Congratulations to you on making it as a virtual assistant! This flexible and amazing career allows you to work from home, set your hours, and spend more time doing the things you love. Sounds amazing, right?
Because of your eye for design, writing, or tech-savvy skills, you have impressed and landed several clients. And while that may seem great, working from home can be just as stressful as working a full-time or on-site job. The stress of deadlines, meetings, work piling up on your desk, and balancing all of that with your family… is real.
Whether it’s your clients or your work that are causing you stress or making you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay! This is something a lot of remote workers go through, and it’s completely manageable, trust me.
I’m here to give you 5 simple tips that will help you declutter your mind, return to your entrepreneur headspace, and have a productive workday!
1. Talk to yourself as if you were your own best friend
You’re much more inclined to give your closest and dearest friend advice that comes from a place of compassion and wisdom. You deserve to share that same compassion and wisdom with yourself!
One of the best pieces of advice I received was from a very good friend of mine. When I said something negative about myself in front of her she said to me, “Don’t talk about my friend like that!” If you wouldn’t say something like that to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.
The next time when you are stressed, set aside 5 minutes to give yourself positive self-talk, say your mantra, or affirmations. Kind and understanding self-talk calms the nervous system down and reduces stress.
And always remember: be kind to yourself! You deserve it.
2. Stop and take some deep breaths
I know, I know, this sounds cliché. But trust me, it works!
When we are under stress, our body’s instinct tends to be one of two things: fight or flight. Now, I doubt that you’re going to fight your work, and you could give up… But I know you don’t want to!
Instead, try breathing deeply. It sends a message to the brain to calm down and in return, the brain will send that same signal to the body, causing it to relax.
A simple breathing exercise that will help with stress is called the “3-2-4” breathing technique. Here’s how it works:
- Breathe in for 3 seconds through your nostrils, letting your belly and chest fill up with air.
- Hold your breath for 2 seconds.
- Exhale for 4 seconds through your mouth, making a “whoosh” sound.
- Repeat 3 to 5 times for a full breath cycle.
If you want to kick this breathing technique up a notch, take it outside! Just spending a little time outdoors can help reduce your stress levels and get you back to feeling relaxed.
3. Set realistic goals for yourself
Unrealistic goal-setting is often paired with high-stress levels that can affect your attitude and approach to tasks throughout the workday. If you make yourself a list of a million things to do today, you’re gonna end the day feeling bad about yourself because you couldn’t accomplish all of them.
Utilizing a prioritized list of tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day. It will also relieve any added stress because you know what will be expected of the workday and what you will be able to accomplish in a set period of time.
Just being able to check items off a list will give you a rush of dopamine, which is a chemical in your brain that gives you a feeling of being rewarded. Now imagine how much dopamine you’ll get if you check all the items off!
Be consistent and remind yourself daily that you’re here not to do things perfectly, but to do them to the best of your ability.
4. Take care of your body
Remember, you may be taking care of your mind, but you also have a body that needs to be taken care of.
Self-care is not exclusively an after-work activity. Implementing self-care breaks throughout your workday is essential to having a productive and stress-free day.
There are so many simple ways to take care of your body during your daily work routine.
- Schedule planned 10-15 minute breaks, in which you take a moment to stand up to get your blood flowing and give your eyes a break from staring at a screen for hours.
- Make sure you eat! Set time aside for a 20 to 30 minute lunch break. A lot of people don’t realize how much energy you lose from not eating.
- Learn gentle stretches that will help relax muscles while at your desk.
- Take a mindfulness walk- you can pair this with your other breaks if you’re short on time.
When time is made for yourself during the workday, it will greatly reduce stress and change your work attitude, leading to a happier and more successful day.
5. Finish work with an end-of-the-day review
At the end of a workday, it’s so easy to think of what needs to be completed tomorrow instead of winding down and reflecting on the positive aspects of the day. There were so many times that I would stay up all night thinking of the things that needed to be accomplished over the next few days instead of resting like I was supposed to!
To help with this, set aside 5 to 10 minutes at the end of your workday to think about (or journal) what your successes were and what was positive, helpful, or valuable. Focusing on the positive things can reduce your stress and create a better headspace so you are excited and ready for tomorrow’s workday.
You can also write yourself a small list of the most important things that need to be accomplished the next day and set it on your desk. This way, you can make sure you won’t forget anything through the night so you can relax and have a good night’s sleep.
Working from home can be stressful… if you let it be.
The key aspect in managing stress when working from home is investing in and taking care of yourself. Self-care is not a chore, but a necessity. When your mind and body are taken care of, it will benefit and take care of you in the long run.
If you have the mindset but not the skills, it’s okay! You’re already halfway there.
90 Day VA is my proprietary course, in which I teach you all the most the most sought-after skills that business owners are looking to hire virtual assistants for. And you don’t just get skills; you get pieces for your portfolio, tons of extra resources, an entire community of other previous and current students, the support of myself, my team, and thousands of people who’ve succeeded in launching their online careers through 90 Day VA.
If you’re not sure if virtual assisting is for you, you can check out my FREE masterclass, in which I go over all the basics of VA work and how you can work remotely too.
Danielle is a virtual assistant to social media influencers. When she’s not helping influencers, she loves to crochet, bake, and volunteer her time with local non-profits. She’s a member of 90 Day VA and assists with everything from social media managing, appointment scheduling, and content creation.