Freelancing is amazing because you get to choose the projects you will work on and have more control of your time. But, although I love every bit of my journey as a freelancer, to be totally honest, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.
Even the most seasoned freelancers will agree that it can be a stressful business to be in. Sometimes, you bite more than you can chew. Sometimes, you encounter extra challenging projects. Factor in having clingy and/or naughty little ones while you work and things turn for the worst. Well, that’s if you can’t handle stress and pressure with grace.
Handling Stress With Grace When You're A Work At Home Parent
I have had a lot of bad days in my years as a freelancer. It was easy peasy when I didn’t have kids, but when I had one, then two, THEN three, it became quite a challenge.
I used to snap at my children whenever they act up or make noise while I’m in the middle of working on a project. What I noticed throughout the years, however, is that what makes a situation worse is how I respond. If I shout or complain, I don’t really achieve anything. I’m just making the situation worse than it already is.
I love what my mindset coach taught us about triggers:
- These ‘storms’ are not happening to us, they are just happening around us.
- Event + Response = Outcome
What exactly does that mean, you ask?
Observe how you are responding to events and what the outcome is when you responded that way. Did you get a good outcome or a not so good one?
If the outcome is good, then by all means continue to respond that way when such events happen.
However, if the outcome is not good, then you need to change your response because the last one didn’t work.
How, then, can you better manage working from home stress?
First of all, be grateful. You won’t believe how gratitude can change your life. I have been writing down what I am grateful for every day since the year started and it made a huge difference on how I see life.
I complained less. I became more in control of my responses. I became happier. I still have bad days, but it has become easier to get through those days simply because I have so many things I am thankful about.
Make time for yourself. It’s challenging when you have kids, I know. But it doesn’t have to be an all-out spa day. Making time for yourself can simply mean spending five minutes in silence in the morning, before the kids wake up. Or, writing on your journal at night after the kids have gone to bed.
I personally like starting my day with a 5-minute guided meditation. I do this before the kids wake up or, if they’re awake, while they’re eating breakfast or playing independently. You don’t need a special room to meditate. All you need is your focus.
When in a stressful situation, take a step back and breathe. When you find yourself under pressure or in stress, give yourself time to breathe and think things through. The calmer you are, the better your response will be.
When I’m working on a big project and my kids start asking for my attention at the same time, I learned to take a break from work and give my kids the attention – even for just 10-15 minutes. I learned that if you fill up your kids’ love tanks first, then they won’t be too clingy or needy.
Are you a work at home parent too? How do you handle stress and pressure? Comment below to help out other parents!