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Freelancers are so laid back, what with all that extra time they have from not having to get up early and go to work.

WRONG. If you say this (or anything similar) to your freelancing friends, you can expect a swift kick in the shin followed by an icy glare and a cold shoulder.

Once you have grovelled and apologised roughly a thousand and one times, it will be explained to you that actually, freelancers work longer hours and have less of a work/home life balance than office workers. Couple this with getting paid less too, and it can make for some stressed individuals.

Despite what you’ve been told, freelancers aren’t on a permanent holiday so for them remembering to take time to de-stress is vital.

Regular Breaks

Stepping away from the desk for a breath of fresh air can seem like a luxury saved only for the privileged office worker when you’re a deadline-driven freelancer.

It’s actually a necessity to take breaks from the desk – otherwise how will you create fantastic ideas and pull them off in time to meet your client’s crazy deadlines? Remain calm by walking away, having a cup of tea and a few (or several) biscuits.

Prepare to return with a fresh mind full of exciting ideas that will keep you writing until the sun comes up.

Walks

In case you didn’t know, walking meetings are now a thing. They are becoming increasingly popular in the office environment. So why should freelancers miss out?

You might not have a colleague to have your walking meeting with, but surely that makes it better. No discussing the monthly report for you! Just the wind in your hair and the sun on your face as you muse over your inspirational surroundings.

Clock-off

As a freelancer it’s easy to allow your work to bleed into your home life – if you remember something important you didn’t write down then it doesn’t mean driving back to the office, just open up your laptop and you’re ready to top up your idea chart.

Set yourself strict deadlines and use all of your willpower to not open that laptop when you remember your idea. Write it on a post-it if you really must, but try not to let it seep into your precious family time.

That is the reason you probably went freelance in the first place, after all.

Natural Light

I’m a big fan of Thomas Edison’s work, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes though, you just need that fresh glow of natural light to make you feel a bit better.

Set your workspace up next to a big window so you’re making the most of the natural light. It has been reported that environments which offer more daylight can help increase productivity and comfort levels. They also provide visual and mental stimulation which can get your creative juices flowing.

Getting your workspace set up in a natural light-friendly area will also save you money on your electric bills, so don’t discount it!

Friends and Family

When you first went freelance it’s possible you imagined you’d be working a three day week – and spending the rest of your time with your family.

Unfortunately, that’s not usually how it pans out, and you instead work a six day week and seven evenings. You need to remember the reason you went freelance and make time in your schedule for catching up with family and friends.

Go to the zoo, the aquarium or even a book a short trip away. Spending time with your loved ones should be the top of your priority list, no matter how long it is.

Don’t Let It Get To You

And most importantly, don’t let things get to you. It can be easy to take things personally when it’s only your neck on the line. Every. Single. Time.

The reality is that your freelance work isn’t going to be for everyone, and accepting that sooner rather than later will save you a lot of grief in your freelance career.

Failure is one of the necessary evils of creating and producing anything, so just pick yourself up and carry on.

Is your freelance career causing hair loss? Are you found in the fetal position rocking in a corner at 3pm on a Tuesday? Leave your comments in the section below and tell us how you’re trying to stress less!

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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