By Jonathan London on 25th February 2015

How to unwind as a freelancer

There’s no denying it, freelancing is a great path to go down. Being your own boss and having the opportunity to be flexible with your own time is simply great.

However, as with any type of work, there are times when it can become a bit stressful, especially when you are preparing to pitch to a new client or have realised you haven’t fully sorted out your taxes in time.

Sometimes it can be hard to switch off, although it is really important to do so. With this in mind, here are a few of our top tips to help you unwind.

Take your lunch break

Make sure you actually take a lunch break every day while working, especially if you work from home. It may seem like you are always on a break because of the familiar setting, but you need to shut your laptop/tablet/desktop off and leave your home office.

Even better, actually take the hour to leave the house. Go for a walk or pop out to the shops. Why not treat yourself to a delicious lunch at your local cafe? Even if it is just taking the time to go and pick the children up from school, it’s important that you get out during the day.

Otherwise, you may end up suffering from what the doctors call ‘Cabin Fever’. It does exist and it is serious. In fact, one of the best cures for this horrid ailment is to actually spend part of your day working from another destination, such as a cafe. If you use a laptop just take it along and connect to the WiFi for a change of scenery.

Get organised

How can you possibly unwind when you are worrying about all of the work you have to do the next day? The answer is that you can’t really.

Get organised and add some structure to your working day. Define your working hours and stick to them so that you have a clear definition between your day and evening so that once the clock hits 5pm, you can shut everything down and get on with enjoying spending time with the family.

Make sure you keep on top of everything during the working hours and if there is any task you haven’t completed that day, write a list and prioritise it for the next morning so that you aren’t constantly thinking about about it while you should be paying attention to the whodunnit on Broadchurch.

Switch off technology

It is nigh on impossible to really switch off when you have your iPhone, iPad, Smart TV and laptop there, just tempting you and waiting to be used.

Whether you find yourself catching up on the latest footy scores, buying clothes that you probably wouldn’t even look at in the shop or trying to see what Kimye have been up to that day (let’s not lie, we all find them entertaining), it can really distract you from switching off and is not ideal if you want to unwind.

Make sure that in the hour or so before you go to bed, that you switch everything off and put it aside so that you can concentrate on other things, such as chatting with your better half or just spending some quality time with your family.

Read a book

What better way is there to relax than to lose yourself in a good book? It helps you forget about the real world, and regardless of your favourite genre, you can always find something to keep you engaged for a while.

It is best to read a book before bed, especially if you struggle to nod off, but you must make sure it isn’t work-related. We’re trying to unwind, remember!

Listen to music

During the day, if things become a little too stressful, turn some music on. A lot of people find that having some background noise is a really good way to stay relaxed and obviously the type of music you want to listen to will depend on your personal taste.

However, we wouldn’t recommend anything too noisy as you may well find yourself becoming distracted and two minutes later you’ll be jumping about playing the air guitar. Perhaps some soothing classical music would be better?

Follow our advice and you will soon be – in the words of the great Manny Bianco – ‘The King of your own calm kingdom’.

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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