We’ve all heard the envious friend or neighbor say, “Oh you’re so lucky to get to work from home! That is the dream!” And the truth is…They’re right!
Earning a living, from your living room, is an incredible perk of being a remote freelance worker. But what about the other side of the coin?
For example, 66% of remote workers report loneliness and isolation. There are obvious pros to this career style, but in a world where 99% of your job is just you and your computer, it is important to have mental health awareness for yourself.
So, let’s take a look at how you can start improving your mental health awareness as a freelancer starting today!
What Is Mental Health Awareness?
Considering that May is Mental Health Awareness Month you will probably be hearing the phrase frequently, but what does it mean exactly?
You’d think it is a pretty straightforward answer, but the trouble isn’t the answer, it is the question: What’s wrong?
If you have a stomach ache, scrape or cut, or broken bone, the question “What’s wrong?” is simple to answer. With mental health, it is a different story.
Mental health struggles are difficult to identify or put a name on, and for that reason, around 60% of mental health issues go unchecked or untreated. Mental health awareness is an understanding of your mental health symptoms and state of mind.
Having the same awareness of your mental health as you would for a physical issue like the flu is crucial, especially when you work alone.
Keep in mind that mental health awareness isn’t just paying attention to when you get the blues or get anxious over a heavy workload. It’s also an awareness of what makes you happy, and what brings you joy to your day-to-day life.
Let’s take a look at some challenges that freelancers face that can impact mental health.
Scenarios That Cause Mental Stress for Freelancers
When you are working with a team or in an office, you can often lean on your colleagues for support, advice, and even friendship. An obvious drawback of freelancing is the isolation of the career.
Issues such as the following are often left on the shoulders of freelancers rather than a team:
- Not getting paid on-time
- Too many projects at once
- Poor communication from clients
- Unrealistic expectations from clients
- Termination of projects unexpectedly
- Isolation from colleagues or support
- Uncertainty about career trajectory or strategy
These scenarios can cause distress in any situation, but shouldering them alone can be an immense burden for remote workers. Identifying these stressors and your reactions to them is a crucial step in attaining positive mental health awareness.
Let’s take a look at how to manage some of these stressors!
Improving Your Mental Health as a Freelancer
Once you identify the points in your day that bring you joy and the points that bring you stress, it becomes easier to restructure your day accordingly. Pay close attention to the things that are becoming overwhelming so you can make action plans to change them.
For example, pay attention to how you feel during the day with specific projects or how you feel when you work with a particular client. Signs of stress or burnout can include:
- Feeling helpless
- Loss of interest or motivation
- Decreases sense of accomplishment
- Detached feelings
- A negative outlook of the future
- Lack of self-care
If you can identify the specific aspects of your routine that bring these feelings on it is a good indication that you need to reevaluate the importance of those tasks in your life. Simple adjustments can make all the difference in your routine.
Consider this, say you are freelancing and you have a client that consistently misses payments and does not follow the scope of work they created. It is safe to say that a client might be a particularly big stressor for you, right?
So what can you do? You could consider working with a freelancer marketplace like FreeUp. Working with a company like FreeUp can alleviate huge stressors that freelancers face like unvetted clients and missed payments.
Having the support system of FreeUp can help you restructure your approach to your freelancing career. There is always someone there for you if you have an issue with a client or advice on getting new business.
Rather than shouldering everything on your own, FreeUp also has a partner program that puts freelancers in touch with other freelancers for help with their profiles, client questions, and more.
Take Control of Your Freelancer Mental Health Today
Improving your mental health as a freelancer won’t happen overnight… but it can start happening today! Now that you understand what mental health awareness means and how to improve it, the next steps are up to you!
If you are ready to stop carrying the stress and weight of freelancing without a safety net, then it is time to think about joining FreeUp! FreeUp offers freelancers new job opportunities daily from thousands of pre-vetted clients.
Our support team is available to assist you from connecting with clients to managing disputes to curating the perfect freelancer profile! So, use the link below and become a FreeUp freelancer today!