While working as an independent professional is certainly rewarding, like any job, it can be stressful at times. How you choose to manage this stress will impact your ability to enjoy your work and achieve long-term success. You want to shine on, not burn out. Follow these three steps to identify and reduce your level of stress.
Often, people experience the effects of stress without fully understanding its cause. Some side effects you may notice include:
Not only can these side effects of stress decrease your productivity, but they can also affect your personal life—you may become socially withdrawn, or develop physical or emotional problems.
Once you’ve recognized that you have one or more of the symptoms outlined above, the next step is to uncover the cause of this stress. To do this, think about the times that you get anxious or irritable—what’s happening? Are you struggling to meet unrealistic deadlines? Are you having a hard time balancing your work and personal life? Alternatively, perhaps you always assumed work was supposed to be stressful or that stress might make you more productive. Whatever the cause may be, you can’t correct it without identifying it.
When you make time for relaxation and fun, stressful situations tend to become much easier to handle. So, what activity helps you relax? Whether it’s getting out and exercising, taking a short vacation, or just unwinding in your backyard, be sure to schedule time to partake in your stress release activity.
Prioritizing time for yourself and not sweating the small stuff will help you find a better balance and reduce daily stress. It’s important to keep in mind that in most situations, there’s at least one aspect that is beyond your control. Worrying about all the little things you can’t control will simply result in unnecessary stress and worry. By adjusting your outlook and accepting the things you can’t change, you will find work—and life—much more enjoyable.
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