Here are 5 Five Things You Should do to Take Better Care of Yourself.
There’s no denying that working as a freelancer offers certain comforts and freedoms that people working traditional jobs do not often enjoy. From working at home in your PJs to traveling the world and taking your work with you wherever you go, it may seem that being a freelancer is nothing but roses and butterflies.
However, the reality is that there are certainly stresses associated with working as a freelancer, some of which apply more to freelancers than they do people with any other career. If you’ve been working as a freelancer for any period of time, now, this is probably a fact you know as well as anyone.
With that in mind, we’d like to present you with a list of five things you should do to take better care of yourself as a freelancer. Follow these tips for a career that offers less stress and more enjoyment.
Learn When to Call it a Day
One of the consequences of being able to take your work with you wherever you go is that sometimes it can be hard to really clock out. After a long day’s work, whether you curl up with a book or go out for a night on the town, there’s always that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that you should be doing more. Many times, freelancers will give in to that feeling, causing them to work longer hours than they ever did at their traditional job.
Don’t get us wrong – there’s nothing wrong with hard work, and sometimes long hours are exactly what is required to get the job done. However, unless you’re a robot, your body and mind need time off, and when you do take time off you need to be able to enjoy it without constantly worrying about the work you should be doing instead.
One way to get better at knowing when to call it a day is to set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. When the work day ends, clock out just like you would at any other job and set aside your work until tomorrow comes. Escaping a set schedule such as this may have been one of the reasons you chose a freelancing career in the first place, but many times it can be the most beneficial thing for you.
Don’t Keep Such Late Hours
Freelancers have a tendency to keep odd hours. Perhaps it’s the fact that sleeping in is all to easy when no one is expecting you to show up for your job at a set time. And when you sleep in one day, you’ll likely stay up later that night, and thus the cycle continues.
For the morning people among you this may not be the case, but many other freelancers often find themselves burning the midnight oil night after night. However, there’s a good reason why most of mankind has been waking up with the sun since the beginning of time. The truth is that keeping a normal schedule such as this leads to better sleep and improved overall health. If you can avoid the odd hours that freelancers often keep, you’ll likely end up feeling a lot better.
Maintain a Social Life
By nature, freelancing is a very solitary career. There is no office social life that you get to be a part of with freelancing, and freelancers spend most days with just themselves and their computer. For the introverted among us, this may sound like a dream come true. However, it is important to maintain a social life to make up for the lack of socialization that freelancing offers.
Take time out to go out with your friends and family, or fly solo to a local hangout or event. Spending week after week working alone and relaxing alone as well isn’t healthy for anyone.
Learn to Deal with Criticism
Perhaps more than most careers, for many freelancers, their work is also their passion. Think of the designer who pours their heart and soul into their art or the writer for whom their words are an important expression of themselves and their talent. However, as with any career, working as a freelancer is going to entail its fair share of criticism.
While it’s excellent to pride yourself on your work, you shouldn’t be so attached to it that you take it as a personal assault when a client criticizes something that you turn in. Until you realize that you can’t please everyone and that criticism is sometimes inevitable, having your hard work put down can feel like a punch in the gut that may leave you reeling for days.
Instead, learn to accept criticism and deal with it in a positive manner. Start by evaluating if the client who is criticizing your work has a point, and look for ways you can use that criticism to improve. Once you’ve done that, though, push it aside and forget about it. Don’t even give their criticism a second thought. At the end of the day, one person’s condescending comments on your work is not worth your worry.
Take Advantage of the Benefits that Freelancing Offers
One of the best ways to take better care of yourself as a freelancer is to make the most of the many benefits that your job offers.
Think about it: if you want to pack up and travel to a cottage on the lake and work there for a week or two, no one is stopping you. If you want to visit an old friend or a family member for a few days, you don’t even have to take off work to do it.
Likewise, if there is a client you don’t enjoy working for or one who is causing you more stress and trouble then their business is worth, there’s no one forcing you to continue working for them. While giving up on a boss may cost you a traditional career, giving up on one client isn’t likely to cost you your freelancing career.
Consider these benefits as well as the many others that freelancing offers and take advantage of them. You’ll be a lot happier if you do.