How to Fight Stress as a Graphic Designer

Being a graphic designer can be tough sometimes, even if you love your job. The good news is that as a designer, you’re already used to finding creative solutions to problems — and if you treat stress as just another of these problems, you should be able to beat it pretty effectively. Here are some tips for relieving stress as a graphic designer.


  1. 1
    Organise your stuff.
    • If you’re stressed, that probably means you’re busy, and if you’re busy, you probably haven’t had time to clean your workspace recently. It happens to the best of us. A messy or cluttered desk can really exacerbate any sense you might have of being overwhelmed, so take a ten-minute break to clean up your office.
  2. 2
    Use music to alter your mood.
    • If you have a favourite CD that you’ve been playing to death recently, try going a whole week without. When you get used to (or tired of) a certain piece of music, it ceases to inspire you and lift your spirits — and when that happens, it’s no longer going to help you work.
    • Try something relaxing like ambient music, or trance, if that works for you. It also helps to change how you listen to music.
    • Use headphones? Try going without. Headphones can often make a space feel claustrophobic, and if you’re already stressed, it won’t take much to make you feel trapped or hemmed in.
  3. 3
    Look after your body.
    • When we’re stressed, we don't tend to look after ourselves as well as we normally would — and there’s no excuse for it. Keeping the mind and body healthy can actually help us fight stress, so make sure you stay hydrated, eat properly, and pay close attention to your posture. Don’t hunch over your desk for hours, and don’t forget to take breaks from staring at the computer. If you’re getting headaches or finding you need the screen closer to your face, get your eyes tested.
  4. 4
    Set office hours. If you’re a freelance designer, having office hours might seem like a strange concept — but, if you’ve been working late recently, not sleeping well and getting up mid-morning only to repeat the cycle, imposing a structured workday on yourself might be beneficial.
    • Letting your work spill over into your home life will definitely make you more stressed, as it restricts the amount of time you have to wind down before bed. In turn, this can have a negative effect on the quality of your sleep, and make it difficult to break the cycle.
  5. 5
    Don’t be afraid to outsource. Got too much on your plate? Don’t run yourself into the ground trying to finish it all yourself — outsource it. Working with other designers, and managing a project instead of doing the leg-work, can reduce your stress levels and allow you to focus on other, more pressing things.
    • It’s good to have a network of people you can call in to assist you if things get busy, and being able to collaborate with others on a project is a useful skill to have anyway.

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Categories: Job Strategies