As professionals, we are expected to deliver a quality product to our clients. No matter what you are photographing or filming, it’s no secret that tight deadlines, difficult clients, and a wide variety of other issues can cause major stress in our lives. It can be taxing both physically and mentally and affect us in our day-to-day lives, relationships, and work. To be successful, these stresses need to be overcome and dealt with properly so that they do not bring us down. Here are a few tips to help to deal with the issues that may affect us.
1.) Exercise and Diet
I’m no personal trainer or dietitian, but I know when I am not getting enough exercise. Long days editing or shooting in the studio can put huge strain on you, both physically and mentally. It is important to make sure you spend some time outside or at the gym getting a little exercise. Personally, when I am swamped with work all I do is drink coffee and eat crappy food. Remembering to drink a few glasses of water and a healthy snack can help keep your energy level up and improve concentration while you are working. Sitting down for long periods of time hunched over a computer can be harmful to your back and staring and a computer screen for to long can be harmful to your eyes. Make sure to take breaks often, a 5-minute break to get up, stretch, and rest your eyes from looking at a computer screen shouldn’t stop you from meeting your deadline.
2.) Working with Others
Not everyone is a gem, not everyone is easy to work with. whether you are working with bosses, co-workers, or clients, remember to be patient. If someone has a bad attitude, don’t let it affect you. This is much easier said then done and often the best way to deal with it is just to avoid the person in general. If this is not possible just try and refrain from participating in their negativity.
3.) Airplane Mode
If you're like me, you often find yourself glued to your phone. Constant emails, phone calls, texts, and social media updates can be distracting and break your concentration no matter what you are shooting. A lot of the time, I find myself wanting to just leave my phone behind. However, I love using my iPhone to take photos. Sometimes, the best solution is to just turn your phone on airplane mode. It is still right by your side for behind-the-scenes photos and available in case of emergency, but free from any distractions.
4.) Finding Your Time
Whether you are juggling a photography career with another job or you are just swamped with work, it's no lie that our work can keep us up into the late hours of the night and early into the morning. Some of us are night owls while others are early risers. It is important to find out what works best for you. Personally, I would rather get a few hours of rest and wake up super early to catch up on work rather than working late into the night. Others work just the opposite but it is important to find out what works best for you and take advantage of your most productive time.
This one can take a little getting used to, but when practiced can be absolutely life changing. Taking 20 minutes in the morning and at night to sit quietly and clear your mind does wonders for your work and peace of mind. Personally, I like to count my breathing. This is done by counting to 3 on the inhale, pausing for 3 seconds, exhaling for 3 seconds, followed by another 3-second pause before the next inhale. Find a quiet place inside or outside, try and clear your mind, and don’t focus on anything specifically. Let all of your worries, doubts, and anxiety go. It is easier said than done, but trust me, this practice will change your life.
As creative professionals, we are lucky to be able to do what we love to make a living. Although it's not all fun and games, overcoming the simple stresses of day-to-day work is key to being successful. Feel free to expand below and add any additional advice that works for you.
Mas tequila and a couple of good cigars help with stress.
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