Working from home was my dream job, and it still is. I am living my dream, and it allows me to earn a decent living. It’s not always easy, but it’s even better than I had expected.
Then recently, it was brought to my attention that I haven’t been taking care of myself the way I used to. It took me a while to accept and understand that, but here I am writing about work-at-home writers taking care of themselves.
I’m writing this post for two reasons:
- to ask what you do to take care of yourself so we can all learn from your experiences;
- as a reality check for those who, like me, forget.
How can freelance writers take care of themselves
Having healthy eating habits
I used to be really bad with this as I would get so caught up in work that I would forget to eat proper meals during the day. If I did eat, it would usually be in front of the computer. I’d usually make up for it at night when I went out with friends. That meant lots of greasy food and drinks.
Since I got really sick about 2 years ago with acute pancreatitis, and I had to stay in the hospital for more than a week, my eating habits have changed. I learned, the hard way, that taking a break and eating properly is worth more than “getting more work done.”
If you remember, three weeks ago, I shared that I made a promise to myself that I would go out and walk at least twice a day. This was something I always said I’d do, but never got to do because I always had more work to do.
I’m happy to share that I’m actually doing it, and I feel better.
It’s just not about losing weight or being fit. It’s also about getting out of the house and physically distancing yourself from work, which can result in a better mindset when you get back to your computer.
We all have our own ways of pampering ourselves. I like getting a massage and getting my nails done. I also like to do a little bit of shopping for special items now and then. What I like most is to travel.
These things can be seen as rewards for meeting deadlines, doing a good job, and so on. The more important thing is that you feel rejuvenated after treating yourself.
Interacting with people in real life
This is my biggest challenge. I am perfectly happy to stay at home and just chat, text, or call. My reasoning is that I don’t need as much social interaction as other people do. And this is true.
There are some negative effects of not meeting people face to face for a long period of time, though. Over the years, I’ve “met” several work-at-home writers who have had problems with depression, needing clinical treatment even.
While other factors may have played a role in those cases, one thing about depression is the default reaction is to withdraw even more. One becomes more averse to social interaction.
That being said, studies have shown that doing the opposite – meeting friends and family – actually helps ease depressive feelings.
If you’re feeling disconnected and feeling down a lot lately, ask yourself this: “When was the last time I met with a friend face to face?
If it’s been months, then maybe it’s time to try. At least try. It won’t kill you.
So, FWJ folks, have you been taking care of yourselves? In what manner? Maybe you can relate to the things I shared above and are struggling with them. Would you like to share in the comments? Maybe we can help each other out.