Working as a freelancer has its perks, but there’s a downside to being your own boss too. It’s fantastic because you can manage your own time and decide how to run your business. However, there’s a lot more to do and worry about when you’re working by yourself – and this can be both challenging and frightening. To avoid getting caught in a void between fulfilling responsibilities, doing tasks and meeting deadlines, it’s important to find your own balance. In this article, we’ll share six tips for happiness and mental health as a freelancer.
Find your ideal workspace
Yes, you can work from anywhere. However, if you’re somewhere different every day, you’ll need to adapt to a new environment over and over. This means you ‘re faffing for longer before you get started on your jobs for the day (you’ll need to find out the Wi-Fi password, adjust your chair, test the lighting, etc.) and less control over your environment (noise, temperature, and so on).
Finding the perfect spot and creating a routine will help you focus on what really matters: your work.
Remember that you’re only human
Spoiler alert: you’re not a superhero. Your body won’t be able to handle working for hours on end with no breaks, skipping meals and sleeping 2 hours a night forever. Make sure you’re looking after yourself before it’s too late.
Set an alarm clock to remind you to take regular breaks (add years to your life with these 4 ‘work break’ apps). Take a deep breath, put your computer on standby and leave your desk. Your body and your mind will appreciate it.
Disable notifications for a while
Receiving messages and notifications all the time can be very distracting. It increases your FOMO (fear of missing out) and makes you lose your train of thought.
As you know, most things aren’t urgent and will only contribute to stressing you out, because you will feel that your To Do list won’t stop growing. Book time slots for your main tasks each day, and don’t let anything interrupt you while you’re doing them.
Learn how to handle rejection
You did your best to reach a new potential customer but, in the end, they choose another supplier. Or you’ve been working hard on a piece of content, but your client isn’t happy with it and wants you to review it yet again. These kinds of situations are very frustrating, but they happen all the time, especially when you’re doing more creative work.
All you have to do is remember that it’s not the end of the world. In fact, the only tool you’ll need to handle rejection is a positive, humble attitude. How? First, don’t take criticism and feedback personally – people may be criticising your work, but they’re not criticising you. Second, take it as an opportunity to improve your results and to reinforce your relationship with your client.
Having an active social life will help you combat isolation and look after your mental health. So, if you work alone, this tip is mandatory.
Go outside, meet your peers, join groups and choose activities that make you forget work and feel good.
Go on holiday
Everyone needs to rest, and your clients won’t disappear if you take a week off. In fact, they’ll probably appreciate it in the long run, as you’ll come back in a better mood, refreshed and ready to get back down to work.
Studies demonstrate that isolation, loneliness, stress, anxiety and guilt are common feelings among freelance and remote workers. To prevent these – and other serious problems like burnout and depression – it’s essential that you develop healthy routines.
What do you do to make sure you’re looking after your mental health? We’d love to hear your tips!