Making it as a freelancer in the gig economy is never easy, and remote workers who are stranded from their colleagues in the office are just as likely as their independent counterparts to go stir-crazy and suffer from mental stress after working long hours by themselves. If you want to survive and thrive in the digital age, you need to become adept at maintaining your mental health despite the loneliness and lack of communication that's often entailed with being a freelancer or a remote worker.
Here are 4 mental health tips for freelancers and remote workers to rely upon when they're feeling down, and how you can avoid burning yourself out while working from the comforts of home.
1. Embrace mindfulness practices to stay stress-free
Being a freelancer or a remote worker can come with a huge workload and more than its fair share of stress, so it's important that you have a strategy in place to destress and unwind after a long work week. You may think that you need an expensive vacation or lengthy trip to a day spa to relax and recharge, but it's a simple matter of fact that embracing mindfulness practices can enable you to stay stress-free at little to no charge. Furthermore, mindfulness practices can be memorized and practiced within the comfort of your own home, so you won't even need to head outside to use this strategy.
According to the CDC, the prevalence of mindfulness practices across the U.S. workforce has grown in recent years, largely because workers and employees alike are waking up to the fact that laboring all day isn't good for you. By taking a few minutes to clear your mind and relax your body, you can supercharge your productivity when you do eventually get back to work while helping yourself avoid the dreaded burnout that so many freelancers live in fear of.
First and foremost, find a quiet place for yourself and ensure that you have a comfortable area to sit and relax in. Furthermore, ensure that you're hydrated throughout the day, as meditating and relaxing with your thoughts is no easy feat if your body needs nourishment. As the CDC's own data makes clear, mindfulness practices are proven to bolster worker health ameliorate the effects of negative stress on your health, so consider taking to the yoga mat the next time you feel a burnout coming on.
2. Learn how to budget for self-care
Asides from mindfulness practices, there are other ways that you can remain calm when stressed out and recharge your batteries after a long week of hard work. Learning how to budget for self-care is an important part of the process if you want to destress and recharge without bankrupting yourself, however, so don't think you can simply spend your way to happiness when feeling overworked as a freelancer or remote worker.
Besides taking some time to budget your self-care and luxury spending, you should also review the necessary steps to building a financial nest egg, something too many freelancers and remote workers are putting off. The gig economy lacks the stability of a traditional work scheme, so be sure that you're learning about financial self-care if you want to enjoy prosperity for long.
3. Don't grow dependent on your digital devices
For many freelancers and remote workers, their digital devices serve as their only source of constant contact with the outside world. This is actually one of the most dangerous aspects of the job, as growing dependent on your digital devices is a surefire way to isolate yourself socially and enhance the probability that you suffer from burnout which, in a normal situation, would lead to claims for workers compensation benefits. When consulting experts about how to stay motivated, the Harvard Business Review found that learning to put your smartphone or laptop down every once in a while and taking a break from tech is an important part of remaining productive.
4. Don't be afraid to say no
One of the most dreaded words in the English language for any freelancer or remote worker is "no." In the gig economy, these specialists live in fear of saying no to a client or supervisor because they fear they'll be permanently cut loose and unmoored from any prospect of financial stability. Understanding that you have a right to dictate your own schedule is an essential part of making it in the gig economy, however, so don't be afraid of saying no if you're finding the life of a remote worker or freelancer to be immensely stressful and too much to handle.
Your mental health depends on your ability to stand up for yourself in the world. If your enable a work environment or negative treatment from others to keep oppressing you, you'll struggle endlessly in the gig economy. Embrace these 4 mental health tips, and you'll soon be enjoying newfound success as a freelancer or remote worker who knows how to navigate the market.