Today is World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to global mental health awareness and advocacy. At We Are Rosie, we firmly believe that with millions of Americans embracing independent consulting and remote work, prioritizing mental health is essential. Yes, the flexibility to work from, well, anywhere, is liberating and empowering. However, working for yourself demands consistent, proactive self-care as well as an effective time management practice to maintain emotional and mental balance, on both good and bad days.
We know firsthand that achieving internal balance can feel like a lofty goal at times. Pursuing a freelance lifestyle is an awakening of knowing and honoring yourself, because, ultimately, the buck stops with you. We also understand that the pressure to deliver good work can sometimes lead to putting personal wellness on the backburner – but it doesn’t have to. Here are four ways you can continue to bring your freelancing A-game and commit to your mental health:
Preparation plays a vital role in consulting success. Develop and test out a daily routine to instill consistent parameters throughout your day that eliminate the stress (and inevitable time suck) of constantly “winging it.” Create structure around your peak productivity hours, when you are most likely to need breaks, and when you’ll need to nourish yourself, so you’ll have a general idea of what each day looks like. Periodically pulse check your practices to see what’s working for you, what could use some tweaking, and what can be eliminated altogether to find your own perfect mix (yet another perk of being your own boss).
Set (and Uphold) Clear Boundaries
Be clear about your work boundaries right from the start with new clients, and (most importantly) stick to them. Establishing professional boundaries may feel daunting, but it’s a necessary and profoundly liberating act of self-love. As your own boss and business operations lead, it’s crucial to define and communicate your client boundaries early to maintain control over your workload and life. Good clients will uphold your limits and appreciate your transparency.
Honor Your Happy Place (aka Treat yo Self!)
We all have a sacred space. What’s yours? Whether it’s your morning meditation, consciously unplugging from technology, going for a run, or communing with nature, prioritizing your happy place as much as you prioritize your work to prevent professional burnout. Identify a practice (or practices) that bring you joy, bake it into your routine, and draw an impenetrable boundary around it to keep your cup filled.
Sometimes, we solopreneurs need to remember that we don’t have to do everything solo. Prioritizing personal connections throughout your week is just as critical as hitting your deadlines. Consistent check-ins with friends and family (no, social media doesn’t count), can prove an invaluable resource to independent workers. It’s important to remember that feeling lonely is common for remote workers, and combating isolation is integral to maintain a healthy mental state. If you are overwhelmed, reach out, talk it through, and know that you are not alone.
We hope these practices help as you take on the world with your talents! Don’t forget: self-compassion and self-forgiveness are available to you. The goal is progress, not perfection. Head over to our Instagram to check out self-care tips from our Rosie community.