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How to Protect Mental Health for Freelancers?

How is your mental health nowadays? Have you ever talked or listened to yourself since you decide to become a freelancer?

Talk about mental health is essential to develop self-awareness and avoiding overwhelming situations
Talk about mental health is essential to develop self-awareness and avoiding overwhelming situations

There are lots of pros to freelance working, however, sometimes it could be hard to guard your mental health. Since you probably would be working on your own, and do not have a workplace like a traditional employee; your work could be overwhelming for you, and you may suffer from isolation. Check below to see some tips to protect your mental health while working as a freelancer!

1 – Schedule Your Work

To avoid excessive workload, you should schedule your work appropriately. You can make to-do lists on a daily or weekly basis. By doing that, you would be able to see your upcoming tasks and divide your time accordingly. Do not forget to include activities other than working to your schedule because balancing your work-related and leisure activities is crucial to protect your mental health.

2 – Put Technology Away For a While

As a freelancer, you are working with technological tools most of the time. However, you should give yourself regular breaks from technology to avoid its negative effects on your both physical and mental health. Exposing technology too much could impair your sleeping and eating habits, and do not forget to protect your posture while working with technological tools.

3 – Change Your Working Place

One of the best things about freelancing is the freedom to work anywhere you want. So even if you are more comfortable working from home, you can change it once in a while. You can benefit from cafes with a good internet connection or some joint working spaces. By doing that, you would have a chance to socialize and get in contact with other people

4 – Keep Your Working Place Tidy

Freelancers work from home most of the time, and it is very important to have a clean and tidy working place to improve your productivity and help you to focus better. Also, if there is enough space in your home, it would be beneficial to separate your working and living space. Try not to bring any work-related tasks to your living space, and make it a stress-free area for yourself.

5 – Balance Your Work and Social Life

Different than a traditional worker, you do not have co-workers around you in your workspace to socialize. Thus, it may make you feel isolated and lonely. To handle this, you should manage your time effectively and reserve some time to socialize with your friends, family, etc. In the long run, socializing regularly makes you function better as a freelancer.

Set up your boundaries and sometimes you can work in a coffee shop, coworking, or library
Set up your boundaries and sometimes you can work in a coffee shop, coworking, or library

6 – Take Care of Your Physical Health

Many traditional workers are in motion in their workplace, but the level of physical activity could be less for freelancers who usually work from home. Also, spending long hours with technological tools could be harmful to your physical health. So, you should spare some time for physical activity because, in turn, it would positively affect your mental health. You can do sports that you like in your home while watching online videos or taking regular walks. Also, signing into a gym could be another option to keep your physical activities more on schedule.

7 – Do not Forget to Take Regular Breaks

While working on the tasks on your schedule, do not forget to take regular breaks to avoid burnout. To decide which interval to take breaks, you can observe yourself and decide how long you are capable of working productively. Do not skip taking breaks even if you have an excessive workload.

8 – Join a Freelancer Community

Freelancer communities are growing in number all around the world, and joining them could be beneficial to guard your mental health. They are composed of people that are experiencing the same difficulties as you. Thus, sharing opinions and concerns on a common subject could save you from feelings of loneliness. Also, you can share your problems with them and hear their suggestions since they are all have been where you are now!

Keep your communication and try to organize your time to divide work, socialize with friends and family, and also hobbies
Keep your communication and try to organize your time to divide work, socialize with friends and family, and also hobbies

BONUS: How to Handle Burnouts?

Burnout is a syndrome caused by continuous, intense stress. If remain untreated, it may result in extreme physical, mental, and emotional tiredness. Freelancers are prone to burnout since they are self-employed and have to deal with everything themselves. To protect yourself from burnout, you should be aware of the symptoms first. Some of the common symptoms of burnout are;

  • Excessive ambition
  • Disregard your personal needs
  • Blaming others for your excessive work habits
  • Less or no time for leisure activities
  • Lack of tolerance for others
  • Withdraw from relatives
  • Depersonalization
  • Depression
  • Feeling anxious or empty

You should observe yourself to comprehend the signs of burnout, and you can try our suggestions above to eliminate its effects of it. If you are not capable of doing that on your own, don’t worry; you can get help from mental health professionals all the time.

You can join communities to share your experiences and explore a new country or city. For example, Nomad List is great for creating a networks and friends. We are all together!

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