I do know what one of the answers is to changing my environment. It's spaciousness of time. That's one of the main differences between the ease of retreat life and the non-ease of my regular life. It's not stressful for me to have a lot to do, but it's definitely stressful for me to have too many things to juggle and not enough time to do them in a considerate and thoughtful way. I think that's true for most of us, and we don't change it. We just say yes to more obligations and more opportunities and fill up our calendars and reel from exhaustion or burnout.
When you're a freelancer, work becomes one of those obligation/opportunity time-fillers because the work isn't steady. It arrives in a feast or famine way and we operate out of scarcity too much of the time. But I have had plenty of work now for years and I still come from that scarcity place without stopping to think whether it's real or not.
So I've come up with a plan to resolve this. I'm going to establish a number of hours to work each month and as I accept projects, I'll guesstimate the number of hours it'll take and deduct it from the total and when I reach zero, I can't take any more projects that month. I'm quite excited about this way to measure and arrange things. Fingers crossed!