According to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), there are now more than two-million freelancers in the UK. In fact, freelance workers are now present in almost all major industry groups, from science and tech, through to education, arts and entertainment, and health and social care. They are also a rapidly growing segment of the safety and health sector, too.
Freelancing offers flexibility and freedom like no other profession. It’s a working lifestyle choice that empowers professionals to juggle their work and personal commitments on their own terms. In fact, to many, freelancing is the perfect solution to building the life they’ve always dreamed of.
However, freelancing also has a darker side. According to Epson research, 25% of freelancers have experienced depression and 21% have felt suicidal due to loneliness. And, with no boss or colleagues available for accountability, how can freelancers and remote workers look after themselves to ensure they achieve a mentally healthy work-life balance?
One of the biggest challenges as a freelancer is learning how to cope when a potential new client rejects your pitch. Or when a project falls through that you were banking on to pay next month’s rent. Rejection is part of everyday life for a freelancer, but when times are hard, it can be devastating. Rather than wallowing in self-pity, here’s what you can do instead:
Although working remotely can be a dream for most of us, isolation and loneliness can very quickly set in. Human beings are social creatures. We thrive in groups and friendship or camaraderie is essential to our mental and physical wellbeing.
It’s been said a thousand times before, but there really is nothing better for your mental health than physical exercise. If you’re just not a fan of the gym, then there are plenty of other ways to keep yourself in good shape and feed your brain with the positive energy it needs so you can continue to be excellent at your job.
And finally, don’t forget to switch off and unplug.
In a world where demands are placed upon us to be contactable at all times, sometimes the best thing we can do for our mental health is to switch off our phone, turn off the wifi, and take a break.