Finding a healthy work-life balance as a freelancer is hard.
After all, you’re essentially a one-woman (or man) show in the beginning stages of setting up your business.
There are so many hats to wear and so little hours in the day! Right?
If you’ve been recently struggling to work as effectively as you used to, you’re forgetful all the time and you’re constantly losing sleep, you might be experiencing burnout.
In this case, it’s time to get your mental health, wellbeing and relationships back on track.
Here’s how to create a good work-life balance as a freelancer to make you happier in your everyday life.
Develop a Stable Routine
Firstly, the entrepreneurial life is chaotic and messy and it helps to have a sense of familiarity throughout your working week to keep yourself grounded.
On a personal level, it helps me to feel more organised if I create a stable routine by setting consistent working hours.
After all, I find if my schedule is all over the place, my brain will be all over the place and I struggle to stay focused on each task at hand.
Instead, it’s nice to know exactly when you’re working and when exactly you’re finishing for the day. This way, you can see the end is in sight and look forward to relaxing afterwards.
Give Yourself a Break
Another way of creating a work-life balance as a freelancer is to take regular breaks.
I know – it sounds obvious, right? But it’s amazing how many people disobey this one simple rule.
…Me included. I’m terrible at breaking off when I’m on a roll with a blog post and I just want to continue the momentum.
However, I’ve recently realised that taking some time out can really help improve your productivity and the quality of your work. Even if it is only ten minutes here and there.
Work Somewhere Different
Sometimes creating a successful work-life balance as a freelancer means being kinder to yourself while you’re working.
Changing up your work environment can make you feel like you’re getting outside, being social and living your life, but you’re also managing to get tasks done.
It’s easy to get stuck in a bit of a rut when it comes to looking at the same four walls (hands up if you also have a bedroom/office) and being in the same place all the time.
The solution is to step outside your comfort zone, go outside and breathe in the fresh air and work somewhere else for a while.
Personally, I find that a good coffee shop outing can do wonders for the soul, especially if a Vanilla Soy Latte is on the cards from my boo Starbucks.
Clear Your Mind Through Exercise
When you’re going through a particularly busy spell as a freelancer, the first thing to get neglected is exercise.
After all, work, family time and house chores come first. I get it.
However, frequent exercise is so important for your physical and mental health.
Not only does it allow you to get away from your desk for a bit, but it also releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. These serve as an instant mood-booster and mind-clearer.
And because of this, taking a break to exercise can actually increase your efficiency during the rest of the time that you’re working.
Book Frequent Holidays
An oldie but a goodie, planning recurring holidays is essential for your mental health if you’re a full-time freelancer.
I find that if I go for too long without having a few days off (I’m talking months), my burnout symptoms come back faster than you can say Jack Robinson.
Sure, our businesses are our babies and we’re committed to them. That said, taking some time away to press the “pause” button really helps you to gain perspective, work out where you are as a biz and where you want to be.
It’s also impossible to achieve the perfect work-life balance if you’re never willing to take time off. Think about it.
Speaking of holidays (when you do take one), try not to check your emails every day – okay?
I know it’s difficult but you need a bit of time to switch off and forget about your business every now and again. Trust me, it’ll still be waiting for you when you get back.
Another bad habit I had when I first launched my biz was finishing for the day at 5.30pm and then spending hours on my phone that night researching the latest marketing trend or answering comments on social media. In hindsight, I should have been relaxing so I could maximise my productivity during the next day of work.
If you’re currently struggling with this, get someone you live with (and who you trust) to hold you accountable. There’s a good freelancer.
Have Regular Self-Care Time
It might sound obvious, but scheduling in regular self-care time is so important if you want a healthy work-life balance as a freelancer.
Sometimes, it’s not enough to just stop working. You need to do little things for yourself to unwind, destress and reward yourself for how hard you’re working.
Personally, I like to have long, hot bubble baths surrounded by candles. I also love a good Netflix sesh with my current fave TV show or a trashy rom-com.
Essentially, make sure that you do things that you know that you’re going to enjoy following your working day and life will feel like a continuous party.
Creating the Perfect Work-Life Balance as a Freelancer
I know creating the perfect work-life balance as a freelancer is difficult. Especially when you’re in the early stages of your business and working all hours to get things up and running.
That said, you need to put measures in place to prevent burnout and ultimately protect your mental health and wellbeing.
Sure, it’s a work in progress for all of us. We’re only human and we’re not perfect in any way, shape or form.
But the trick is to keep persevering and be as kind to yourself as possible. At the end of the day, the quality of your work will thank you for it.
How do you create a good work-life balance as a freelancer? Let me know in the comments!