How to handle stress during your translation work

handle stress
(Last Updated On: October 25, 2023)

The translation profession, with its irregular hours and and its frequently tight deadlines can be really stressful. Here are a couple tips to help you handle stress during your working hours.

How to handle stress as a translator

 There are various ways to deal with stress and you should be able to find plenty of advice on the internet, however, here are some proven ways to better handle stress when working as a professional translator.

no more stress

Create a pleasant work-space for yourself

Try to avoid glaring colors, noises, inappropriate temperatures, disorder and anything that could stress your eyes, your body or your mind.

Organize your office

Tidy your office so as to avoid wasting time searching for documents, dictionaries, pens, whatever you’d need. Do the same for the virtual space of your computer: your sites and reference files should always be easily accessible.

Plan your work

Plan your work in order to avoid work overload: a huge challenge for a translator who so often is subject to unpredictable times and schedules. While sometimes this is unavoidable, planning your current jobs will help you to handle stress during your work.

Think ahead

Anticipate the workload, as much as you possibly can, so you don’t get stressed in the last minute “rush” when the deadline approaches.

Learn how and when to say “no”

Say no to a customer, a boss or a translation company when the workload looks too overwhelming. Make it in a way that doesn’t offend the client, eventually propose another deadline that fits your timing. If there is too much on your to-do list, prioritize ruthlessly and make a new list. This is a great idea and doing so you will better handle stress.


Accept that you’re going to make mistakes. This sounds weird, but it’s not. A specific amount of perfectionism is an asset to a translator, but it’s also essential to own up to your failures. When a grumpy client has a point about an error in your work, apologize, offer to make it right, and move on.

stress release tips
  • How can I create work space at home?

    • Start by choosing a good chair and desk because you don’t want to work on your bed
    • Pick a room with good light for your workspace
    • Decorate your workspace with objects related to your field
    • Get tools that can help you stay organized during work
    • Keep enough space on your desk for important papers
  • How do you create a workspace?

    You can create a workspace by:

    • Choosing a room in your house that gets natural light
    • Removing all distractions from that room
    • Picking a good desk and chair for your work
    • Decorating your desk with objects that can help you stay motivated and focused
    • Keep one drawer of your desk empty for the tools you don’t need everyday
  • How do I create a workspace in my bedroom?

    Although working in your bedroom is not a good idea, you can create a workspace away from your bed and try to be productive. Pick a good desk and chair and place them near a window to get natural light. Keep the bedroom door closed whenever you are working to avoid distractions. Get organizing tools and decorate your workspace a little bit.

  • How do you create a productive work environment at home?

    • Choose the best location in your house for your workspace
    • Put all the distractions out of that room
    • Gather all of your computer equipment at once and put it on your desk instead of leaving for things again and again
    • Keep important tools in your desk drawers so you can get to them easily
    • Don’t put any unnecessary objects on your desk so you have enough room for your computer and files

Recurring patterns

Be mindful and learn to see recurring patterns and take steps to keep stress at bay.

Take real breaks

Taking breaks will increase your productivity. Ten minutes may be enough, if you can manage to disconnect from your work completely. Try to take that break away from the computer, your phone or your tablet, otherwise you’ll only replace one thing with another. Learn to handle stress or it will handle you.

Avoid other things that take time

Focus on your work and don’t pay attention to emails, social media notifications or phone calls that could disturb you.

Avoid coffee if you can

Avoid coffee as well as other stimulants. Coffee is good in the morning, maybe another one during the day, but not more than that. On the long term, the only benefit of too much coffee is extra stress and a bad stomach.

Have a cup of tea

Drink some tea, for example; it can be a great way to relax while looking outside the window (not the Windows window).

Say no to salty foods or sweeties

Instead, find an alternative with antioxidants that you can find in tomatoes, watermelon and beetroot which offset the effects of oxidative stress. While this is hard to believe, it’s a good way to handle stress.

Your body needs exercising

Set it in motion by playing sports or do some jogging, this will relax you, your brain will be more oxygenated, and you will sleep better.

Take a walk

If you’re more of the sedentary type, a simple walk around the block can help.

Remember to breathe

You’re just a human being, you need to breathe slowly and deeply with your abdomen.

Get it out of your head

We believe that knowledge workers who are in the system for several hours a day need to get disconnected when work is done. In addition to making your body moving, give your brain a little sweet mainly if the documents you work on are very dense. This will help you handle stress in a better way.

Put on some music

Listen to music, just make sure it’s not too relaxing otherwise you may deal with re-opened projects later on.

Call a friend

Have a short, nice conversation with someone over the phone like a friend or your sister. Maybe not your mother as you’ll be stranded on the phone for the next half hour or so.

Take a nap

One good way to handle stress is to take a nap, even if it’s only half an hour, it will do you good.

Sleep well at night

Banish screens from the room, stick to your rituals, and treat yourself to a really good great night sleep.

That about sums it up. Following the above you’ll be able to better handle stress during your working hours. You’ll become more productive and a lot more attentive to details.

If we can help you with any questions, please feel free to contact us


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