The primary tools of the trade for many of us freelancers are laptops and secure Internet connections; these two keys give us the potential to work wherever (and, sometimes whenever) we want. Despite this, great numbers of us still prefer to freelance from home for the sake of optimal convenience.
With home being a crossroads of sorts for personal and professional distractions, there’s an added responsibility of paying attention to keeping as healthy as possible. If you’re a freelancer who’s working from home and looking to either maintain, or obtain, great health, here’s some trustworthy advice…
Cut the caffeine.
Sure, this could be a tough one, particularly for those who rely on caffeine to start their day and maintain their productivity. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others, so if you’ve been having problems with anxiety, or insomnia, try cutting back on your caffeine intake to see if that might be the source.
Strike a balance between sitting and standing.
It’s easy to become so absorbed in your work that you don’t realize that it’s been hours since you’ve last moved your legs, whether it’s via a sitting or a standing desk. Too much immobility not only can weaken your muscles, it can cause serious circulation problems. So, as soon as you start to feel those feet and legs get a little numb or tingly, get moving! Speaking of which…
Exercise your way to excellence.
For some, this could be taking a break from working for the sake of nutritious lunch and a walk filled with fresh air. Perhaps it might be a bit more activity in the form of a jog or run (be sure to wear good sneakers – shin splints and pulled hamstrings are no fun at all). Then again, taking up yoga is a popular preference. To avoid injury and general discomfort, make sure you gradually condition yourself into a routine.
Having already discussed the potential perils of caffeine, let’s focus on what is, without a doubt, one of the best things to drink: water – plain is preferable, but if that’s not to your taste, then flavored water is better than drinking no water at all. One idea is to keep a bottle of water on your desk or within eyesight of your workspace as a reminder to drink moderately throughout the day. You just might find that your skin is clearer/brighter, and sinus/headache problems subside or even disappear!
Don’t skimp on sleep.
This one can truly be a challenge for all who dwell within the freelancing world. More often than not, sleep is lost on either of the extremes – too much work and the stress from completing that, or too little work and the stress of lacking a stable income. All either and any of this leads to is a tired visage and a compromised immune system, and a very cranky mood.
Your bed should be your haven – be sure you have a good supportive mattress and pillows to lessen muscle aches and stiffness. Blankets should be comforting, not constricting. Try as best you can to keep on a schedule – work only until a certain hour, and then stick to calling it a day. Yes, you might have to adjust a timeframe here and there, but it’s a good idea to only do so with a give and take of only about an hour or so.
Eat for nutrition more than for fun.
That seems like a boring concept, but it’s true. Besides, it’s all too temptingly easy, particularly when freelancing from home, to eat whatever is most delicious and least difficult to prepare. If a project is particularly stressful, it seems perfectly reasonable to reward yourself with that pint of ice cream or that box of French fries, right? Wrong! Too much sugar and starches can not only cause a myriad of health problems, it can actually contribute to sluggishness.
In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to find foods that are not only healthier for you, they taste just as delicious as their unhealthy counterparts. If you know that you really should be eating more comprehensively, take some time to visit your local grocery store and really evaluate the alternatives to your current way of eating. Although proportionate meals and healthy snacks can take a significant amount of self-discipline, it’s a journey worth taking. After all, the healthy freelancer is the happy (and productive) freelancer!
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