5 self-care tips for freelancers and the self-employed
You’re the boss, and you make the decisions, but when was the last time you put work to one side and prioritised taking care of yourself?
According to a professor of organisational psychology and health at Manchester Business School, “isolation, financial pressures, irregular hours and an inability to switch off” can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression for the self-employed.
With increased freedom comes increased pressure, so it’s even more important to find time for self-care when you run your own business. No matter what you do, here’s how freelancers and the self-employed can give themselves a hug and stay healthy.
1. Know when to push on and when to take a break
It takes a lot to build a business on your own. That determination can make you brilliant at what you do, but very good at ignoring tiredness and stress.
A lot of freelancers feel like time off just isn’t an option. We don’t want to scare you, but burnout is pretty common for the self-employed. Start to see regular breaks as essential recharging, rather than a time-waster.
How to get started if you’re a notorious workaholic: It takes a bit of practice. Start by finishing half an hour earlier, or planning an afternoon off during a quiet time.
2. Go easy on yourself when things go wrong
Client being difficult and unreasonable? Just received a big unexpected bill? These things happen when you’re in business. It gets easier, but for some it will always touch a nerve.
Sometimes we can control things, sometimes we can’t. Our mental health can suffer when we get those two camps mixed up and start beating ourselves up. Remind yourself that you’re doing a good job, remember your achievements, and help yourself to stay organised.
How to get started if you always sweat the small stuff: Put things into perspective. What feels like a massive issue right now probably won’t matter too much in a month’s time.
3. Jazz up your working environment
Whatever space you’re working in, it needs to suit you and your routine. When you’re first getting established, you might be on a rickety old desk in a cluttered workshop. Now you’re fully in business, it’s time to invest in yourself.
If you like clean spaces and zero clutter, invest in smart ways to keep things organised. If you need your creature comforts, focus on soft furnishings, a coffee machine, and maybe even space for the dog.
How to get started if you’re not one for interior design: Notice one thing that annoys you about your current workspace and find a way to fix it.
4. Make sure YOU reap the rewards of your work
You do what you do for loads of reasons, but making money is probably one of the biggest motivators.
Struggling to keep the lights on doesn’t leave much time for your self-care regime. A bit of upfront organisation keeps the cash flow moving. Keep track of your utilities, have strict terms on your invoices, and be ready to say no to things that just aren’t profitable.
How to get started if you don’t usually put yourself first: Before you accept a job or do a favour, pause and consider whether it’s worth it. Learning when to say ‘yes’ shows you value your time.
5. See your friends, travel, watch Netflix
Work is important, but it’s not everything. Self-care means doing things for pure enjoyment, getting stuck into a box set, going to new places, and making time to see friends. Without this, work can swallow you up and become exhausting.
Be kind to yourself and recognise when you need to have some fun. You’ll feel far better for it on Monday.
How to get started if you can’t remember the last time you had a free Sunday: Pick a series and press play!
Solna can help you get some rest and relaxation by using automation and clever insights to get your invoices paid on time. Best of all, it’s completely free. Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t. Get started now.