Ever been told that being a freelancer is stressful? Maybe you wanted to ditch the desk and travel the world but were worried about the pressure.
Well, don’t believe the hype. While online freelancing is certainly a different type of lifestyle, it doesn’t have to be any more stressful than a ‘normal job.’ In fact, ditching employment and taking life into your own hands has numerous benefits.
Here’s just a few.
Setting your schedule is an incredible advantage for your mental health. As of 2017, 70% of workers said that flexible working made a job more attractive. The mental health charity, Mind, also detailed the benefits of working in a flexible role. They included:
- Better work-life balance
- Chance to avoid busy peak times
- Availability to attend medical appointments.
These three points summarize, in a nutshell, why freelancing is so good for your mental health. You can work around you, and how you’re feeling; you can prioritize family time and ensure you get the medical support you need.
Most freelance positions don’t require set working hours. They’ll either give you a number of hours to work per week, or they’ll work on a project deadline basis. As long as you can get the job done, how and when you do it, is entirely down to you.
Want to jet off across the world for a week? You can do it. Having a bad day and need to curl up in bed? You can do it.
Freelancing gives you the power back in your life, and that’s incredibly rewarding when it comes to mental health.
Pick Your Projects
Are you sick of trawling through the same list of activities every day? Work can get repetitive, and monotony is known to be a massive downer for our mental health. The joy of freelancing is that you get greater discretion over the work you do, as you can pick and choose between projects.
Online freelancing is a massive industry. There are countless employment options out there. Once you gain some skills and the necessary experience, you can follow your heart when it comes to the projects you choose.
Some examples include:
- Online Teaching. Whether it’s teaching English as a second language or mentoring math students, the web is filled with clients who want to learn. Consider your own expertise and how you can share that with others.
- Virtual Assistant. You don’t need any experience to apply for a VA position. All that’s required is a can-do attitude and excellent organization skills. If you have experience with programs like Excel, Word, and Office, then that’s also a bonus.
- Freelance Writing. Many freelancers work in the writing world. If you have a gift for the written word, you can work in almost any niche. However, even if you can only just string a sentence together, many sites want expert testimonials – so consider your interests and experience before applying.
Even within each job-type, there’s usually a wide range of clients from different industries. Not only does this help with variety, but you also gain skills and insight you can use to further your freelancing career.
Rise to the Challenge
In 1948, Dale Carnegie wrote, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” As one of the earliest examples of self-help books, its advice has stood the test of time. One of the main points in the book was about keeping busy. If you have a distraction, then there is less time to worry and focus on your problems.
You can look at freelancing through this lens. Sometimes it gets stressful. Sometimes you have several projects due around the same time. Perhaps you need to tackle a topic you don’t know anything about.
Challenges can be hard, but they can also be exhilarating. Many of us experience depression at work because we don’t feel challenged by what we do every day. Freelancing is a great way to kick out the boredom and invigorate our work environment.
There’s no feeling like a job well done. Satisfaction at work plays a massive role in mental health, and often this feeling of contentment comes from producing a high-quality piece of work and getting good feedback.
As a freelancer, you’re constantly working on new and exciting projects. Every time you hand over the finished work and receive payment, it gives you confirmation of a job well done. This constant affirmation is often a driving factor for many freelancers. It gives you motivation and turns each project into a new and exciting challenge.
Job satisfaction has been linked to improvements in health, happiness, subjective wellbeing, and self-esteem. Considering this, the sense of gratification and fulfillment you can get from project-based work is incredibly beneficial for mental health.
Follow Your Passion
“Follow your dreams” is a constant mantra for the positivity community, but there’s logic behind the exclamation. Lifehack has documented eleven reasons why pursuing your passion could improve your mental health and wellbeing. They include pride, sustainability, and social impact – to name just a few.
Whatever the reason, following your dreams makes for a more fulfilling life than getting stuck in a dead-end job, and freelancing allows you to do just that.
- It lets you hop between projects so you can choose the most relevant to your passions.
- You can manage your own time, making room for things about which you’re passionate.
- You aren’t trapped in contracts so, if a better offer comes along, you can choose the one that aligns with you best.
- You meet a wider range of people who support your lifestyle and can help you along the way.
Find Freedom by Freelancing
Obviously, freelancing isn’t all sunshine and roses. Like any job, it can be stressful. However, most people overlook it as an option, as they feel it can’t provide the security needed for good mental health.
In reality, for many, the opposite occurs. You get to take back your time, create your own direction, and focus on your passions. Freelancing offers a freedom that no other employment provides. For that reason, it can actually benefit your mental health, rather than detract from it.
To read more on topics like this, check out the health category.