stressed at some time or another but as a freelance graphic designer in particular, there are also added pressures.
Stressed? Calm Down
You are responsible for marketing, managing clients, completing projects, time management, and even completing financial tasks, which means you can often feel overwhelmed with work pressures. But how can you stop the stress, before it becomes too much?
This doesn´t just mean switching yourself off from work, it also means shutting down your laptop, switching off your mobile, and really taking time away from all work and distractions to give you time to think about what you really need and want. Then you can slowly begin to switch on again, begin to focus on one client project at a time and hopefully see a solution to a stressful situation or problem.
Distracting yourself from work life does not always have to mean quiet time away from everything. Friends give you the perfect opportunity to relax and take your mind off work. Equally, if you have a stressful graphic design project or client at work then you can vent your frustration with your friends, even if they don´t have a solution, you will feel better just by letting off some steam and you never know, an outsider might see a solution that you hadn´t previously thought about. However, it´s important that you maintain a balance between work and play.
Re-discover other passions
Why did you take up work as a freelancer? Most probably it was because you wanted flexible working hours so you could spend more time doing what you love. But as the projects got bigger, you slowly discovered that flexibility involved you bending over backwards to meet client demands. If this is the case, it´s high time to put a stop to this and to do something for yourself. Love cooking? Invite friends over and make that new dish you´ve been meaning to try out. Maybe you´re more of a sportsperson? Running, swimming or even rock climbing are great ways to relieve stress. Music-lover? Check the events listings in your area and go to that gig and let loose for a while. You´ll feel better for it and feel ready to tackle that new project in no time.
Talk to your peers
If you´re really stuck in a rut about a particular project, then stressing out about it or running the problem over and over in your head is really not a healthy habit to adopt. Instead, turn to your freelancing friends and contacts to use their experience and listen to their advice. Don´t be too proud to ask for help, those who know when to ask for help are often a lot more successful than people who suffer in silence.
Have fun with work
If you wake up dreading your work day, then you´re not having enough fun. Your choice to start freelancing as a graphic designer is beginning to feel more like a chore than a dream. To relieve this burden and reignite your passion for your job, try working on personal projects as this will reduce stress and keep you interested in the industry. Take some time out, even if it´s just an hour here and there, to work on something that you want to do, not what you have to do. Plus, it might give you the option of creating another source of income if your personal projects are really good, leaving you less reliant on client work.
These are just some of the fundamental steps in managing stress that any graphic designer should understand, but everyone is different so adapt these tips to suit you and find that perfect balance between a stress-free career and a stress-free life.