Many would argue that a freelancer’s biggest asset is their time, and to some extent I would agree. It’s very important for a freelancer to use their time wisely.
But, I would argue that an even more important freelancing asset is actually your health. The truth is, you can have a lot of time on your hands, but if you’re too sick to work then all of that free time is not going to help your freelance business.
Worst of all, freelancers don’t have paid sick days. So, for a freelancer being sick usually means a loss of income.
What can a freelancer do to safeguard his or her health? In this post, we’ll share a few tips that you can protect your health.
How to Help You Protect Your Health
Here are five steps that you can take to protect your greatest freelancing asset, your health:
- Try to find health insurance. I know that, depending on what country you live in, health insurance might be hard to find. Freelancers are notorious for not having health coverage. But, if you don’t have adequate coverage, you’re more likely to avoid getting the treatment that you really need when you’re sick.
- Get enough rest. It’s important to schedule regular breaks and time off. While working lots of hours may seem like a really good idea at first and may even lead to more income at first, no one can sustain a crazy pace forever. Eventually all of those extra hours will lead to stress, burnout, or illness.
- Eat properly. We freelancers often take trips to the local coffee shop to provide us with a change of pace. While getting out of the house from time to time is a good idea, unfortunately the fare found at your local coffee shop is not always the healthiest. If this is a problem for you, try to identify a few healthy food choices at your coffee shop and stick to those.
- Engage in exercise. Most freelancers work on the computer to provide some sort of service to our clients. This means that most of us are fairly sedentary. Unless we make a special effort, we won’t get any exercise. Unfortunately, studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle is not healthy, so make that effort to get enough exercise.
- Take steps to manage your stress. Freelancing can be stressful, and continued stress can leave you feeling run down and make you more susceptible to illnesses. Take the time to identify what causes stress for you. Find ways to reduce your stressors.
What Happens When You Ignore Your Health?
I used to drive myself a lot harder. In fact, I often describe myself to friends as a “recovering Type A personality.” That’s because, while I’m still motivated to achieve, I’ve learned to slow down.
In the early days, however, it was always “full steam ahead.” In fact, at one of my corporate jobs I worked so many weekend and evening hours that I became known by name to the night and weekend security guards. (Trust me, this is not a good thing…)
You guessed it. I started to get sick a lot. Without fail, I would get bronchitis and/or some other respiratory illness whenever the seasons changed. I was also susceptible to the flu and other bugs that went around.
You see, when you don’t slow down your body often has a way of slowing you down…
What Do You Think?
Do you safeguard your health? What precautions do you take?
Share your tips in the comments.