As freelancers, we tend to work longer hours than the norm and we tend to sit on our butts a lot more. All of this can lead to some unhealthy habits forming—and worse case scenario—some serious health issues.
Read on to learn how you can avoid these health issues, whether you’re just starting out as a freelancer or you’ve been doing it for a while like me!
Avoiding Health Issues as a Freelancer
#1: Weight gain + high blood pressure = Cardiovascular issues
This has got to be the #1 issue we face as freelancers, or even anyone that is working in an office. Our bodies were not designed to sit for long periods of time, in fact, our bodies were designed to be active.
If you find yourself sitting for long periods of time, say 2+ hours, then you need to create a routine that breaks up these periods.
Consider these options:
- Invest in a standing desk so that you can alternate sitting and standing every couple of hours
- Take a break every hour and walk to the toilet or grab a drink of water, anything that gets you up and out of your chair, stretching your legs
- Start a regular exercise program. This doesn't mean you have to join the gym either, there are plenty of other options open to you. In fact, check out the No Gym Needed 30 Day Challenge to see just how easy it is to do exercise at home!
By implementing a couple of these options, you can reduce the likelihood of gaining weight which in turn can increase blood pressure, resulting in heart problems.
#2: Lowering stress levels
Being a full-time freelancer can be stressful, particularly in those first few months of making the transition from part-time to full-time entrepreneur.
It can be isolating and you might feel overwhelmed and unsure of whether you can do this… a lot of time is spent inside your head battling with your inner voice (mine’s called Neville!) without a lot of help being available.
You’re left making all the decisions and it can send you into a state of utter despair…
All of this can lead to sleep loss and a low immunity to common colds and viruses floating around.
This means that you need to find ways to deal with stress and also reduce it. It’s easy enough to reduce, you just need to plan ahead and understand that you don’t have to take on every single client that comes your way, particularly if you feel that they are going to be difficult. Learning to say no will definitely lower your stress levels.
Some other ways to deal with stress including maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating lots of whole foods and drinking lots of water. Don’t forget to have fun too! Schedule something fun once a week so that you’re not just working all the time.
All work and no play makes for a very dull existence, whether you’re working for yourself or not!
#3: Vitamin D deficiency
This can easily happen, especially if you’ve no need to head outside much at all. This can lead to an increased risk from developing diabetes, hypertension, MS, cognitive impairment and even cancer.
Your best source of Vitamin D is the sun! If you can’t get access to the sun because it’s the middle of winter, than you can take supplements to boost this deficiency and you might be able to get it from other sources, such as dairy products.
If you’ve been working inside for a few weeks without stepping out into the sun, it might be time to get yourself checked out to make sure you’re not lacking in vitamin D!
You can avoid all of these health issues by leading a normal and active life. Getting out and about on a regular basis, seeing people and working with others on projects or in co-working spaces are also some other options to consider.
Freelancing doesn’t have to cause havoc with your health, it’s just about planning and maintaining a routine that doesn’t see you sitting for long periods of time (says she who is sitting on her butt right now writing this!) or not exercising.
Your health is something you’re in control of, always remember that. What you put into your body and how you look after are all up to you.
Find something that you enjoy doing and then mix things up!