Stress Management Strategies–5 Tips for Freelance Writers


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April is stress awareness month, which is a great opportunity to take a look at the stress in your life and what you are doing to manage it. Freelance writers experience many different kinds of stress whether it’s from the ‘feast or famine’ nature of freelance consulting work, dealing with constant rejection, the endless waiting to hear back about submissions as well as the stress that comes when you are taking on writing jobs that you really don’t like so that you can pay the bills.

Since it is stress awareness month, let’s take a look at some strategies for managing stress that can make life as a writer more peaceful and rewarding.

1. Journaling
This may sound like a ‘no-brainer’ but there are writers out there who are not keeping a journal. Make it a
practice to start and end the day taking the time to write longhand in your journal. Get a nice journal and use a pen that you really like. If you write all day at the computer doing client work for others, writing longhand in a journal on paper can be very relaxing and therapeutic.

  • Write about things that make you feel good
  • Write snippets of poetry
  • Capture ideas to inspire your creative writing
  • Write out a list of the things that you accomplished that make you feel proud
  • Write about the goals that you are aspiring to

2. Meditation
Meditation is a wonderful stress management technique that helps you to relax, relieve stress and get centered. As a writer, meditation can also help you to clear your mind so that you can have an open channel to receive ideas and generate fresh ideas. It can help you to get clarity on projects that you are working on.

The simplest meditation is to sit quietly on the floor with legs folded in the lotus position with a cushion under your bottom to support your spine, seated in a straight back chair with feet flat on the floor, or laying flat on your back on a bed or on the floor. Begin by taking long, slow, deep breaths. Let your attention gently rest on your breath and as thoughts come up, notice them but keep your focus on your breath.

3. Walking
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, but walking is also a effective way to clear your head and sort out or work through ideas. Schedule in a mid-day walk to give your eyes a rest from staring at that screen. Vary your route so that you are seeing different scenery and experiencing different terrain. Walking vigorously and taking deep, full breaths will completely revive you and relieve any pent-up stress in your body.

4. Rest
Getting adequate sleep helps you to feel rested and refreshed and better equipped to handle stress in a more
productive way. If you are someone who takes their worries to bed, writing in your journal and or meditating
before you fall asleep are two good ways to diffuse that destructive habit.

5. Creative Visualization
This is another stress management technique that works to relieve stress, but it’s also a good way to build your creative muscles. Take a moment to create a mental picture of something that you desire be it a dream vacation spot, a new home you’d love to have, or maybe even the setting of a book you’re working on. Make the picture have color and sound and activity. Really look at the details like the flowers in the lobby of the resort, or the artwork on the walls of the new house. Visualization takes your mind off of your stress but it also serves to speed along the manifestation of those things that you are vividly imagining with your mind’s eye.

I’ve got more stress management tips that I’ll share throughout the month. Be sure to sign up for my email update list to get information that I don’t publish on the blog.

What are some of your favorite stress management strategies? Please feel free to share.

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