Freelance Writer Burnout Is as Real as It Gets Self-Care Tips for Working from Home
If you have been putting off your writing assignments till the last minute, compromising the quality, asking for extensions, and writing not as per your full potential, you might be approaching a freelance writer burnout. Freelancing, however easy it might seem from a distance, it is a mammoth task when it comes to reality. Most freelance writing jobs nowadays work from home jobs, and it would look like a bed of roses until you realize something is wrong. Do not worry; here is a carefully curated guide to practice self-care while working from home.
Change Your Creative Outlet
If you are a creative person, academic writing jobs will drain you after a point. You will have this intense creative energy without any outlet. At this point, you should start exploring alternatives to channel your creative energy, and it only gets easier with work from home. Set aside some time for painting, learn an instrument, try knitting, or any other activity that will help you reinvent yourself.
Be Mindful of What You Eat
How many times do you feel this strong urge to rummage through your refrigerator while working? We bet it is at least twice a day. Now, as most content writing jobs, freelance writing jobs, and academic writing jobs have shifted to online mode, people need to be more cautious of what they are eating. This revelation is in the context of decreased physical activity for most people. A simple formula to a healthy body can revolve around avoiding processed or factory-made food items. Instead, choose homemade fresh veggies and dairy products as per your body’s needs. Also, if you are one of those writers, who forget to drink water while writing, put a reminder on your phone and drink more water.
Exercise till You Sweat
I have to write lengthy essays; I do not have time to exercise. How many times have you used this excuse? Quite often. If you need to increase your productivity, you need to add physical exercise to your routine. It can start from brisk movements to complex cardio. If going to the gym is not a feasible option, you can simply set up a home gym. Indulge in yoga, jog in a room or lobby, join an exercise group. You can also explore various easy Zumba videos to start. Thus, if you want to pick up the pace in content writing, you might as well pick up some dumbbells and sweat it out.
Make Sleep Your Priority
Sleep is for the weak, is the motto of the new generation, right? Well, if you believe that sleeping for 4 hours a day and trying to train yourself as a superhuman will make you a noteworthy writer. Then, it is high time that you understood the downside of an improper sleep schedule. Sleep deprivation can increase your chances of depression, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, psychosis, etc. Many freelance writing jobs have strict deadlines, and writers tend to work day and night to meet them, but this can work for a few days, not as a lifestyle.
Comparisons Will Do No Good
Various jobs for writers tend to push their writers for more output or better quality. This practice starts for improvement but often goes down the way of unfavorable comparison. Given this, it is assured that there will be people who write better than you and people who write way below your standards at any point in time. So how will it help you in any way? The comparison is futile, and professionals in content writing should actively avoid it. Let other people analyze your content as per their needs. Being critical of your writing skills can affect your mental health.
Reading- a Hobby or A Necessity
When was the last time you read something for sheer pleasure and not because you wanted to know about different writing styles? If reading used to be your hobby, try to bring that freestyle flavor of reading back. Freelance writers and technical writers often unknowingly lose out on the enjoyment of reading. This often seems like investing in leisure activities, but it is not the case and contributes to burnout.
Do Not Mix Home And Work
This tip is easier said than done but try to finish your work in the stipulated time. Work from home jobs provides ample flexibility but do not use that as an opportunity to overwork. On some occasional days, this can be beneficial, but practicing it as your regular work routine will hamper your life balance. Try to finish off work within your stipulated working hours. Avoid unnecessary breaks and do not carry your work home.
Plan Your Home-Based ‘Artist Dates’
Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist’s Way, gave the idea of Artist Dates. Conventionally it would mean venturing out alone for activities like taking a walk down the road, visiting a cafe or a museum, watching a movie, etc. However, owing to the COVID-19 restrictions, you can plan ‘artist dates’ at home as well. Set apart a time for yourself, indulge in basic activities that you like. These can be watching a movie alone, baking a cake, cooking a meal, taking an art workshop, exploring different museums on the internet, etc.
Say Yes to Socialisation and No to Social Media
Amidst all the chaos of work from home, we usually have this tingling thought at the back of our minds- I hope there is no new update on my social media. Let me satiate my FOMO(Fear of missing out) by quickly checking my phone one last time. There is a slight difference between scrolling through Instagram and calling a loved one. The former can lead to isolation, anxiety, and self-absorption, and the latter might even be therapeutic for some. The Work from home jobs take a toll on your socialization and connections. So get away from the screen and talk to someone today!
Being in freelance writing jobs your goals can look like, write a 2000 words essay in the next five hours. How do you keep yourself motivated in such cases? The only way to keep yourself up and running is by rewarding yourself. The type of rewards matter even more. Do not choose scrolling Instagram for 10 minutes as your reward. Instead, you can choose to drink tea/coffee with family, watch a small video, listen to your favorite song, etc.
In a nutshell, take care of your social, physical, emotional, digital, and mental well-being. The overall health of a person is highly interlinked with his productivity. Therefore, the better the health, the more productive the person will be. Remember, as Roy T Bennett said, “There is no more profitable investment than investing in your own self.”
Choose Your Work Wisely
Freelance writing jobs allow the scope of picking up multiple projects at the same time. This seems quite exciting until you have all the unreasonable deadlines approaching you. If you feel you need to pick up more work to meet your expenses, try cutting down on your expenses. Find ways of ethically delegating the work to other qualified writers. Do not overcommit and set a trap for yourself.