Health • Mental
How to Take Care of Your Mental Health While Self-Employed
For many people, self-employment is the ultimate dream! However, those that have reached this particular stage in their lives realize that it’s not all just milk and honey. Naturally, we don’t even have to mention those that have been only self-employed their entire life.
While having no actual boss or superior is certainly lots of fun, it can also be quite a challenging task for our mental health and wellbeing. After all, it takes a single period of laziness or procrastination to fall really behind with one’s work.
As such, in the following lines, we’ll talk about how you should take care of your mental health while working as a self-employed individual!
Relaxation Therapy is Key
Self-employed people often work from the comfort of their home. Still, most of the time this means that they have no actual office nor a space designed to promote mental wellbeing and productivity.
This is where'' relaxation therapy comes into play. It can be achieved via a variety of activities, such as diffusing essential oils, burning incense sticks, or even playing with a stress ball.
As we all know, CBD does wonders when it comes to relaxation.
Self-employment is usually preferred because it allows for an escape from hectic schedules and routines. In other words – people often see self-employment as the opportunity to work whenever they want.
Obviously, this is not the case for a healthy period of self-employment. If anyone wants to go through this kind of work and keep their sanity, they must develop a proper routine. Otherwise, they’ll end up wasting precious nights and even holidays working!
Keep a Work Journal
It goes without saying that self-employment implies doing a lot of different things – from basic jobs to management, finances, and so on. Depending on the type of business that you run, a single day can mean doing the work of 3-4 different people.
Therefore, keeping a journal showcasing the tasks that you have to accomplish during the day can be of great help to your mental health. This way, you won’t have to constantly remind yourself what you have to do and potentially forget some things in the process.
One other very important aspect of self-employment is when you decide to celebrate your achievements. Most people choose this way of life because they want to buy themselves an expensive car or, even better, a house. At the same time, they unwillingly choose not to celebrate any of their minor achievements, focusing only on the big, ultimate one.
However, celebrating smaller achievements gives you the much-needed push forward that will also keep you on the right track mentally, so to speak. Managed to complete your finances early? Celebrate!
Further Train/Educate Yourself
It’s very important for self-employed people to understand that they’ll never know everything there is about their industry/field of work. With such an assumption in mind, mental health and capacity will slowly decay. This is something that you don’t want to happen.
In this respect, it’s recommended for you to continuously aim towards learning new things that will help you develop new business strategies. In short, do not let your mind stagnate or you will most likely be overcome by frustration.
Sleep is Paramount
We cannot stress how important sleep is for the self-employed. It doesn’t matter how early you have to wake up, you do have to sleep at least 7-8 hours every single night. Do you think you can skip one sleep session?
Well, don’t because you can’t! According to certain studies, the human body needs approximately two entire weeks to fully recover after a single night of skipped sleep. Now, imagine what happens when you work for 2 days straight. You’ll drastically decrease your productivity and mental wellbeing for the next two weeks.
Overworking Should Also be Avoided
You can overwork and still get eight hours of sleep. How? Well, you wake up at 9 am, start working at 10 and don’t stop until midnight. That’s 12 hours of almost continuous working.
While you think that this comes with extreme benefits for your business, such actions will take a toll on your body. According to statistics, working more than 48 hours a week will significantly decrease productivity in the long term.
On top of that, working for more than 11 hours every single day increases the risk of developing various heart diseases. As such, not only your mental health is at stake.
Don’t Skip Holidays
Holidays are, once again, often overlooked by self-employed people. This is mainly because they think they can work during their holiday – therefore making it a non-holiday.
When you have some time off, really use it for your enjoyment! Plan a trip, make sure you leave everything work-related back home and simply enjoy life without a care in the world.
If you can’t skip out on checking your work stuff or you can’t go one day without being connected to your business, then maybe you should think about why that is and if it’s good for you. Full breaks from such things are essential for us to remain sane and mentally healthy.
Communication and Socialization
Due to the pandemic, most self-employed people work online, with little to no contact with other people. Naturally, this lifestyle can have a serious impact on a person’s mental health.
After all, you don’t communicate nor socialize with other people for long periods! This can result in an anxiety and stress build-up when you return to society. Even an online forum or a talk with your family can help – quite a lot!
The Bottom Line
Mental health is essential for any type of worker, so to speak. However, self-employed people have many more responsibilities than your usual contract-based employees.
In any case, one should not forfeit their mental health and wellbeing in favor of their job/work or even dream career. When needed, take some time off or a deep breath and just relax your mind!