Working as a freelancer has many perks. You choose your clients, set your hours, control your workload, work independently, and even take breaks whenever you like. Who wouldn’t want such a job? However, just like any other job, freelancing has downsides. Freelancing can take its toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Taking care of your overall health is paramount for a successful freelance career. You can help your body be more efficient by following the steps discussed in this article. Read along for amazing physical, mental, and emotional health tips and practices.
Get Enough Sleep!
The quality of your sleep matters as well, because disrupted sleep can cause somatic pain, increased stress responsibility, memory and performance deficit, etc. Try these habits to get enough high-quality sleep:
- Avoid caffeine after 4:00 p.m.
- Make your bedroom a relaxing, clutter-free, and quiet space.
- Always wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day.
- Keep the temperature in your bedroom at around 65°F (18.3°C).
Unfortunately, building a healthy sleep habit can be challenging if you suffer from a sleep disorder. If your sleeping problem relates to a sleep condition, a sleep therapist can offer you treatments like cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia.
Mental health issues might also lead to poor sleep. So, changes to your nighttime routine or sleep environment might not make a lasting difference. Consult a sleep therapist if you don’t notice much improvement.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
Proper dieting can directly affect your physical, mental, and emotional health. It would help if you looked after your diet as you do your workspaces. It’s easy to eat a lot of processed food when working remotely. But this isn’t an excellent idea for your overall health. Eating highly-processed, refined sugar-laden dishes might make you feel sluggish and low. Remove unhealthy candies and snacks from your fridge and pantry.
Instead of going for a convenient and fast option, adjust your diet to consume more vegetables and fruits. Avoid too much coffee as well! Coffee is delicious, but you need to drink the right amount. Remember that relying on caffeine to boost your energy level isn’t good for your mental health.
Journaling helps get your feelings and emotions out instead of lingering inside. Journaling can make you feel more calm and relaxed. It can also help you process negative feelings about your mental health while freelancing. Write about how you’re feeling, what you have done that day, and whether anything makes you anxious.
You’re likely to forget to drink water, especially when working alone. And this can lead to health problems like:
- Dry eyes and mouth
In severe cases, dehydration might lead to urinary and kidney complications. One of the easiest ways to stay hydrated as a freelancer is to ensure that you drink enough water daily. It doesn’t necessarily need to be water, you can take other fluids such as fruit juices. However, some fluids like soda are diuretics, which drive your body to excrete fluids, thus dehydrating you! Water is the best choice if you need to hydrate.
Get a large water bottle to hold your full day’s worth of water. These bottles have lines on the side showing how much water is left or how much you have drunk so far. You could as well drink a glass of water before taking a meal. If you don’t enjoy the taste of plain water, infuse fresh fruits like cucumbers and strawberries in your water.
Disconnect From Devices
Social media is a unique way to connect with your family and friends. However, it can also make you anxious about life. So, ensure that you take time away from the screen by having an evening walk to give your brain that well-needed break.
As a freelancer, you might feel like everything is hinging on you, thus you need to keep the plates spinning constantly. This might take the form of watching TV while checking emails, working until late into the night, starting your workweek on Sunday night, etc. This isn’t good for your mental, physical and emotional well-being. You can combat this issue by setting up boundaries like:
- Scheduling and taking vacations
- Taking weekends off
- Keeping regular work hours and sticking to them
- Setting a dedicated workspace so you can leave the office behind when you’re done
- Not checking your work email at all on the weekend or after a certain time
Taking time for yourself can help you recharge and think about something other than work. This will allow you to resume work with new and fresh ideas. Plus, when doing work, ensure that you work smartly, not hard!
Constant exercise can alleviate stress and keep you physically fit. So, take your bike and hit the road! Exercising for at least thirty minutes a day keeps your mind and body relaxed and the boosted serotonin levels improve your emotions and mood. Yoga is the only exercise option that can keep your mind and body working in unison. Its benefits include boosted mental concentration and awareness, and relief from chronic stress patterns.
Don’t Work From Bed
Nothing beats working remotely from your bed, clad in pyjamas. Rights? Wrong. Electronic devices like your laptop, tablet and phone shouldn’t come to bed with you. The blue light exposure and brain simulation these devices provide can make sleeping more challenging. Plus, working with these devices on your bed can cause a lack of spinal support. This can lead to poor posture and muscle pain.
Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health by setting up an office space in your house. If you don’t have a second bedroom to convert into an office, a section of your living room or kitchen will do. The goal is to set up a specific space for work, an area you can log out and walk away from after work.
Connect With Other People
Many freelancers spend their time in isolation. They work alone from home and don’t interact with other people for long periods. This isn’t an ideal situation. Healthy social circle results in increased happiness and overall well-being. Make plans with friends and family, and engage in activities that allow you to socialize, like attending barcamps, book clubs, conferences, charity events, and seminars. All these will benefit your mental, physical and emotional well-being.
Continue Reading: How to look after mental health and well-being
Freelancers face health problems like loneliness, burnout, despair, and anxiety. That’s why you need to create time for yourself. Implement these fantastic tricks and tips into your routine for better physical, mental, and emotional well-being.