Stress is essential to daily life. It enables us to make real-time rational decisions and helps us evaluate our current state. Stress is helpful, yet it can hinder just as much.
I haven’t posted in a while for a variety of reasons. Being a freelance software contractor may not be as technically difficult as role’s I’ve held in the past. However, it is certainly more stressful for the following reasons:
- Results are expected within a communicated time-frame
- The work you produce MUST be quality and free from mistakes
- Also my reputation as a contractor and person is on the line
Please do not see this as a complaint, I am extraordinarily happy to be in the position I’m in. This is more of an acknowledgement of the current obstacles I face. Theodore Roosevelt (the 26th President of the United States) once said “Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.” Therefore let me share with you some solutions in mind to help with my stress load.
This may be obvious for some, but not for others. I honestly do some sort of exercise EVERY DAY. It used to be for vanity, or because I wanted to look more attractive or be aesthetic. Now, more than ever it is for mental stability and stress management. There are a number of psychological and physiological effects that happen when you exercise. Here are some to name a few:
- Reduced feelings of Anxiety and Depression
- Increase in neurotransmitter production of Serotonin, Dopamine, and Endorphins
- Increased Self – Esteem
- Better Sleep
- Lesser risk of Cancer, Heart Disease, metabolic syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes
- Probably a whole lot more 🙂
I break up a large portion of my time into segments which I fill with tasks that I want to accomplish. Everyday I write down what I need to get done and I input the tasks into my calendar. I also try to get one hard task done everyday and I aim to get it done early – aka “eat the frog”. Recreation, fun, and other activities should also be planned to make sure that there’s a proper work life balance. This is A LOT harder than it sounds. This gets better with practice and ‘if you plan to live, you must live to plan’.
This is where you learn what’s working, what is not, and what you can do to improve. Lately, I’ve been having to work on Sunday’s because of certain deadlines for one of my clients. I would work on Sunday, then go to work on Monday, while in actuality only having one day of rest on the weekend. Because I don’t work in a traditional office setting anymore, my work is more sporadic and irregular. Now, Monday is my Flex-day. If I need to get work done, or I feel able to do work on Monday, I will. On the other hand, if I’m feeling drained, and I need to take a step back, I’ll give myself rest that I deserve. This is something that I’m still trying to get better at, and with time I will.
There are somethings in life that totally throw you for a curve ball and that you can’t anticipate. This can be an unexpected bill to a life event you weren’t ready to encounter or deal with. I’ve had a nagging shoulder injury that isn’t a problem…yet. I still have full range of motion and it’s truly not painful, but if I let it go unnoticed I will absolutely injure it. I have an appointment to see a physical therapist soon, so hopefully it will be just fine for the months to come. I also have been developing romantic feelings for someone who’s name shall remain anonymous. I had thought that our new relationship was developing nicely, full of friendship and something maybe more was later in store. However I was wrong, or even so, maybe my perception of it is wrong. Regardless, it is not as cheery and hopeful as it was a week ago. Crushes can be wonderful, yet exhausting simultaneously.
To sum it up, working for yourself is tough. It can be debilitating at times, but the rewards are certainly worth it. Thanks for reading and let me know your opinions or comments.