Working in a freelance project is liberating as well as unpredictable.
Talking with clients, sending follow-up emails, attending virtual meetings, and whatnot. You’re on your own schedule – you’re your own boss.
But there are times when you get that awful, stomach-dropping feeling when facing the uncertainties of freelancing. It’s this anxiousness that can make things tricky.
However, haven’t we all dealt with this after realizing we don’t have another freelance project in our pipeline? Or maybe something else?
It’s all the freelancing freedom that eventually ends up testing your well-being.
What Makes Freelancing So Hard?
When you work a 9-to-5 job, you have a steady paycheck. In addition to this, a few companies offer certain perks like health insurance, an annual schedule that includes vacation time, and a growing retirement fund as well.
But when it comes to freelance projects, things change.
You have to work on ways to make the most of your clients, retain them, and create your own network of people who give you consistent work and pay you for it.
Often freelancers don’t realize their limits. They work regularly, without taking a single day off. Not only does this become physically draining, but it can also adversely affect mental health.
Sometimes, the constant concern about the next project can cause difficulty in sleeping, which can leave you in a state of fatigue and growing anxiety.
Tips to Help You Deal With Freelance Anxiety
The following are a few tips to help you deal with anxiety, and maybe even pivot it into something useful.
Using Positive Affirmations
If you struggle with starting the day on a positive note – something which is incredibly important – you can consider reading and consuming positive sayings and quotes daily. Eventually, this will impact your feelings as well as your actions.
Print out a few positive affirmations and add them to your workstation. You can also practice gratitude by listing the different things you have to be thankful for daily.
Keep Your Focus on the Task at Hand
Learning how to stay focused is one of the not-so-secret ingredients of becoming successful in your freelance career. So whether you’re flooded with deadlines or you‘re searching for more work – you need to focus.
Channel your anxiety toward being productive and giving everything to the job at hand. Instead of worrying about what will happen next, focus on your today, and add value to your work.
Make a Worry List and Take Control
Free-floating anxiety is accompanied by apprehension, uneasiness, tension, and even palpitations.
To get rid of these negative feelings, make your own “worry time.“ Set aside 30 minutes every day and write down all your concerns, being as specific as you can.
For instance, “I’m not charging enough“ or “I don’t have freelance work.“ The number of entries can be five or ten, it’s scoring them that is more important. Prioritize and start addressing the specifics looking to reduce the frequency and amount of worry time.
Don’t Forget About Exercise
Doing physical exercise for 20 minutes, especially if it‘s aerobic, can reduce anxiety. A simple run in the park, work, are you playing your favorite game will have those endorphins kicking, and improve your mood.
One of the best ways of dealing with anxiety is to stop, take a breath, and refocus. Stop thinking about all the negatives and everything that’s going wrong.
Take a couple of deep breaths to reduce your stress and then decide on the next step. Not only will this reduce your anxiety, but it’ll also give you a clear mind, letting you see the bigger picture.
Freelancing is a demanding profession, and anxiety becomes a part of the package. Remember, things will get better. You’ll find your next freelance project, client, get higher-paying gigs, and become better in what you do.