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Self-Employment – Ten Ways To Deal With Stress

Self-employment frees you from the usual toxicity of working for others – no horrible bosses, no disappointing appraisals (or lack thereof), no confined hours in the workplace, no difficult colleagues. And the list can go on. Yet, taking the self-employed route can be stressful, too. Managing your own business or working as a freelancer has its own set of challenges, and stress looms in every turn.

Your success now relies on your determination, skills, and grit. You don’t follow somebody else’s direction, you are your own boss and you call the shots. The responsibilities and risks are placed on your shoulders. Yes, self-employment is tough but it can be greatly rewarding.

Stress is inevitable, so face it head on! Here are 10 ideas that will help you ward off the stress and help your ventures grow and succeed in the long run.

1.  Write it down

Ever had too many thoughts swirling in your head? Don’t overload your neurons! Relieve your brain by jotting them down. Keep a journal and compile your musings about your business, your career, and life, in general. You may find clarity when your ideas are written or drawn on paper. It is also something you can review and look back on during your next brainstorming session. Your breakthrough project might be in those scribbles!

2.  Invest in a ‘happy’ work area

Your work environment influences your mindset and productivity. Whether you’re renting an office space elsewhere or converting a room in your home, make it a happy place!

First off, make sure it’s well-lighted, clean, and comfortable. Invest in ergonomic office furniture. You wouldn’t want a backache to hinder your efficiency, right? You might even think about investing in a stand-up table that can allow you to work while standing. Moreover, be organized with your files and office supplies. You would realize that a clutter-free workplace can reduce stress and help you think more clearly.

If you have extra budget and time to spare, splash your room with colors that will light up your mood on gloomy days. Maximize the walls and decorate it with your life goals, a dream board perhaps, to remind you every day why you’re there in the first place. Hang family pictures to keep you going when things get tough or display meaningful quotes from people who inspire you.

3.  Be optimistic

Your attitude is pivotal to your success. People who carry a positive attitude go farther in life. It’s not all about the skills. Having the right attitude is a far greater advantage.

Save yourself from unnecessary stress by taking the negativity out of your life. Stay optimistic! Push yourself all the more when you fail, learn from your mistakes and never give up. Stay focused on your goals whatever setbacks may come. Instead of complaining, be grateful. Focus on what you still have instead of what you’ve lost.

Don’t be your own enemy by comparing yourself to what other people in your industry have already achieved. Carve your own path at your own pace.

4.  Rank your goals

Allot your energy and resources on endeavors that will contribute to your goals. But make sure your objectives are clear to you to begin with.

Rank your goals. Which one should go first? Which one deserves more time and effort? Which should be done ‘now’ and which can be shelved temporarily?

Having a clear set of priorities allows you to manage your time well. Time is precious and can never be taken back. Align your projects and strategies based on your priorities. This way, you escape a lot of stress from things that have no impact on the longevity of your business or career.

5.  Plan ahead

Avoid a lot of stress when you plan mindfully and meticulously. You are on your own now. No more boss telling you what to do every step of the way. You have to know what you’re doing and where you’re going. Otherwise, your planning to fail.

Strategize ahead, identify the possible pitfalls and create contingency plans in case they happen. Fire-fighting is not the solution. You have to prevent the fire from happening. This way, less stress!

6.  Don’t procrastinate

Having the time freedom does not mean you can procrastinate. Your goals should be time-bound. Challenge yourself and adhere to the deadlines, whether self-imposed or mandated by your client. Finishing your tasks on time relieves you from the stress of cramming. Also, you avoid compromising the quality of your output because of lack of time.


7.  Take a breather

It’s okay to take things slow. Slow down when you need to. You reduce stress when you welcome play time. Do something you love, take a night out, go on a stroll, play with your pet, watch a movie, get engrossed in a video game – make room for leisure and do what makes you happy!

‘All work and no play’ robs you of the simple joys in life. Have fun and laugh all you want, and you’ll see that this form of recharging yourself can lead to higher productivity.

8.  Stay healthy

Staying healthy is one of the best ways to remain stress-free. Eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, and don’t overwork yourself. Remember that health is a precious gift that should not be taken for granted.

What will you do with all your riches when your body is too weak to enjoy them? How can you finish your business endeavors when you’re sick and bed-ridden? Also, don’t forget how your savings can quickly go down the drain when hospital bills start piling up. Think about it the next time you sacrifice rest for work.

9.  Seek social and emotional support

Surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you, those who sincerely want you to succeed. Seek social and emotional support from family and friends. Spend time with your loved ones. Find a confidante.

Moreover, value your clients and business partners. Care for them and work towards mutual success. Cleanse your heart from selfish motives and avoid people who hound you with negativity.

10.  Remember your ‘Whys’

It takes guts to go on your own and choose to be self-employed. Don’t give up on your dreams. Remember why you started.

Don’t let stress get in the way of your success. You will emerge stronger every time you overcome.

We hope these tips help on your journey to self-employment. Make sure to check out all of our great articles and success stories on the Portals Blog.  If you have any questions or want to talk with us, use our Contact Form to get started.

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