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Too much work? - Relax!

I guess there's no need to say that we, freelancers, need to learn to relax. Being a workaholic won't do us any good. On the contrary, it will quickly lead to the burnout. Are you sure you want to feel exhausted all the time? Do you really want to hate life from the moment you wake up? Do you rejoice when you lose the interest in things you used to love? I hope not! That's why we need to relax. Yes, sometimes it means saying 'no' to a tempting project when it's over our capacity (there are other ways to cope with it though, like working on it together with a colleague for instance etc.), but in the end our health is what matters more than money. My father used to say, "If you love your work that's good. But if you work too much, at some point you will realize that you are working only to cover your medical expenses". He knew what he was talking about because he had three kids to raise in the 1990-s (it was a "fun" time here with no food, two defaults etc. Now we say that since we have survived that we'll survive anything), so he had to work a lot. Our families need healthy moms, dads, wives, husbands, sisters, brothers etc. So it's vitally important to learn to relax.

I have experienced burnout several times in the past 3 years. Believe me, there's nothing good in it. So that's why I made it my goal to watch myself and my life and work balance very closely.

A couple weeks ago I asked other freelancers on Twitter what is the best way for them to relax. So here are a few ideas that we came up with:
1) take naps or sleep longer at night (@Transliteria and me)
2) go for a walk (@Transliteria)
3) watch TV (@LinguaGreca)
4) go out with friends (@Transliteria)
5) drive to the sea and relax on the cliffs (@janatranslation)
6) a couple days ago Aga Gordon (@acgtranslation) mentioned going to the gym because she feels much better after a workout. So I'm adding that to the list, too!
7) and another point on my personal list is prayer. It helps me remember what's most important in life and doesn't let me lose the focus no matter how hectic my life may be.

How do you relax? Ideas are more than welcome!


  1. Great post Olenka! Thanks for the mention, I have just had a nap and watched a good film, in the meantime went for a short walk to the cliffs so I got my dose of rest :-)

  2. Thank you, Ewa! Oh wow, what a relaxing day you had! Good for you! I finished an important project and then slept for a couple hours. That felt soooo good! Going to do some shopping today and then start another project =)

  3. Going shopping is another good idea (works miracles for ladies, but maybe there are some men that would like it, too) that Olga Tkachenko shared on my FB page. I totally agree with her. Going to do some today, by the way ;-)

  4. In a few words.
    My working mode (?) is 45/15: 45 minutes I work and 15 minutes I rest.
    According to Arkhangelsky, our rest should be contrary to our work. Being a translator means lots of sitting in the comfortable chair, that's why for rest I need to dust, dish up, mop and do other chores. The common for all these activities is movement.

    According to the Flylady system, chores should be done by series of 15 minute sets (?).

    I combine these ideas and by day's end, my house shines, my work is done and, which is the most important, I don't feel overtired, though I may feel tired.

    Sorry, my language leaves much to be desired.

  5. Thank you Katia! That's an interesting approach. I have heard about the fly-lady system, but haven't really tried it yet or studied it.
    And you don't have to be sorry for your language ;-)

  6. Well, if you feel interested, why don't you read Marla Cilley's book Sink Reflections? I really liked the idea of eating an elephant by cutting it into small pieces.
    I would also warn you in case you'll go to the Russian flalady community at LiveJournal. There are enough let them call freaks there, so it may repel a newcomer.

    I mostly translate from English, read English books and watch movies but don't write, so it's rather difficult for me.

  7. Many thanks for the tip, Katia! I will search for this book then. Thanks for the warning, too. I don't think I'll go to LifeJournal ;-)


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