This may be exactly what you need whether you're just starting out or you're a salty ol' vet.
Image credit: Lisa
Recently tennis star and 4-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka made headlines for withdrawing from the French Open in part because of a decision to not attend press conferences to protect her mental health.
Osaka’s decision to put her health and well-being before her career is admirable and noteworthy. In the United States alone:
As you can see, mental health issues (and treatment options) are definitely something we need to pay attention to.
Want to see how you can find support for mental health for freelancers (or learn why freelancers are at particular risk of mental health issues) and make your life easier?
Freelancers are more likely to suffer from certain mental health issues because they’re particularly at risk of burning out due to a less organized work structure. Factors like irregular work hours, increased responsibility, less job security, and in many cases isolation, also play a part in freelance mental health issues.
According to a survey from UK workplace solutions firm Viking, 55% of freelancers said they’ve suffered from depression as a result of their job, 64% say their job makes them feel lonely on a daily basis, and 62% say they feel stressed as a result of work.
The freedom and independence that comes with being your own boss is seductive, but people who spend most of their time working at home are more likely to contend with an absence of support for mental health issues.
Tamsin Balcanquall, a freelance costume daily shared her experiences with mental health issues like anxiety, loneliness, and isolation, “the anxiety of it all can be the most destructive.” “Right now is a good example because my job [a freelance contract] of a month and a half is coming to an end and I don't have anything lined up to start right away. That sense of the unknown can really bring me down when I'm having a bad day."
Freelancing can be a lonely path. But many of us are facing similar issues.
Anxiety. Isolation. Failure. These affect all freelancers — though some do a better job at hiding it than others.
It's easy to delude ourselves into thinking that we're "special snowflakes" and that we’ve got it all figured out. But, we’ve talked about how freelancers are particularly vulnerable to mental health problems before and it’s time to admit it’s OK if you don’t have everything figured out.
If you’ve mastered every facet of your mental health and emotional well-being, wonderful!
But evidence suggests that most freelancers are either highly susceptible to mental health issues or already suffering from one or more problems.
Data from Mental Health at Work, a UK charity, shows 60% of freelancers say mental health has negatively affected their ability to work. No surprise considering freelancers may have to manage irregular income, relationships with clients, and loneliness and isolation. In fact, more people than you may think are suffering from health and mental health issues. Consider:
One study found the number of self-employed people saying they have ‘poor' or ‘very poor' mental health has increased from 6% to 26% since the beginning of the pandemic while another study found at the start of the pandemic 68% of freelancers said they had ‘good' or ‘excellent' mental health, now only 39% say so.*
Pandemic or not, it seems the question at hand is how are you going to protect your greatest asset – yourself?
As a freelancer, it may seem as if there is a lack of support for mental health issues. The truth is, you can find resources and support if you know where to look.
Cultivate connections -- Connect with other freelancers using support groups, communities, forums, Slack channels, Facebook groups, etc. Schedule Zoom coffee breaks with fellow freelancers. Here are a few ways to connect:
Partner with professionals --Take advantage of telehealth, therapy, mental health helplines, etc.
Rest, recharge, and regroup -- Sometimes a change of scene or a change of pace can be good for your mental health. Here are a few ways to recuperate and relax:
Learn how to cover the costs --There are cost-effective ways you can take advantage of available mental health resources.
Watch out for your well-being -- Invest in your well-being by adopting and maintaining good habits and a healthy lifestyle. The following five levers will help you improve your health:
There is one more resource you can use to manage the freelance frenzy and make your life easier...
You can use Hectic to reduce your mental load by automating tasks in your freelance business.
Sure, there are loads of tools and software solutions out there to help you run your business. But why not simplify your business? Rather than paying for and learning to use a confusing patchwork of tools, why not use one solution that can keep you on deadline and thriving with minimal stress?
What can you do with Hectic?
You can manage projects, track time, accept payments, send proposals, contracts, invoices, and more. Plus, you can get started for free and upgrade as you grow. And, there’s no credit card required.
And because the Hectic team are freelancers themselves, they’re even sharing this guide to starting and growing your freelancing career.
People often don’t get the mental health services they need because they don’t know where to start. Hopefully these tips and resources will help you improve your freelance career and your health.
Learn more about Hectic, a single digital workspace with all the tools needed to start, manage, and grow a freelancing business.
I highly recommend this platform if you're a freelancer seeking a client/project management system that allows you to focus on nothing else but the quality of your work.