If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me worrying-out-loud about a client who I’m concerned is about to drop me. It’s my biggest client, and while when I first started freelancing, I counted this kind of thing as part of the game, I’m at a point now where it sometimes can get to me (this is despite always having my marketing garden always producing…I’m a bit of a natural worrier.)
I started in a downward spiral, asking what I’d done wrong, wondering if I’d made some fundamental mistakes in the onboarding process, and feeling like I needed to do 800 things to make the relationship better.
I sat back for a second though, and realized I simply needed to retake control of the relationship, be proactive, and subtly remind that client of the value I bring them.
I made a call, sent a couple of emails and bam…the situation was handled…but I still felt stressed. That let me know that I needed to take a break to do something to give me a fresh perspective on everything.
I do a couple of different things when I need to reset my freelance mind and want to share five of my favorite with you here.
Do something simple.
Life as a freelancer is filled with decisions and tasks that require a lot of motivation and drive.
While this is an expected part of the lifestyle tradeoff, sometimes it really can weigh on you and make you wish for simpler times with simpler work. While freelancing does involve more complex work, it isn’t completely devoid of those straightforward tasks that can be so common in traditional employment.
Every day my calendar has two or three tasks related to marketing or general admin (keeping them there takes off the mental weight of having to remember on my own). I’ve come to appreciate these tasks because sometimes, doing something simple like following up on an email, or reposting a blog on LinkedIn is exactly what I need to feel like I’m moving forward as a freelancer without breaking the willpower bank.
Cleaning used to be such a drain when I was traditionally employed…now that I work from home and for myself, it’s a welcome break.
It can be too easy to get sucked into a freelancer worry loop, and cleaning is one of those routine things that, while sometimes boring, can also re-center your mind around the things in life that don’t change…like laundry.
One of the greatest things about my life now is that I can really mix up my workout. I still hit the gym a time or three a week, but I also have some inexpensive equipment that I can hop on for 10-15 minutes and refresh my mind and body.
That includes a jump rope, some resistance bands, a yoga mat, and a pull-up bar. They take up very little space and can help get you moving and get your mind refreshed pretty quickly.
Talk to a friend.
Text, twitter, even IM…I have people on all those who know I’m working by myself who are ready to listen to me vent when I need to and perhaps most importantly, are supportive of my work as a freelancer. Sometimes the best solution to ridiculous client demands is a friendly ear.
Take care of yourself.
Ok…so today to tackle my freelancer stress, I literally went and started detangling my hair.
While I don’t always recommend this (detangling while stressed can be a HORRIBLE idea), sometimes centering on improving or caring for yourself in a way not related to your work can be a boost.
For you that could mean trimming your beard or trying out new makeup…regardless, feeling like you look better and are cared for can make all the difference in terms of well-being.
That’s only five…I’m sure you’ve got your own…what do you do to calm yourself when you’re having a rough freelancer moment?