Freelancing can be tough on the body and the mind. If you’re using a computer and the internet to get work done, you’re likely sitting down all day with your eyes glued to the screen. Independent contractors can burn themselves out and become unhealthy if they work using their computers for several hours.
As freelancing is becoming an increasingly popular and good career choice, gig workers all across the globe should stay active and happy to keep the creative juices flowing and maintain productivity.
Here are strategies that will help you stay physically and mentally in shape as a freelancer:
1. Come up with a Manageable Work Schedule
Freelancers may sometimes find themselves working several hours a day to juggle work from many clients. This working setup, however, can bump up your stress levels and be taxing on your mental health. Crafting well-defined work hours is an effective way to keep your sanity as the tasks land on your virtual desk.
On the flip side, keeping yourself productive is next to impossible if you do not have an outlined day. You may, for instance, forget to finish a task paid for by a client if you don’t write it down on your schedule.
If you need help with this, use a platform that will help you separate personal and “office” hours to make sure that you are taking the time to maintain your work-life balance. Doing so can cut down the likelihood of burnout and help you become far more productive.
2. Take Time Offs
Even if you are accommodating several clients as a freelancer, you should always remember to take a vacation when you need it. Use your vacation days (or whatever you want to call them) to have fun, step away from the screen, consult with your doctor, get the appropriate health insurance plan (if you don’t have one yet) or just do nothing.
Your goal for taking the time off is to take your mind off freelancing for a while and focus on other important areas of life, such as relationships, family and health.
3. Try Meditation
The web offers plenty of evidence on the benefits of meditation on a person’s mental health. It helps improve sleep, lets you manage your negative emotions more effectively, allows you to focus on your tasks better and cuts down stress.
If you want to give this strategy a shot, download a meditation mobile app that will help you understand the process. Headspace, for instance, offers many guided programs for various areas of application, such as focus, depression and helping with stress. Although you need to shell out money to obtain full access to the mobile platform, the app does provide a basic course that teaches you the foundations of meditation free of charge.
4. Munch on Healthy Snacks During Your Work Breaks
Many like to snack when they work. This gives them the energy they need to get their work done throughout the day.
If you like snacking, opt for healthier foods in your home office or remote working place. Refrain from ordering sugary sweets and fatty foods from popular fast food joints, as these snacks can make you sluggish. Instead, munch on fruits, veggies, granola bars and other healthy options that you should buy in advance.
5. Get Moving
One of the best ways to burn off excess energy and reduce stress is regular physical activity. Working out your body helps you feel more comfortable in your body and maintains your focus. Given this, you are highly encouraged to incorporate physical activity into your everyday life.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to come up with a strict exercise regimen like The Rock. You can, for starters, create a stretching routine for your morning or schedule an afternoon walk.
What’s more, you don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars on expensive gym memberships, yoga sessions and fitness classes. You can simply exercise at the comfort of your home or in a public space if you are trying to stave off cabin fever.
Getting lost in your work bubble is easy when you’re busy. Freelancers tend to forget that there’s a world outside what they do for a living.
Remember to go out and meet people, whether it’s for professional or personal reasons. Say “Hi” to your friends, get in touch with your distant relatives, widen your professional network on LinkedIn or join local meet-ups. The important thing is to get off your island and socialize.
Staying healthy and happy as a freelancer is possible, even when you’re juggling several clients.
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