Can Self Employment Impact Your Mental Health?

When I first began my journey into full time freelancing I have to admit every day wasn’t pretty. In fact, there were several days that I found myself incredibly sad because I had grown accustomed to constantly being around other people whether in the office, at school or even at the local cafe. When I began to freelance full time (the first time) the concept of being at home all day long with no human interaction outside of the occasional phone call from my parents or random mid day messages from my then boyfriend(who is now my husband) was quite depressing and didn’t end well for me because I just couldn’t handle the depression and loneliness that often come along with being self employed.

Fast forward 5 years and once again I have found myself freelancing full time and believe it or not this time I am able to handle it much better. In fact, I experience more joy as a freelancer now than I ever did as a full time employee. Do you want to know what changed? How I adjusted to it. Below are a list of things that have helped me cope with the onset of depression as a freelancer:

Join The Gym

One of the best things for me when I started freelancing full time again the second time around was join the gym. Not only did it get me excited about taking care of my body again but it also gave me the opportunity to clear my mind and prepare for my work day while also having access to free child care.

Go For A Walk

When I worked in the workplace I used to hate how when days were getting stressful I couldn’t just get up and walk away from my desk without someone coming to ‘check on me’ to see what I was working on within 10 minutes. As a freelancer I have learned the importance of how to take a walk on both the coldest and hottest days.

Consider Part-Time Co-Working

I know not many people are as lucky as I am but on the days that my little one is in day care I tend to spend my time co working. My city has an amazing co working spot that is FREE and if you’re in the Raleigh-Durham area you should definitely check it out.

Take Yourself To Lunch/Dinner

Going out for a meal may seem strange the first time you do it but it’s another great way to get in some self care. You’re surrounded by people without having to engage in conversations with them.

Attend Networking Events

I am very much an introvert so networking events aren’t always super exciting for me; however, I am learning that when I feel like I need to be around people in my field attending networking events is great. It’s also great because it gives me the opportunity to potentially find new clients.

Play Time With Your Kids 

If you’re a mom I have to encourage you about the importance of taking a hard earned break and scheduling a play time with your kids. Play time for me gives me the opportunity to take a step back from work and actually experience the joy of having no worries at all.

Take The Stigmas Out of Monday 

For most of my adult life I have dreaded Mondays because I felt like Mondays were the worst part of the work week. To take the stigma out of Mondays I have made Mondays my day off. As a freelancer we often work crazy hours and for me that means having a one day weekend(of absolutely no work) vs. two and now I’m reclaiming my week by making Monday the day I do absolutely nothing but watch tv, eat snacks and catch up on everything no work related that I’ve missed over the last few weeks and it has worked like a charm!

What ways have you dealt with the onset of depression as a freelancer? Leave your comments below. 

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