Community//

How to Take Care of Yourself If You’re a Freelancer Working From Home

You are your own best friend.

Come on, admit it. 

In between meeting pressing deadlines, attending networking events, and taking care of stuff at home, you’ve done the unthinkable.

You’ve ended up pushing your health to the backburner. If you think that’s the price you pay for choosing the freelance life, then you’re mighty wrong. 

Being consumed by work is a great thing, but if you ignore your emotional and physical well-being, you inadvertently risk the quality of your output. 

Is it worth it? Absolutely not. 

What do you do instead? Saddle up and get busy with performing some first-aid to your work from home life. 

Positive Self-talk

Whether a successful freelancer or not, we’re aware of the Impostor monster riding our backs—making us question our accomplishments and forcing us to believe that we’re not good enough in whatever we do. Sadly, the more we listen and internalize this negative self-talk going on inside our heads, the faster we shatter our self-confidence. 

To break away from this vicious circle, acknowledge but also silence the inner critic. Replace negative sentiments with self-affirmation. Tell yourself there’s no point focusing on limitations and that the only way to know if you have it in you is by trying—every time you’re plagued by self-doubt. The more effort you put toward what you want, the better and more self-aware you’ll become. 

Become a plant parent

Your plant babies do more than just add a touch of green to your home. According to NASA research, they act as a natural filter and remove toxins from the air, making it more breathable. To top it all, plants boost productivity and reduce stress levels. Isn’t that great news?

But since raising plants is a responsibility, I’d suggest you take baby steps. Start with one sturdy plant for your work desk. Once you’re sure you’re doing a good job keeping it alive, bring in more plants that require minimum care, such as cactus, spider plants, ferns, crotons, pothos, and snake plant. You can also grow some herbs and flowers from seeds. Seeing them grow every day is soul-satisfying. 

Step up and step out

We, humans, aren’t wired to work for long hours at a stretch. Sadly and too often, we overlook this and stay glued to our laptop screens. And before we realize, the damage is done⁠—we become highly irritable and anxious. To fix this, it’s recommended you pause and put your mind at ease.

Make it a habit to go for a mid-day stroll. Practice yoga in a nearby park. Studies show that simply by spending more time in nature can purge fatigue off your system and increase productivity. What’s more, you sleep better and show up at your work desk with renewed focus

Make virtual friends

Freelance life isn’t all that glamorous as it’s made out to be. Agreed, there’s no mulling over what to wear or wasting hours in commute, but you end up spending a lot of time alone. And studies have, time and again, shown that loneliness can trigger sleep problems, chronic inflammation and depression. Which is why it’s a must to be a part of a supportive community, online or offline. 

The easiest way to get started is by joining Twitter chats. Voice your opinion, establish your expertise, as well as build genuine connections along the way. It’s what results in having more watercooler conversations—making you feel less lonely than when you set out.  

Head to a co-working space

If you miss being around people and the day-to-day buzz, then book yourself a spot at a co-working space. If that hors budget, go to a library or a coffee shop. The point is to see what works for you and come out of your den every once in a while. And that’s because a little human contact is still necessary to keep feelings of isolation at bay. You’d agree, too. 

Plan your meals

Cooking meals is never on top of a freelancer’s list of priorities. After all, why bother when you can munch on leftovers or completely skip eating, right? Wrong. When you skip meals your blood sugar level decreases, which derails your focus and hampers your productivity. Now you know why you feel hangry, irritated and sluggish? 

To keep this from happening, plan your week’s meals in advance and do grocery shopping accordingly. This will minimize food wastage and keep your meal prep on track. If batch cooking isn’t your jam, inspire the hidden chef in you with these cool work-from-home lunch ideas

What do you say? Are you ready to take the reins of your freelance life in your hands?

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