By Jonathan London on 5th March 2015

How to de-stress your home office

Although the life of a freelancer can often be more flexible that the traditional daily grind of a 9am-5pm office job, there’s still lots of potential for high levels of stress.

Of course, taking a paid break on a sunny beach is probably the best way to de-stress and stop thinking about deadlines, unfinished work and those outstanding invoices. However, this often isn’t an option for contractors and self-employed workers. Therefore, it might be worth looking at the latest gadgets and advice to help alleviate tension and make your home office a relaxing and stress-free zone.

Your environment

Maybe it is time to reassess your work environment. If you are working at the dining table or the depressing spare room, it could be worth looking at how to create a special ‘office’ space so you can be more organised.

It doesn’t need to be a dedicated room, but just having an area that can be shut off when needed is an ideal way of making sure work doesn’t invade your leisure time and generate more stress.

A separate space also means you can ensure you have everything you need in place, therefore, you can be more productive when working and do not get snowed under with additional pressures just because you can’t put your hands on the right information.

Colour can play a key role in setting the tone for your office space, so it may be worth a trip to the local DIY store to grab a can of paint and a brush. Blue is regarded as the most productive colour and can help to set the right environment, but it can be a bit too intense. Going for greener shades can help promote a more calming atmosphere and encourage a relaxed vibe – although mixing in a few red accessories could still ensure you stay full of action and energy.

Physical stress

Following on from the right office environment, it is key to ensure you have the right equipment. Spend some time picking out a desk and chair that do not put additional stresses on your body and they need to be comfortable and supportive. Some people prefer so-called standing chairs that mean you can move around more and can be more ergonomic to prevent long-term issues, such as back pain.

It is vital to take breaks and stretch those legs. Recent years have seen the development of office yoga, which involves a serious of special postures and moves to help keep your body in tip top shape, without even leaving your desk. Consider Googling for videos on how doing routines a couple of times a day could help elevate tension and boost productivity.

High-tech solutions

Technology is designed to make life easier and there are plenty of high-tech gadgets that could help monitor stress and provide an outlet.

One option is the emWave 2. This gadget is capable of monitoring heart rates and can alert you if stress levels are rising. All of the data can be recorded and tracked – making it possible to discover what is causing the stress and could help identify the recurrent triggers.

There has also been a rise in the number of gadgets that make use of light therapy to help encourage a more relaxing environment. As well as natural light being a good way of tackling eye stress, there are special colour changing lights that aim to help encourage visual relaxation.

Tablet owners should also investigate the various apps that are available that claim to help lessen stress and provide a welcome break to work. For example, Magic Windows can be downloaded from the Apple store and offers a number of relaxing background scenes, such as a sunset or waves on a beach. Audio stimulation can also create a soothing environment, so there are plenty of apps providing bird song or waterfalls sounds to set the mood.

Look after yourself

It is vital to maintain a good work-life balance and this should not be limited to just the hours you are earning your living. One of the best ways to improve your daily productivity is to look at how much sleep you are getting. Having a full eight hours of rest can help improve general well-being and you could reap the rewards in your freelance career.

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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