When talking to other translators, questions about stress always come up. Obviously, regarding deadlines, trying to keep balanced work and family lives, financial aspects, getting new clients and maintaining relationships with current ones, quality of the work, constantly needing to be learning and specializing …the list goes on and on. Keeping up with so many demands is complicated, and if something goes wrong, the level of stress hikes up. Then, the work quality, and the balance between personal and professional lives suffer. Everything with physical consequences, as body aches, headaches, lack of concentration, irritability and other very nice things to our health. For example, back when I was a “Padawan translator” (a la Luke Skywalker), I got a job that came in PDF, but was in real bad shape. Due to my inexperience, I did not completely review the file before accepting it, and tried using some OCR program on the thing to see if I could scavenge anything, but I did nothing. Problem is, the job had more than 50 pages, and the deadline was really close even for some blessed, god-given Word file with no problems whatsoever. Something only a noob would do. Mox is already an expert, but the feeling was basically the same to his character in the cartoon below.
As you become more experienced in the profession, you learn what to do, what must be done, and what mustn’t. However, every once in a while, there is an exception, and everything planned has to be changed: schedules, appointments, everything gets messed up. Sometimes, even your sleep. How do you deal with the consequences of stress spikes, or even a routine where stress is ever present? Surfing the web, I found two very interesting articles. The first one is from Mayo Clinic - where I search information to sate my hypochondriac needs - on how to alleviate the symptoms of stress: Stress management. The second, from Reader’s Digest, has practical tips on how to “de-stress” and maintain your stress at a level that is productive: 37 Stress Management Tips from the Experts.
I found them both interesting and necessary. With so many activities going on at the same time, I can imagine a pressure cooker valve on my head, just twirling and whistling while releasing vapor. I hope that you will find them likeable and useful as well. I say goodbye to you with a hug, until the next newsletter.