How to Stay Healthy As a Freelance Writer
What Is A Freelance Writer?
The freelance writer often sets his or her own schedule as to when to write and has deadlines to meet that are set by publishers. While some freelance writers work from home, others are situated in an office environment. There are a variety of genres for the freelance writer, from online articles to print magazines to novels. There are many genres in between those three as well!
While there is variety in the details of the freelance writer, the general conclusions can likely be made:
- Freelance writers organize how they will spend their day working on the written works.
- They balance multiple deadlines for projects.
- They need to balance their health with their work assignments.
The third point is one about being healthy and is one to reflect on.
Why Are Freelance Writers At Risk For Poor Health?
Freelance writers can carry huge burdens as they need to meet deadlines. When more projects are taken on, the writer is able to earn more money. When freelance writers have bills to pay and writing is their only source of income, there may be long hours spent at the computer creating works to publish for money.
Long work days can decrease health of freelance writers in many ways. Once healthy freelancers may now suffer from:
- Eye strain from looking at the computer screen for long periods of time.
- Back ache from poor posture while sitting down to work.
- Sore wrists from constantly typing words at the computer.
- Lack of sleep and insomnia
What can the once healthy worker do?
News Scoop: Stay Healthy
Ways to Stay Healthy
One way for freelance writers to stay healthy is to take regular breaks during the work days. As freelance writers often set their own schedules, they may lose track of time during the day or not feel they have time to break.
Breaks are necessary to give the mind and body time to relax from being at the computer for hours in a position that is not healthy. Breaks require writers to move away from the computer, giving their legs a chance to stretch and their eyes a rest from the intent vision of the computer screen. Their backs are also able to move, increasing circulation of the muscles in a more healthy way.
Mentally, the writers can refresh as they turn their attention to another task during the break or simply relax on the couch in silence. The mind relaxes and writers often return to the computer following breaks feeling refreshed and have more energy to complete the tasks at hand. Breaks help them to stay healthy.
Another great way to stay healthy as a freelance writer is to exercise regularly. Exercise improves mood. Exercise keeps the immune system strong to help keep diseases such as heart disease at bay and to reduce the chances of getting a cold or flu bug. As well, exercise can give people energy and help them stay more focused on their work. What a healthy activity.
Freelancers can use some of their breaks to exercise! Regular exercise means at least three times each week, regardless of fitness level.
There are many ways to exercise to stay healthy. For workers who are short of money, these ways are free:
- Walk outside
- Work out to an exercise video or TV show
- Jog around the neighbourhood
- Create your own weights by using large soup cans or paint cans.
(NOTE: People who start or modify their fitness plan are best to consult their doctor before doing so. A healthy reminder.)
Get Adequate Amounts of Sleep
Sometimes freelance writers try to "cheat" sleep, thinking they can work longer hours to catch up on sleep and stay healthy. They are not above getting sick. Long hours of work without sleep means writers can get run down and feel burnt out. This bodily response is the opposite of healthy.
Productivity at writing suffers. Sleep allows the body to rest and to deal better with stress during the freelance day.
If insomnia is an issue for freelance writers, they are recommended to see their doctors for help to get healthy. Each person has a personal medical history that in some way plays into the reason for the insomnia and the method of treatment.
The Healthy Balance between Work and Play for Freelance Writers
These suggestions all hint at one point: that freelance writers need to take time away from work to stay healthy. Work is not to be dismissed as it pays bills and allows for a certain standard of living; however it needs to be balanced with play time.
Freelance writers need to stay healthy by taking time with family and friends. While some days are busy, even a 20 minute phone call is a healthy move. Workers feel refreshed mentally from taking a break and positive after touching base with a friend or family member. Social connections are important ways to stay connected to the world and healthy relationships build self-confidence.
Freelance writers who take breaks, get regular exercise, sleep each night and have social connections are more likely to be healthy and stay healthy too. Health is so important and needs to be a priority each day.
Do You Take Breaks From Your Freelance Work?
More Information about Freelance Writers
- Freelance Writing: It Really Is A Job!
Freelance writing takes a ton of work but with passion and determination it is possible to make a living.
- Why Freelance Writers Feel Overwhelmed and How to Overcome the Issue
Freelance writers can feel overwhelmed due to a disorganized work environment and poor time management skills. The writers can create new routines that lower their stress levels and help them feel more in control and have increased efficiency.