Habits to improve your mental health as a freelancer

Following World Mental Health Day on 10th October we take a look at the small things you can do to make a big difference to your wellbeing…

Start the day with exercise
There are countless ways that exercise can improve your mental health. From helping you switch off from stress to boosting your confidence as your body adapts to being put through its paces. It’s not only your mind that feels the benefit but your work too, studies have shown that getting the heart racing can enhance creativity and even improve concentration. That has to beat rolling out of bed to sit in front of a laptop.

Keep things tidy
A well-organised desk and digital workspace can work wonders for your mood. By dedicating a few minutes a day to sifting through your downloads folder or organising your drawers you might find things are a little less frantic when you get down to work. A clutter-free laptop and workspace will help you approach new tasks with a clear mind and without distractions.

Schedule your socialising
As a freelancer you have fewer opportunities to meet with colleagues compared to office-based professionals. That’s why it’s vital to invite fellow professionals to catch up for a chat. Whether it’s on the phone, over a video call or a socially distanced rendezvous, sharing your problems with someone who understands your work is a great stress reliever. Make sure you don’t let your workload get in the way of an offload.

Allocate time to your to-do list
Many of us keep to-do lists filled with those tasks that never seem important enough to tackle in the short-term. Building a catalogue of jobs without a deadline can add unnecessary pressure to your day. Rather than leaving your responsibilities to pile up you should assign time to each task to take them on one-by-one as any issues arise. Allocating life admin to gaps between work will help you gain a greater sense of control of your freelancing and life in general.

Turn notifications off
It’s easy to treat yourself to annual leave when you’re self-employed but many freelancers find themselves responding to emails or putting odd touches to projects when they’re supposedly ‘out of office’. The best way to avoid returning to your work is to unplug from it completely. Keep your laptop turned off where possible and turn any notifications on mobile apps off. A clear distinction between your work and personal life will help to maintain a healthy balance and allow you unwind when it’s most needed.


Posted by Alex Abdelaziz

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