This is a sponsored post written by Julia Thomas.
Freelancing has taken off in a big way in the last decade. Now, with the global pandemic, freelancing has provided financial and career success to people who want or need to work remotely. You can work where you want to work, bring in substantial earnings, and do it on your own schedule, in your own way, using your unique skills and talents.
But along with its many advantages, freelancing comes with some difficult challenges. One of them is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Here’s what you need to know to do that and how BetterHelp can make it easier.
What Is BetterHelp?
BetterHelp is the largest online counseling platform, available to anyone, anywhere from their internet-connected device. Therapists are certified mental health counselors and practice a variety of therapeutic methods. You need only sign up at BetterHelp.com, and you’ll be paired with counselors best suited to your needs and preferences. Then, you can discuss your freelancing situation with them through text, chat, video, or voice. To learn more about the benefits of using BetterHelp, check out the article from the American Medical Student Association at https://www.amsa.org/members/benefits/betterhelp/
What Are the Mental Health Challenges of Freelancing?
Freelancing offers career opportunities and challenges. What many freelancers don’t realize is that it also challenges your mental health in several ways. At the same time, it gives you opportunities to improve your mental health through therapy you can access on your own schedule, from your preferred location. So, what are these mental health challenges? Here are just a few.
Freelancing Can Take Over Your Life
Freelancing has a way of taking up as much of your life as you let it. If you take on every project available to you, soon you’ll be working day and night, eating at your desk, and getting up only to sleep and take care of your basic physical needs.
That’s one reason it’s essential to think through your choices and evaluate how they will affect your life every step of the way. By connecting with a therapist at BetterHelp, you can get help sorting through your opportunities to them down to a manageable workload.
Avoiding Isolation Is Critical
Freelancing can be a lonely occupation. Many freelancers work alone, communicating with clients only through text messaging or emails. For most freelancers, there are no coworkers or colleagues down the hall to say hi to or chat with about the day’s business. They may face every project virtually alone and have only minimal contact with their client.
Yet, isolation can lead to depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems. And it exacerbates any mental health issues you already have. Right away, you can gain social support directly from your therapist. Your counselor can also suggest ways to expand your support system. You can also connect with BetterHelp through social media to learn more about the company and what they offer.
A Fluctuating Workload Can Increase Anxiety
It’s very common among freelancers to have an extremely variable workload. One month, all your clients are occupied with other projects. Another month, they all message you, wanting you to do extra work. Once you are working with a particular client, it can be hard to put limits on what you will do for them each week. And you can’t force them to provide you with work if you’re having a slow week. The pressure of having too much or too little work can increase anxiety quickly.
However, you can talk to your therapist about how to manage your workload better. You can learn how to set boundaries with your clients for starters. Then, you can learn better communication skills. This will help you express your needs in a healthy but professional way and gauge your clients’ expectations more accurately. Your counselor can also help you assess your ability to cope with any given workload and determine how many hours you can reasonably give to your freelancing work each day.
Emotional Stability Facilitates Success
There may be a lot of ups and downs in your freelancing life. You may be offered a fantastic opportunity and lose a big job on the same day. One client may praise you emphatically while another demands a refund. Emotional chaos happens. It can happen to even the best freelancers eventually.
Keeping your emotional stability on track usually takes a concerted effort in this business. With the help of your counselor, you can deal with your feelings about freelancing. And, if your off-work life is distressing, you can learn to resolve conflicts or make different relationship decisions. Either way, your stability will make you a better, more successful freelancer.
Positive Lifestyle Changes Bring Rewards
So. Lifestyle changes. What does that mean? Things like quitting smoking, improving your diet, increasing your exercise, and spending time relaxing can all work together to bolster your mental health. These lifestyle changes add variety and positivity to your life. At the same time, you’ll be better equipped, both physically and mentally, to make the most of every moment, whether you’re freelancing or hanging out with friends.
Whether you’re new to freelancing, struggling to keep a long-term freelancing career afloat, or just now considering taking the dive into this type of work situation, it never hurts to have a counselor to help. They can help you navigate the often-rough seas of freelancing and be there for support when you need them. Then, you can find the work-life balance you need to be successful, happy, and fulfilled.