Stress Management for Interpreters – 5 Top Tips

Woman freelance working in her home-office

At some point in our lives, we will experience some form of stress. Whether it is occupational or personal, knowing how to deal with the situation effectively and knowing how to de-stress, is the key to our own health and wellbeing. Every interpreter is at risk of stress due to the nature of work they undertake. Our 5 top tips will assist interpreters to manage stress that may arise.

1) Analyse the assignment before accepting it

Find out everything you can about the interpreting assignment before you accept it. You need to know the back ground information, the location, what specialist sector it will be in, what stage the assignment or case is at etc. All of these elements can contribute to stress. The nature of the assignment could have an emotional impact on you and it may be in your best interest if you don’t accept it or the location of the assignment might be on a route that is well known for being congested and you may need to plan ahead to avoid being late. Consider all factors of the assignment before you accept it.

2) Don’t bring work home with you

As hard as this may be, you should try and draw a line between work and home life. Failure to do so, can leave you overthinking/anxious and could have a negative impact on your personal life. You should switch off from work when you get home and spend time with your family and friends. This will allow you to unwind and prepare for the next day ahead.

3) Get enough sleep

Generic I know, but getting the right amount of sleep is actually proven to make you a healthier person. Being tired will make you feel irritable and you will not be able to cope with situations that arise in assignments. Introduce a routine (if you haven’t already). On average, you should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep. Set an alarm 15 minutes before you should be going to sleep as a reminder to unwind and get ready for bed.

4) Have ‘me’ time

Having time to yourself also plays an important role in your health and wellbeing and actually reduces stress. It is good to reward your self after a hard days work. Have a long hot bath, relax on the sofa with a hot drink and read your favourite book. Other people like to take up hobbies such as yoga or walking. Calming, classical music has also shown to be effective in distressing.

5) Take a break

Booking a holiday or a break is important, as it helps to maintain that balance of work and home life. Getting away from work for a short while will allow your brain to rest and focus on yourself and your family/friends. It will help you to switch off from work and you can return feeling refreshed and motivated.


If you want to know more about handling stressful situations and how to maintain your health and wellbeing as an interpreter, take a look at our “Your Wellbeing for Interpreters and Translators” course. This can be found here.


Blog written by Tess Wilkinson – L&D admin at ISL. Copyright belongs to the owner.
Posted in Uncategorized.