Finding the fuel: A self-care guide for freelancers

Because a day off here and there just doesn’t cut it

guide for freelancers
Chapter 1

What is self-care?

Before anything else, it’s important to understand what self-care is and what it isn’t.

Self-care is actively managing your mental and physical health and wellbeing so that you can do your job, take care of the people you love and tackle your daily to-do list with a sense of purpose, ease and joy. Doesn’t that sound like living the dream? It’s definitely possible, but it requires practice.

Self-care is the answer to coping with the stresses of daily life and it’s especially important for freelancers. Building a business is stressful and oftentimes the things we do to stay physically, mentally and emotionally on top slip lower and lower down the priority list as we pour ourselves into our work. After all, freelancing and passion are synonymous and it’s easy to lose that separation between work and life when you’re working on your terms doing something that you love.

Self-care looks different for everyone but things like regular sleep, healthy eating, moving your body and making time for the people and activities that bring you joy are absolutely essential to your success. Self-care is checking in with yourself, noticing how you’re doing and what your mind and your body needs from you. Self-care practices look different for everyone but if it feels nourishing for you, it should be at the top of your priority list.

How to figure out what self-care looks like for you

  1. Sit down and think about what brings you joy. What are the things you desperately wished you had more time for when you were working a corporate job? What activities make you feel like your batteries are charged and that you can take on anything that comes your way? It can be anything from physical activity to cooking, reading a book, spending quality time with family or friends or taking on a new hobby. Write those activities down. Now that you’re a freelancer, you get to decide how you spend your time!
  2. Incorporate those life-giving, battery charging activities into your everyday routine and take time to notice how you feel. Do you feel less anxious? Does tackling your to-do list just feel easier? Are you more focused and able to stay on task? If the answer is yes to any of those questions, these are the activities that need to be at the top of your priority list. Keep that list sacred and build your work life around it, not the other way around.