Establishing your own freelancing business is not for the light of heart. Yes, there are many advantages to working for yourself, but it takes a lot of hard work. So, you have to make sure to take care of your mental health so that your freelancing business can be sustainable. Here are 3 tips to keep on top of your mental health as a freelancer.
- Set boundaries like a fortress
When you offer a service as a freelancer, expect clients to test your boundaries. This can be especially trying when you’re just starting, but you’ll get the hang of it by setting stronger boundaries over time. You have to know what your limits are, and you can’t cross them for anybody. It can be tempting sometimes, but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. There is a fine line between being accommodating and being a pushover. Becoming successful in freelancing is learning to walk that line, and boundaries are key.
Setting good boundaries starts with letting your client know what they can expect. Then, it can be helpful to have a contract so you are both on the same page, and if they come back with any problems, you can reference the contract. You might even tell them when they can contact you so you don’t feel pressured to answer any midnight emails on a Saturday unless you told them that’s when you can talk.
- Remember to recharge
Everyone needs to take breaks every now and then. Even freelancers. It’s all too easy to trick yourself into working more because you’re at home and you’re doing something you love. But here’s the thing, when you overwork yourself and get burnt out, something you love can quickly turn into something you dread. The trick is remembering that even though you may look available to the untrained eye, you know better. You are taking valuable time to recharge, making it possible for you to get to work every day.
Whether it’s hanging out with friends or spending time in nature, you need time to recharge. Sitting at a computer all day will quickly take its toll. Work movement into your day and spend some time away from the screen to give your eyes a break.
- Take your time
Taking breaks has never seemed so hard. But breaks are vital to your freelancing business. Taking your time may seem counterintuitive on a deadline, but this tip could save your freelancing business and your mental health in the long run. Deadlines aren’t the only factor to consider. Of course, you have to deliver on time, but it also has to be quality work, and that’s hard to do when you are stressed out.
As a freelancer, you know that taking breaks is a skill that requires planning, time management, and dedication to pull off. Make sure to schedule breaks into your day so that you don’t burn out and have to throw in the towel.
You are your business. The importance of maintaining your mental health as a freelancer cannot be understated. When you’re going at it solo, there are many benefits like not having to put up with the stench of salmon someone put in the microwave again, but there are drawbacks too. If you don’t protect your mental health, no one else will. And there is no one there to pick up the slack when you’re exhausted from overextending yourself.
It might not happen all at once. But, if you start implementing stronger boundaries and taking the time you need to execute a project successfully, you will find more fulfillment in your freelancing business.