Written by Artur Meyster, Founder of Career Karma
When working as a freelancer, it can seem difficult to stay healthy and in shape. Regardless of what you do specifically, there are a number of tips that can help you to stay healthy and keep your energy levels high. Freelancers can burn themselves out if they stay glued to their computers all day so, unsurprisingly, a large number of these tips involve taking the time to step away from the keyboard.
As remote work and remote learning are becoming more and more prevalent in recent years, students and workers alike are being told to stay active in order to stay healthy. The rise in online degrees and the rise in freelancers over the years has resulted in a large amount of research being put into tips for how to stay healthy while being remote.
#1 Don’t Forget to Stand
It truly is surprising how often we forget to stand when we become heavily lost in our work. Ironically, it’s no surprise how unhealthy it is to stay sitting all day. Your legs need to stretch in order to remain healthy, and sitting for eight hours straight is no way to treat your body.
In fact, the University of Waterloo found that the claim of standing 15 minutes per hour to remain healthy was actually wrong. The more healthy number is to stand for 30 minutes per hour. That’s right, you should be standing just as long as you’re sitting. In recent years, standing desks have become a popular option for employees and a number of people have invested in models that are mechanized and can switch between standing and sitting.
Now, more than ever, as remote work becomes prevalent due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it will become increasingly important to invest in a way to stand while doing your work. After all, nothing makes a job worse than a sore back and neck from sitting too long.
#2 Create a Work Schedule
As a freelancer, it can be easy to accidentally work 12 hour days while you juggle work from a number of clients. However, this can be taxing on your mental health and increase your stress levels. Creating a defined work schedule and hours is the best way to keep your sanity as the tasks land on your desk.
On the flip side of that, keeping yourself productive is nearly impossible when you don’t have an outlined day and you may actually forget to complete a task if it is not written down on your schedule. Invoicely covers how you should separate office hours from your personal time to ensure that you are taking the time to maintain your work-life balance. Doing so can reduce the risk of burnout and help you become far more productive.
#3 Exercise During the Day
An often overlooked tip to staying healthy as a freelancer is to exercise during the day. Even if you get up and about every 30 minutes as you should, it is easy to feel burnt out after staring at a screen for hours. Taking the time to step away and get a quick workout in is one of the best ways to get your blood pumping back up to your brain and reenergize you.
Additionally, exercising during the day will stop you from making the excuse in the evening that you’re too tired after work to exercise. Stay on top of your health by getting at least 20 minutes of cardio per day.
#4 Take Up a Hobby
On the topic of separating work from your personal life, it may prove beneficial to your overall health to pick up a hobby. This could be anything that you want to do in your free time, and some people even choose a hobby that could potentially advance their career later down the line.
For example, enrolling in a coding bootcamp or trade school, such as General Assembly, can keep your brain stimulated on something other than your work. Make sure that whatever hobby you pick up actually resonates with you, however, or you may just further your burnout.
Staying healthy as a freelancer is more than possible, and is often just about getting up and moving whenever possible. Taking the steps today to launch a healthy lifestyle while working remotely is all about maintaining your mental and physical health. Doing so can feel tiring at times, but is incredibly important to your long term wellbeing. Don’t neglect your body or mind and take the steps needed to stay healthy today.
About the Author
Artur Meyster is the Founder of Career Karma. At Career Karma, we are passionate about helping people switch careers from non-tech fields to tech jobs to acquire new skills and obtain higher salaries.