One of the most common complaints of freelancers is that the nature of their work makes it incredibly difficult to take time off. As a freelancer, you do not get to enjoy the benefits of being a full-time employee at a company, which includes paid holiday. This means that, if you take time off, you should expect to lose out financially. Moreover, freelancers often have an unstable workload, with some weeks being hectic, which can mean working late or at the weekends. Freelancers also struggle to switch off. As a freelancer, work is always on your mind – and you may feel this pressure to be on the ball, hustling like crazy in order to be successful.
But if you’re a freelancer, it’s crucial to take a break from time to time. This is the only way that this way of working will be sustainable. When you sacrifice your mental health rather than turn down work, you can increase your levels of stress and isolation. You really don’t want to get burnt out, as this will just make you hate your work.
Here are some essential tips for freelancers who are desperate for a break. Remember, the great thing about freelancing is that work-life balance can be more feasible – it just takes some trial and error in order to achieve it.
As a Freelancer, Treat Your Work Like a 9-to-5
While you may have gone down the freelancing route in order to escape the mundane routine of the 9-to-5, you may discover there was actually some rhyme and reason to that kind of schedule. Indeed, by working a set number of hours a day, with the weekends free, you will be able to relax when you need to.
Take a Mental Health Day When You Need It
According to one study, a quarter (25%) of freelancers in the UK have experienced depression, while a fifth (21%) have struggled with suicidal thoughts as a result of loneliness. Indeed, mental health issues are common among freelancers. And it’s not only isolation that is a contributing factor; there are other stresses that feature in a freelancer’s life, including financial and job insecurity. Taking a mental health day can be difficult when you freelance, as you don’t want to worry about bills or feel lazy. But the reality is that taking a day off is often the best thing you can do to ensure you’re as productive as possible.
Do Extra Work One Week to Enjoy a Holiday
As a freelancer myself, I know that if I want to be able to go on holiday and not have to work, then I’ll need to get my work done for that week the week before. Usually, I’ll just tell my clients I’m going away and see if I can submit my work early. It tends to be fine. Of course, this does mean that the week before my holiday will be extremely busy. For me, though, it’s worth it.
Go on a Workation
A workation is when you take your work with you on holiday. If you work remotely as a freelancer, then you can do this. Of course, working on holiday may not allow you to completely switch off. However, simply being abroad – and enjoying things like interesting sights, meeting new people, being in nature, eating tasty food, and basking in the sun – can still offer you a much-needed break. Also, by working and travelling in cheaper countries, you won’t have to worry so much about your finances.
By following these tips as a freelancer, you can help protect your mental health and ensure that your career is sustainable and fulfilling. It can be hard to find the right balance between work and life. This is why experimentation is key. Many freelancers find that it just takes a bit of time to find a groove that works for them – and in the end, this can make freelancing well worth the struggle.