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Tips for Interior Designers on How to De-stress and Stay Cool

More often than not, life for an interior designer is nothing short of hectic. While juggling multiple projects is good for business, the constant multi-tasking, problem-solving, and client-cajoling can wear away at your wellbeing. Stress management is an important part of maintaining a career in interior design, and this article will not only offer tips on how to de-stress, but also how to stay cool under pressure when faced with future flare-ups.

When You’re Already Stressed and Need to Unwind

First, we will cover tips on how to bring yourself back to center when work stress has you feeling off-balance.

Declutter Your Headspace

Exercising is not only good for your body, but it’s also medicine for the mind. As explained by Harvard Medical School, aerobic exercise has a neurochemical effect, reducing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol in your body while producing natural mood-lifting endorphins. Meditation is also extremely effective in reducing stress and can be accomplished in almost any setting. The act of focusing your mind on a single thought, or non-thought, reduces the same stress hormones as physical exercise while promoting patience and lengthening attention-span.

It’s not exactly a revelation that exercise and meditation are good for reducing stress, but the strength of the scientific evidence shows just how powerful these tools are for restoring and maintaining wellness. Schedule a weekly time that’s non-negotiable for either exercise or meditation, and if you find the effects to be helpful, try to work in a second time per week for that activity. The specific workout or practice you choose is not important. The main goal is to disconnect from your phone/screens, quiet your external thoughts, and allow yourself to connect your mind to your body.

Absorb Yourself in a Different Art Form

As a creative person, the arts are always a source to turn to for inspiration. However, the line between work and play can be blurry. When seeking to de-stress, make time to enjoy an art form outside of your professional domain. The thrill of taking in a live performance, like a play or a concert, is sure to clear your mind and get new energy flowing through your body.

Making time to visit your favorite local museum can also offer relaxation and reinvigoration, whether you finally see that temporary exhibit you keep hearing about or just roam the halls at a leisurely pace. While the point of these excursions is to leave work behind for a day, a dual benefit will be the gain of a new conversation starter you can use at your next networking event!

Drawing for pleasure is another proven stress reducer, and another activity with dual benefits for interior designers. Hand sketching is a useful rendering tool, and you can help develop or sharpen your ability by carving out time to draw any subject of your choosing. If you can find 10 minutes a day for a quick sketch, or an hour a week for a slightly more developed drawing, you will feel the therapeutic benefits.

Spend Quality Time With Someone You Miss

When work is busy, it can take over every waking moment of your day. As a result, you end up spending less time with the people you love outside of the office. When your workload feels unmanageable and you think you can’t afford to take a night off, that is exactly when you should schedule a dinner with friends or a night in with your family. You’ll find that stepping away from your desk and looking into the eyes of your loved ones will allow you to return to work in a far more productive state. Try to make time with friends and family a consistent part of your life, scheduling weekly, or at least monthly get togethers with the people you miss the most when the work days are long.

Tips to Stay Less Stressed  

When you’re reaching peak stress levels, it's imperative to put work away and turn your attention to a de-stressing activity ASAP. Taking time away from interior design to focus on a different area of your life that makes you happy will give you the energy you need to make a new routine that involves strategies for keeping your stress level low going forward.

Strategies For Staying Stress-Free

Cleaning and organizing your workspace will go a long way to keep your mind clear and focus sharp. When you’re trying to work, sorting through the clutter to find what you need not only slows down productivity, but also causes emotional fatigue. The act of cleaning and organizing your office will feel like a cathartic purge of stress itself.  

Another key to reducing work stress is to be more realistic about your schedule. List out all of the tasks you need to take care of in a day/week, even the small mundane things you do without thinking. Add time to the schedule for all of the minutiae. This will help you finish your days without constantly wondering where the time went.

Lastly, invest in support for your business. To be an effective leader, you need to focus your energy on what you do best and delegate other crucial functions to trusted team members or business software that can do a lot of heavy lifting. Design Manager is a project management and accounting software created specifically for interior designers, with vast automation and cross-function capabilities that will take a heavy burden off your shoulders. If you are not already using Design Manager to keep your business operations smoothly, give yourself the ultimate stress relief of signing up for a free trial today!

Margot LaScala
Margot LaScala
Margot is a writer and interior designer based in the NYC area. She is passionate about keeping up with the latest architecture and design news to not only stay informed, but inspired.

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