Running a business from home has never been easier, thanks to the internet. If you have a product to sell or a skill such as freelance writing or proofreading to offer paying clients, all you need is a computer and a wifi connection. Easy, right?
You don’t need to endure the 9 to 5 grind. You can skip the strains of the commute to and from work. You don’t have to put up with a difficult boss or aggravating work colleagues. And you can work to your own time frame, possibly in your PJ’s if you can’t be bothered to get dressed in the morning. In many ways then, working from home should be a stress-free experience as you can skip some of those common stressors that affect many in the workplace.
But here’s the thing. Working from home can actually be quite stressful. If your business relies on you and you alone, then you are going to have a lot of work on your hands trying to make it a success. Especially if your family is reliant on the income you make, then your day isn’t going to be as laidback as some people imagine it could be. If your home is a particularly noisy place, perhaps because of your kids rampaging through the house, or because your partner likes to have the TV on at ear-deafening decibels, then your ability to work without stress might be compromised. And talking of your family, you might also face stress because you will be juggling your roles as a businesswoman, wife, and mother! As this article demonstrates, working from home can take its toll on your mental health. So, despite common opinion, it isn’t as easy as others portray it to be.
Are you relating to what we are saying thus far?
Now, for all we know, you might be one of those blessed people who can work at home without any stresses. You might have figured it all out, thus preempting the advice we are going to give in this article. And that’s great, for you! If, on the other hand, you work from home AND find it stressful for some of the reasons we mentioned, then the following tips should be especially useful for you.
Stress-Reliever #1: Find a quiet place to work
Ideally, you will be able to work when your partner is at work and the children are at school, so no matter where you are in the house – whether you work from the kitchen table or from the comfort of your sofa – you will be able to work in relative peace and quiet. However, if there are people at home during the day, then you really should find your own space. You might want to set up a home office in a spare room of your home, or you might want to find a corner of your house that has less foot traffic than other areas. You will then have scope to work without constant distractions and noise from your household.
Stress-Reliever #2: Create a calming space
Whether it’s an actual home office space or a quiet corner in the house, try to enhance your working area with as many calming touches as possible. You might want to paint the walls with calming and soothing colors, and add decor that could soothe your frazzled nerves, such as these landscape photography fine art prints. Add scented candles around the room, with aromas that are going to evoke zen-like feelings, and perhaps add a vase of flowers too. And ensure you have plenty of storage options, so clutter doesn’t invade your desk and aggravate your mind. The calmer your space, the better, because no matter how much work you have to do, and no matter how much chaos lies beyond the confines of your working area, you will instantly feel a little less frazzled if the area around you can calm your mind and nerves.
Stress-Reliever #3: Ask for help
When talking about asking for help, we mean this in two ways. Firstly, consider your family. If you need to work but have children at home, then ask your partner to manage their needs while you’re working. If your partner can’t, hopefully because he’s at work and not because he’s committed to watching the big game on the TV, ask another family member to step in or consider hiring a childminder. As a mom, you shouldn’t neglect the needs of your family, but during busy times, it’s perfectly acceptable to rely on the help of others. Secondly, ask for help with work matters. Especially when working alone, you might burn yourself out if you try to take on too much during the day. Therefore, consider outsourcing some of your duties to an outside firm, perhaps by hiring a small business accountant to look after your financial obligations, or a marketing team to promote your business. In both areas of your life, in terms of family and work commitments, you won’t feel the strains of stress if you have people on your side to help you.
Stress-Reliever #4: Practice self-care
You need to make time in the day to care for both your body and mind. This includes finding time to exercise a little because studies have shown that physical activity reduces stress. You should also focus on your diet, as a healthy and nutritious diet is essential for strengthening both your body and mind and consequently, your capacity for dealing with stress. And aside from your family and work commitments, you should also take time out for yourself. Get some me-time throughout the week so you can rest and relax without any demands on your time, and take part in any activity that you know will de-stress you. We appreciate this last aspect isn’t always easy, especially if you’re busy, but it’s important to create a schedule that affords you some time for yourself. You will then be better equipped to deal with all of your weekly duties, be that family or work-related.
Working from home is never going to be without its stresses, but by following the suggestions in this article, you might give yourself a better chance of coping. Let us know what you think, and if you’re one of those blessed people we mentioned earlier – a person who has somehow figured out how to work from home without stress – then do share your ideas with us for the sake of any of our frazzled readers.
Take care, and thanks for reading.