How to safeguard your mental health when you’re freelance

Working from home can be great. You get to choose what hours you work, you can set your own schedule, you can do things that interest you, and there are no commute times. But working from home can also be stressful. And while some people thrive in isolation, others find themselves feeling isolated.

If you decide to go freelance, it’s important to understand that it won’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to spend every day working from home. Sometimes you might have to travel to meet clients, attend events, or even just socialize. This can make it difficult to maintain balance.

And because you’re not tied down to a specific location, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. When you start out, you might think you’ll be able to handle everything on your own, but over time, you’ll realize that you can’t.

The lack of human contact

If you’re lucky enough to have a job where you can work from home, it might seem like the perfect opportunity to finally start living the dream. But while being able to do your job from anywhere sounds great in theory, it doesn’t always turn out that way. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by FlexJobs, nearly half of remote workers say that they feel lonely and disconnected from society.

That disconnection stems from several factors, including the fact that many people don’t realize how much interaction they actually have during the day. “I think we’ve become accustomed to having our phones everywhere,” says Dr. Amy Weil, author of “The Workplace Without Boundaries.” “We check email every five minutes, even if we’re just waiting for something to happen. When you’re sitting at your desk, you’re checking email, you’re looking at your phone, and you’re talking to coworkers. So we’re really missing out on the interactions that make us feel part of a team.”

In addition to making sure you’re getting some face time with colleagues, here are some tips for keeping your sanity while working remotely.

One of the biggest reasons why people end up feeling alone in their office is because they spend too much time inside. “When I’m commuting, I’m thinking about my commute,” says Weil. “And when I’m at work, I’m thinking about work. And when I’m at home, I’m thinking about home. So I try to take breaks and go somewhere else.”

Going to lunch or grabbing coffee with a coworker can help break up those long stretches of time spent staring at screens. “You can’t replace the physical presence of another person, but you can certainly fill that void with conversation,” says Weil.

The lack of schedules and rules

If you work long hours, it might be hard to find motivation to do anything else besides work. You might feel like you’re missing out on life because you don’t have enough free time. Or maybe you just crave some down time. Whatever your reason, here are three ways to make sure you’re still getting plenty of rest and relaxation while keeping up with your regular schedule.

1. Set aside “me” time

You might think that you’ll spend most of your day thinking about what needs to get done, but taking a break once in awhile helps you recharge. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, try scheduling some me time into your day. Maybe you could go for a walk around the block, read a book, or call a friend.

2. Get outside

Even if you’re stuck inside during winter weather, there’s no harm in spending some time outdoors. Take advantage of the sun and fresh air to clear your head and relax. Go for a hike, play a game of basketball, or even just sit on the porch and watch the world go by.

3. Keep a gratitude journal

When you’re feeling stressed out, it’s easy to focus on everything that’s wrong in your life. Instead, write down five things you’re grateful for. This simple act can change the way you look at your situation and give you a sense of perspective.

Constantly comparing your success/failures with others

Social media makes us compare ourselves constantly to others. But it doesn’t have to be like this. You don’t have to look at your Instagram feed and see how many followers you have compared to your friend’s. Instead, think about what’s important to you, and make sure to spend time doing things that bring you joy. If you’re struggling to figure out what those things are, start by asking yourself questions like “What do I love?” and “Who am I trying to impress?” Once you’ve figured out what brings you happiness, go ahead and post photos of your favorite activities. Don’t worry about whether or not you’re successful; just enjoy the moment.

When you’re freelancing, it’s easy to feel lonely because there isn’t anyone else around to talk to. This is especially true if you live alone. However, having a social network of friends and family can help keep loneliness at bay. Spend some time with people outside of work, and try to meet up with old friends whenever possible. Also, consider getting involved in local communities. There are always opportunities to volunteer, attend events, and participate in fundraisers. These types of activities can provide you with plenty of social interaction without being too draining.

Finally, remember that you’re unique. What works for one person might not work for another. Your job is to figure out what you like and what you’re good at, and then use that information to build your brand. Don’t let other people dictate your career path. Focus on what’s important to you and take pride in the fact that you’re living your best life.

