4 Ways Freelance Writers Can Be Healthier
Freelance writers love to stay busy. It doesn't matter if we are writing a blog, magazine article, novel, website copy, or helping a client come up with the right words for their company newsletter – give us something to write and a little direction, and off we go.
But the reality is that freelance writing is hard work, and it can lead to unhealthy habits and health risks if we aren't careful. Does any of this sound familiar to my fellow freelance writers?
* Sleep deprivation
* Poor posture
* Weight gain
* Poor eating habits
* Inability to focus
* Sick more than usual
4 ways freelance writers can be healthier
If you're like me, you love being a freelance writer so much that you want to keep riding that big, beautiful wave of inspiration all day. It almost doesn't even feel like work. But as they say, too much of a good thing can be bad for you, also. Statistics continue to show that the average American works more hours than ever before – sometimes as many as 60 hours per week.
That includes freelance writers who want to be healthier but work a lot of late nights, early mornings, weekends, and whenever else they can pump out quality content.
So if you're ready to make a change in 2020 so that you can still do your job and be healthier at the same time, here are 4 ways freelance writers can be healthier:
1. Set your hours – If you find that you're working more hours as a freelance writer than what is healthy, decide how many hours you want to work and manage yourself to that. Anything you don't finish can wait until the next day. I use these time management strategies to make the most out of my work hours, and it has helped me create even more time to unplug.
2. Change up how much you sit – Sitting too much leads to everything from lower back pain to bad posture, weight gain, and a variety of other chronic health problems. Freelance writers fall into this trap by writing for hours on end, but one thing I did was buy a Varidesk Laptop 30™ so that I can stand while typing. If I find that I am sitting for too long, there are several things that I do. I focus on sitting up straight in my chair and taking breaks to stretch my legs, including a quick walk around the block.
3. Exercise – I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to break away from work as a freelance writer until I mentally feel like I've reached a stopping point that works for me. Not only could that take hours, but it almost always cuts into the time I had purposely earmarked for going to the gym. What I need to remember is that exercise is great for clearing my head, relieving stress, and getting those creative juices flowing again. Plus, it's healthy. One thing that I've tried to do lately is schedule time to exercise with my wife. Having someone you are accountable to helps us freelance writers stay on task.
4. Get more sleep – One nasty habit I got into as a freelance writer was working until 2 or 3 a.m. almost every night. Why? Well, because that was the time where I felt the most engaged and could get work done without distractions. The problem with that was that I was getting less and less sleep, which made me irritable, fat, lazy, and ... tired. I still work late nights, but I don't do it every day and am far more intentional when it comes to maintaining a proper sleep schedule. If I know I need to work late, I pick a night where I don't have to get up early the next morning. I also set a timer and cut myself off.
Being healthy is more important than work – even if you really, really, really, really love what you do as a freelance writer. My hope is that you and other freelance writers will take some of the suggestions above to heart and start implementing them into your routine.
And who knows ... you'll probably end up being a better freelance writer because of it.
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Thanks for reading!
*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.