1) Snacking/bad diet
A lot of freelancers I know, myself included, have put some weight (freelance fat) on since starting to work from home . You’re right near the kitchen, it’s tempting to comfort eat when things get tough and lunch portions can gradually increase with access to an oven.
Freelance Health Tip: Meal plan, so you know what you’re cooking for the week (or download the Freelance Planner I created last week to make a note of what you’re going to eat that day). I’m also a big fan of Weight Watchers if you want to lose some weight (you can see my weight loss updates on my other blog).
The other problem with weight as a freelancer is…
2) Not exercising
You know that annoying commute to work you had to do before freelancing? And all that running up and down stairs and popping out for lunch? That was all a little bit of exercise that you’re not getting now. In theory, it should be easier to fit in exercise – you could pop to the gym mid-morning or mid-afternoon when things are quieter. But when you’re freelancing time can run away with you a bit, and you don’t have the structure of a 9-5er.
Freelance Health Tip: Try booking fitness classes in and paying ahead, so you HAVE to go.
3) Not taking enough breaks
This isn’t just a problem for freelancers. All office workers who work at a computer should take a break away from their screen each hour. But how many of us actually do that? And how many bosses would be realistically happy with you leaving your desk every hour (even though it’s a health and safety requirement)?
I know a lot of freelancers take their lunch in front of their computer and rarely take breaks.
Freelance Health Tip: Set a timer to remind you to take breaks every hour. Alternatively, download Fitbolt which will give you reminders every 20 minutes to take a break from your screen and adjust your posture/doing a 30 second exercise/eat healthy. Make sure you take your lunch away from your desk.
4) Not sitting at a desk
Where do you work? At a desk? On the sofa? I’ve been seduced by the comfort of the sofa recently – and surprise surprise, my back has been hurting. Sitting at a desk means you’re more likely to have good posture, which will help your back, ease headaches from hunched shoulders and stressed necks and stop you from being too close to your screen.
Freelance Health Tip: Got a desk? Use it. Not only will it improve your posture, but it’ll help you stick to better work hours too. I’m going to try and do that all this week.
5) Not discussing work with others
When you’re freelance, it’s easy to store up all your worries and not have somewhere vent, which can be emotionally unhealthy. Twitter now gives us somewhere to discuss things (to a limit) and there are plenty of forums on Facebook and LinkedIn for chatting to other freelancers.
Freelance Health Tip: Get to know fellow freelancers, who you can chat to about any worries you might have. And if you have a partner, don’t be afraid to talk to them about work. That exercise malarky can also be good for working out stress.
Have you discovered any unhealthy habits since going freelance?