Though it’s fulfilling and fun, freelancing often doesn’t leave much time for relaxation. As a result, many of us are overworked and stressed to the max. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many easy ways to de-stress that don’t require a complete overhaul of the way we work and live. Here are a few great places to start:

Meditate. Meditation improves your mind-body connection, helping you to live in the present, reducing anxiety and depression. One way meditation achieves all this is by helping us to focus on our breathing. Shallow breathing is actually a sign of stress so by breathing deeply we can help our bodies relax. And while this will certainly help you reduce stress, it has additional physical benefits such as lowering your blood pressure. And the best thing about meditating? You can do it anywhere and it doesn’t cost a penny.

Reduce money woes. There’s probably no greater stressor for freelancers than money. Slow weeks and months may mean it’s difficult to make ends meet. Unfortunately, there’s no simple solution to solving your money problems, but a great way to get started is to a make a list and set a goal. Putting your biggest money struggles on paper is the first step to getting them under control.

Once you’ve got your list, make one goal to help reign in your money woes. It can be as small as cutting out a weekly but unnecessary expense, such as a Starbucks coffee, or something as big as moving to a less expensive home. Whatever it is you’re able to do, start with that one thing and then move on to the next. Going through your list will help you save money and you’ll feel a sense of achievement in the process.

Make time for friends. Join a book club. Attend an exercise class with a buddy. Get together with your bestie each week to watch a favorite TV program. It doesn’t matter what activity you choose as long as you’re spending time with people you like. After all, there’s no stress buster quite like sharing a good laugh with a friend.

Of course, some people are introverts or simply may not have friends or family who are able to spend time with them regularly. If so, not to worry. Four-legged pals can be just as fulfilling as human ones. Get out and about with your furry buddy by going to a dog park or eating a healthy meal at a dog-friendly restaurant. Here are some great options for Austin and throughout the US:

Get plenty of sleep. Stress can greatly affect our ability to sleep, and that’s very unfortunate because sleep serves as the foundation of a well-balanced life. Without adequate rest, we can’t focus on our work. We may have less energy when pitching that new client; be too tired to exercise or spend time with friends; and be all around less physically healthy. So, make time for sleep. Get at least 7-9 hours a night, and you’ll begin to see that you’re better able to handle the stress that comes with each day.

Stress doesn’t just make us unhappy. It affects our relationships, our physical health, and our businesses. If you’re tired of feeling like stress is taking over your life, try one of these easy de-stressors today. There is no downside to making a small change that will help you feel a lot better.

Julie Morris
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