Overcoming Freelance Stress

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on March 21, 2008 in Freelance Writing Life
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Stress Management - Credit: iStockPhotoBeing a freelance writer can be stressful at times. That stress may be because you have a lot of work going on at once, or because work is slow and you're stressing while you try to find new clients. No matter what the reason is, you have to deal with the stress before it completely consumes you.

I've been particularly stressed with work lately. It's a good stress, in that it's a pretty heavy client load - been that way since the start of the year (usually it simmers down a bit starting in February). Good stress or not, it's still wearing me out. So I thought now is as good a time as any to share our stress relief tips with each other.

How do you relieve your work-related stress? Do you do different things depending on what's stressing you out? Here's what I've been doing lately:

  • Working out - anything from a 15 minute walk to a 5 mile hike to a yoga session - getting the blood flowing de-stresses and energizes me for a while.
  • Scents - When I need some energy, I burn pine candles. When I'm working late and need to keep myself going, I burn peppermint incense. When I need to focus I burn cinnamon candles. Those scents just work for me. Do you have any favorites when you're working?
  • Decor - It might seem silly to some, but when I have certain things around me, they help me cut down on the stress a bit. When I recently re-decorated my office space, I added several plants and brought my desktop fountain back out... they've been a good addition as far as helping to take some of the edge off.

I'm not doing nearly enough though. I know there are a few other things I should be doing to help, like:

  • Cutting back on the caffeine
  • Drinking more water
  • Getting more organized (I've been sorely lacking in organizational skills lately)
  • Get more sleep (and preferably during more normal hours... seems like I'm always up working into the middle of the night and then starting late in the day the following day - I'd like to start working earlier in the morning... I think that would help with the stress in my case a bit.)

So again, what kinds of things do you do to de-stress when working? Do you listen to specific types of music? Take breaks at certain times? Anything particularly unique to you that you don't think many others do?

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.

She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.


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