As a designer, we are predisposed to being stressed. There are several trigger points. This includes clients who keep changing their design direction, challenging deadlines, constant requests for revisions and my personal favorite which is subjective feedback. As we gain more experience, some of us find ways to let these situations slide but for some of us, letting go is tough. The truth is, oftentimes, designers want to “let their clients meet their Maker sooner rather than later!” Truthfully though, I have learnt that you only need one thing — to relieve that stress. So hold on to your MMA fighting skills for another day.
Why do you need to keep your clients alive?
In my book, in today’s world, there are only three things that are important: life, living and everything else.
For me life means my family and the people around me whom I cannot live without and whom I live and work for.
This is what I do for sustenance. We need to work to eat, buy the things we need and acquire the things we want. To a large extend we get to choose our living. Some of us choose to run our own business or work for a company. End of day, this will involve a client who pays for our services.
So despite the stress and headache you might feel when working with clients, it only serves us well to understand them as well as to meet their expectations so that we can grow with them harmoniously. However, I am not here to tell you how to understand your clients. That’s a whole other topic.
I want to share with you some things you should practice especially when you do not feel like it!
1. Breathe – Do it deeply slow and calm
Once you remember to start breathing, take five to ten deep breaths in a slow and calm fashion. With the first two or three deep breaths, you will already feel a sense of relief. You will experience a soothing feeling all over your head, down to your body. You will be able to sense things more clearly and might be able to make better decisions thereafter.
2. Walk – Get off your butt
Walk it out or walk it off. If you cannot exercise because of the environment you are in then walk. Walk to take your mind off what is bothering you because the more you think about the issue, the more frustrated you are likely to be. Letting go sounds easy but it ain’t. This will allow you to think more clearly. Walk alone, walk with a companion, or with a group. It doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy yourself while walking.
3. Eat – We tend to skip a meal which is bad
Take time out and take a break. We have to eat, and the best way to take a break, no matter how short, is to eat! Eat your favorite ice cream, enjoy a cup of iced or hot coffee from your favorite coffee bar. Eat comfort food, try gourmet, or anything that will make you feel better.
4. Exercise – Move every part of your body
If you can, able to, and if you are in an OK environment and situation then go exercise. Exercising, even if you ain’t a jock, is the best way to cope up with stress. As I always say, a breathe of fresh air leads to fresh ideas.
Sending physical vibrations to internal organs is good too! Shouting, coughing, burping, blowing nose, and even farting deliberately are nice ways of making your internal organs vibrate. But, do make sure doing these activities won’t cause distraction and annoyance to people around you. Doing it in private is highly recommended.
5. Shower – Take a good shower
Enjoy hot shower to make your muscles and nerves loosen as well as to make your blood flow normal. Singing while having a shower is another secret to relieving stress.
Consider having cold shower right after your hot shower if you need to work after. Cold shower will help to regenerate your energy.
There are lots of things you can do to overcome stress but the things in this list are the quickest ways you can start with. So remember the next time you are stressed, you just have to either breathe, walk, eat, exercise or take a shower. Do it and live with less stress!