I don’t feel as valued

As a freelancer, I’ve always been able to work for myself, and make my own hours. However, there’s one thing I haven’t been doing well lately – negotiating. I’m not talking about getting a pay rise, or asking for a raise. I mean negotiating the value of my skills.

I used to charge £100 per hour, and I’d get anywhere from £50 to £150 depending on how busy I was. Recently though, I’ve had some clients come to me who wanted to hire me for less than half what I charged. So, I negotiated. And I got a lot less.

But, why do I feel like I’m worth less now? Well, I’ve realised that there’s a big difference between “you the person” and “you the service”. You see, I’m still providing the same level of skill, knowledge and experience. But, because I’m no longer charging the full amount, I’m feeling devalued.

So, what does this mean for me? It means that I need to start valuing myself properly. If I’m not charging enough, I’m obviously not giving myself enough value. And, if I’m not giving myself enough value, I’m not selling myself well enough.

And, if I’m not selling myself properly, I’m not going to attract high quality clients. Which means that I’m not going to earn enough money. Which means that I’ll eventually have to take a lower paying client.

Which brings us back to the whole “value” issue again. Because I’m not charging enough for my skills, I’m actually losing out financially. Which means that I need to reevaluate my pricing strategy.

Now, I could just decide that I’m worth more than I am charging. Or, I could try and find ways to increase my rates. But, I really don’t want to go down either route. Why? Because, I already know that I’m good at what I do. And, I already know that my rates are fair.

My balance between work and life feels even more off.

Annie spent most of her career working long hours, juggling multiple projects, and trying to meet deadlines. But now, she says she wants to do things differently. “I don’t feel like I’m getting enough quality time with my family,” she explains. “And it seems like there are too many distractions.”

Annie isn’t alone. Many people struggle to find a work/life balance. In fact, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, nearly half of employees say they’re struggling to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

But while some people might just want to take a break from work, others might actually want to change their careers. If you’re thinking about making a big move — such as switching industries or companies — here are seven tips to consider.

1. Figure Out What You Want

Before you make any major decisions, it helps to figure out exactly what you want. Some people decide to switch industries because they’re bored with one field. Others choose to go into another industry because they want to pursue a passion project. Either way, it’s good to know where you stand before you dive headfirst into something new.

2. Consider Your Family

If you’ve been spending a lot of time away from home, it could mean that you’re missing out on important moments with your loved ones. And if you’re planning to start a family, you’ll want to be sure that you’re ready to commit to raising children.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should You Care About Your Health as a Freelancer

Freelancing offers many benefits, including flexibility, independence, freedom, and self-employment. But what about health insurance? If you are freelancing full-time, it might seem like a no-brainer to buy individual health coverage.

Why do people become freelancers?

1. To make money

Freelancing is about making money. You get paid for what you do best. If you’re good at writing, then write. If you’re good with design, then design. If you’re good doing customer service, then provide great customer service. Freelancing is not just about getting paid; it’s about being able to choose how much time you want to spend working each day.

2. Freedom

You don’t have to answer to anyone else. No boss telling you what to do, no coworkers who might complain if you take a little longer than expected to finish their project. When you work freelance, you set your own hours and decide whether you want to work full-time, half-time, or even less.

3. Flexibility

If you need to change jobs, you can. There’s nothing stopping you from switching careers or moving cities. And if you find yourself unhappy with your current job, you can quit without worrying about losing your paycheck.

4. Control

When you work freelance, you control your destiny. You determine how much you charge, when you’ll deliver projects, and how long they’ll take. You can pick and choose clients based on your skillset and experience level.

5. Independence

Working freelance means having complete freedom over your career path. You can start out small and build your client base slowly, or jump right in and try to land big contracts. Either way, you won’t be tied down to any particular company or industry.

6. Opportunity

There are many different ways to make money online nowadays. Whether you’re looking to earn extra cash while traveling, create a second income stream, or simply supplement your regular salary, there are plenty of opportunities out there.

7. Self-Reliance

As a freelancer, you learn to rely on yourself. You figure out how to manage your finances, handle taxes, and keep track of deadlines. You develop self-discipline and learn to say no to things that aren’t going to help you reach your goals.


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