The good news is that as a creative person, you’re already accustomed to finding innovative solutions to problems — and if you treat stress as a problem, there is likely a way to beat it that is personal and specific to you. Everyone is different, and triggers of stress are different for each person. It’s helpful to know yourself well enough to combat stressors. I’m a designer, so these are my particular thoughts. Maybe you can relate.
Organize Your Area
If you’re stressed, that probably means you’re busy, and if you’re busy, you probably haven’t had time to clean your workspace recently. It happens to the best of us. A messy or cluttered desk can really make ‘worse’ a feeling of being overwhelmed, so take a ten-minute break to clean up yours space.
Use Music To Perk Up
If you have a favorite CD that you’ve been playing to death recently, switch to Pandora or Spotify and try something new. When you get used to (or tired of) a certain piece of music, it ceases to inspire you, no longer helping you work. I flip flop from genre to genre depending on the week or project. Sometimes it is silly and upbeat, other times it is instrumental and calming.
Consider Your Physical State
When we’re stressed, we don’t tend to look after ourselves as well. Keeping the mind and body healthy can actually help us fight stress, so make sure you stay hydrated, eat properly, and pay close attention to your posture (Posture… Something I have to seriously work at). Don’t hunch over your desk for hours, and don’t forget to take breaks from staring at the computer.
I continue to support the idea that if you simply don’t have the time, abilities, or patience to do a particular project, why not outsource the project to someone who does? You’d be surprised how much less stressful it can be to manage a project, or check in on it, instead of taking it head on by yourself.
How Are You Sleeping?
You have to learn when you work best. If you are a late-night worker, perhaps you should work later and sleep in a little more. Lots of sleep will help reduce the stress you may feel as a designer. I’m an early riser, and much more productive in the AM hours, so I always get to work early. But it’s not for everyone.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
There are ups and downs of being a perfectionist. And there are certain things you can control and other things you cannot control. If you waste your time surfing the internet when you should be working and miss a deadline, that is something you can control. Feel free to sweat. But if you get sick or your internet goes out and you miss a deadline, probably not something you can control. Stop sweating. This is one I need to be more aware of, being realistic with expectations, and being at peace with that which I can’t control.
How do you combat stress?