Running a business takes a lot of mental energy for a photographer. For some, photography probably started out as a creative outlet and form of self care. When you switch over into the business side, it can get stressful real quick. Between balancing shoots, hours at the computer editing, keeping track of finances – all while trying to balance work life with your personal life. It’s easy to get burned out – especially during busy season.
Too much stress can become a killer. It has many consequences when we don’t learn to manage it appropriately and take action early. Mental health challenges, reduced productivity, developing poor habits and so much more occur when we let stress build up and take over.
Learning to cope with the daily and long term stresses of running your photography business is important to help avoid burnout, keep up your drive for doing what you love and financially support yourself or your family.
Here are some great ideas for self care and stress relief strategies:
Having a good system in place to keep you and your business organized is one great way to help prevent or reduce stress. It may be a little more work on the front end, but getting organized and finding ways to streamline your business practices will help you reduce stress, have more time to focus on doing what you love, or even just create some time for yourself.
Automating various aspects of your business will also help reduce stress and give you more time to spend with your family and practice self care. Not sure what you can automate in your business? Check out this blog for ideas on automation!
Take breaks from social media and step away from your phone
Setting boundaries during the week and weekend is important when it comes to answering your phone, checking social media, and responding to clients. Set clear boundaries with business hours. Schedule yourself some time to go offline and take a social media break.
I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I didn’t make time for myself and completely burnt out. So I can’t stress enough how important this is. Your photography business is a marathon not a sprint. It’s not about how many weddings and sessions and photos you can take on at one time. For me, I have my morning routine of my Bible study/listening to a sermon, working out, going for a walk, riding my horse and that is my time. That stays no matter what. Set business hours and STICK to them. Schedule days off to get away from editing, away from shooting and recharge. It’s also important that when you are working, you are focused. Turn your phone on airplane mode, put it in a drawer. Really focus so you can be productive without distractions.
Self care is important for everyone. You’re spending a lot of time and energy serving others and meeting your clients’ needs. Whether it’s taking a nap, having a night out with the friends, or getting a massage. Make sure you are scheduling time for self care and treat yourself.
Find what works for you
There are so many different ways to relieve stress. Many of these are things you can do easily or find little breaks in your daily routine to do. Here are some other great ideas:
Car drive with music
Always schedule in your “self care” time. If it’s scheduled in you’re more likely to do it! If you always wait till you’re caught up…. Well, most of us will be waiting a long time. Schedule it in just like anything else! Make it a priority!
Shoot something just for yourself
Sometimes we just need a break from all the repeative sessions and want to refill our creative cup as a photographer. Setting up a session to shoot something outside of your usual work can help recharge that creative side and give you the little boost to keep going. You can even meet up with some of your photographer friends to collaborate on a session – grab some dinner before and then shoot a session together after.
Tell us some of your favorite ways to practice self care!