Untitled-1Untitled-1Untitled-1Untitled-1Untitled-1Untitled-1
Digital Mums 5 tips to help you look after your mental health as a freelancer

5 tips to help you look after your mental health as a freelancer

Whether it’s bidding farewell to the sweaty rush-hour commute or never having to make a round of tea for your colleagues again - the benefits of freelancing on your emotional wellbeing are many. But how do you overcome some of the challenges that ditching the ‘9 to 5’ can bring? We asked our amazing Digital Mums community for their top tips.

Social isolation

If you’ve gone from the buzz of a busy office to freelancing, it can be a shock to suddenly find yourself alone with only the cat for company.

Even if you class yourself as an introvert, it can be easy to underestimate how much self-esteem and self-worth is tied up in working in a team and getting positive feedback.

Isolation can creep up on you, so be proactive, take preventative measures and find a local support network. Even if it’s just one day a week, put a regular date in the diary to meet up with other freelancers or choose a day a week to work from each other’s homes.

If you live in a more remote area and can’t meet up IRL, then do the next best thing and join a Facebook group or schedule a Google hangout.

Switching off

You may have given up the clockwatching, but it can sometimes feel like you can never switch off. And if you’re a parent, you may feel like you are on 24/7.

As a freelancer, you are the engine of your business, so make time to look after yourself.

If your thing was decompressing with a podcast on your drive home, then modify it. Put the laptop down, put your phone in another room and take half an hour at the end of your day to listen to it - just don’t do it at your desk!

Think about turning off your notifications on your laptop and phone if you’re easily distracted.

This can be difficult for social media managers, so instead you could use an app to remind yourself to take regular breaks.

Increased workload

Tax returns, chasing invoices, negotiating rates…. There’s no getting away from the fact that there’s a huge amount of unpaid work attached to being a freelancer.

And then there’s the familiar guilt-trip by partners and family members to go and pick up that dry-cleaning or run to the shops because you’re “working from home”.

If more of the household chores fall to you because your partner works longer hours, then compromise and be strict about what you say yes to. Try and factor them into drop-offs and pick-ups so they don’t encroach too much into your working day.

Be strict with the time you’re available to clients and include your working hours in your email signature. If you are doing a couple of emails in the evening, schedule them to go out the next morning.

Make the most of excellent time-saving tools like Buffer, which allow you to sit down for an hour a week and schedule thought leadership content to go out on all your platforms.

QuickBooks and Receipt Bank will make managing your tax and accounts a doddle. To ensure you’re billing hours correctly, use Chrometa which runs from your desktop and captures everything you’re doing.

Think about hiring a remote virtual assistant if you’re on a good day rate. You might think it’s a luxury but it frees up your time to pitch to new clients or work on your brand.

Structuring Your Day

With no boss breathing down your neck, it can be tempting to procrastinate, have a Netflix binge and focus on anything other than that looming deadline. If this sounds familiar then you have to build structure into your day.

Shower, get dressed and stick to a routine as if you were going to the office. If you’re all too easily distracted, work alongside a more focused friend who can be strict about breaks and chatting.

I have a Trello board with all of my tasks on and what I’m going to do on that day so I know what I need to achieve. If you are being blocked with a task, because you are waiting for a client to get back to you, you can put it in a different list, so it doesn't feel like it’s still on your to do list which makes you feel much less stressed.

Kathryn Tyler, Digital Mums Co-Founder
LACK OF FINANCIAL SECURITY

Having no sick pay, or a regular wage slip, to fall back on can keep you up all night so invest in freelancer insurance.

Don’t be shy about what you’re worth and negotiate good day rates - be transparent that the fee includes emotional wellbeing, holidays and sick pay. If they don’t understand, do you really want them as a client?

Work out how much you need to bring in and keep a pipeline of prospective clients. We talk about ‘Doing the Hustle’ at Digital Mums for a good reason - the more hustling, the less stressed and more successful you will be as a freelancer.

You can listen to some more of the challenges that freelancers face and how to overcome them by downloading the Digital Mums podcast here.

And if you're interested in finding out more about our new "Becoming a Successful Freelancer" course which has launched this week, click here.

Digital Mums The rise of the over 50 freelancer

The rise of the over 50 freelancer

Freelancer stereotypes might be all millennial creatives, but that’s certainly not the reality. You might be surprised to find that it’s actually the over 50s that are dominating the freelance workforce in 2019. Read on for some of the reasons behind this trend and to learn how we're supporting those who are looking to make a move into freelancing in their 50s and beyond.

Freelancing freelancer over 50s work that works freelancer life Learning
Digital Mums 10 Top Tips to Becoming a Successful Freelancer

10 Top Tips to Becoming a Successful Freelancer

Learn more about our new “Becoming a Successful Freelancer” course which has been designed to help parents and parents-to-be get more flex in their lives.

Freelancing Empowering Women workthatworks Learning freelance
Digital Mums The Importance of Personal Branding for Freelancers

The Importance of Personal Branding for Freelancers

Having a strong personal brand has become increasingly important for a successful career in today’s competitive jobs market but, given freelancers can succeed or fail on the basis of their reputation, having a compelling personal brand has now become a necessity.

Freelancing freelance Personal Branding Empowering Women workthatworks Learning
Back to Blog

Unlock your flexible
freelance career

Ready to gain in-demand social media skills and kickstart your new flexible freelance career? Click here to get more info on our accredited training.

Kate on white background

Get Started

Enter your details below to take your first step towards transforming your career prospects. We’ll send you our Info Pack and a few emails explaining what we do.

Do you have a background in any of the following: Marketing, Advertising, PR, Comms, Journalism, Broadcast/TV?
What training would you like to hear more about?
How did you hear about us?
Course updates

We’d love to send you ongoing updates about our training, successful Digital Mums and new happenings in the flexible working space. You can unsubscribe any time.

Privacy policy

For more info on how we handle your data, read our privacy policy.