Worried About Your Mental Health? 4 Tips for Staying Sane as a Freelancer

Kareen Friedman
Kareen Friedman
May 2, 2019

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the U.S., and for freelancers and remote workers, it is especially crucial to be aware of the impact working from home can have on your mental health.

Freelancers enjoy the freedom and flexibility they have, however, that freedom often comes at a cost. Many freelancers suffer from mental health issues resulting from the stress of managing a business and the isolation of doing it all alone. An Epsom Research study concluded that over a quarter of freelancers experienced depression.

To ensure your overall well-being doesn’t suffer from the fallouts of freelancing, here are four helpful tips:

1. Become a Member of a Coworking Space

Working from home has many benefits. However, it can also increase feelings of loneliness and isolation. In recent years, coworking spaces have become more and more popular thanks to the many advantages they offer freelancers and remote workers which include flexible rental leases, all-inclusive amenities and more. More than anything else, they offer the ability to enjoy the synergy of being with other creative people without feeling like a salaried employee.

Since coworking spaces appeal to freelancers, the type of people that will be there will be in a similar mindset and many will find that even more motivating. These environments also help to improve work-life balance while providing positive social interaction and a sense of community.

Coworking spaces such as WeWork in the U.S. or JustCo in Singapore, do more than offer a space to sit in, but rather foster a sense of community by encouraging get-togethers, organizing social events and driving interaction among freelancers.

2. Clarify How You Want to Get Paid

Freelancers often find themselves running after clients to get paid for work they have completed and expenses they have already incurred. This is because clients often pay late or through a variety of payment methods, leaving freelancers to reconcile all the payments at the end of each month. Managing payments has become stressful for many, and as a result, has a negative impact on your well-being. Consider implementing a payment system that can help keep track of payments from different suppliers, especially if you work with international clients and want to receive payments in your local currency.

Payment solutions such as Payoneer make it easier for freelancers to manage their payments by giving them the flexibility to decide how they want to get paid. The right payment solution will also ensure your payments are secure, leaving you to stress about one less thing.

3. Invest in Self-Care

Freelance life often means that you have little to no freedom at all. Due to all the anxiety of managing your own business and the daily stress that comes with it, many freelancers are neglecting themselves.  However, since you are the driving force behind your business, it is even more important to have a positive work-life balance, and that starts with self-care.

Just as you manage your business and keep your clients, your books and your operations in good health, so must you dedicate the time to your own personal health. It is important to remember that self-care is not a luxury but a necessity to keep you and your business going at full speed.

Below are some self-care things you can do for yourself:

  • Pamper yourself (i.e., get a massage, join a gym, etc.)
  • Book a vacation
  • Enjoy time with friends and family
  • Spend time outdoors in the fresh air

4. Seek Professional Help if Needed

Being a part of a coworking community, streamlining your payment solution and investing in self-care can help you as a freelancer, however, if you still find yourself overwhelmed or struggling, you can always ask for help.

A professional therapist, counselor or coach can help you create a self-care plan that will target your emotional well-being and help you cope with whatever you are experiencing on a day-to-day basis. Some freelancers may find it beneficial to seek virtual counseling from professionals that understand their unique position.

Remember that your mental health is more important than anything else and you should never be embarrassed to ask for help or seek guidance on how to better yourself.

Conclusion

Your mental health should be a top priority not just during the month of May, but year-round. A healthy business starts with a healthy business owner.