As an independent worker in the gig economy, you experience dozens of rewards and challenges each day. In the midst of making your own schedule and doing a job you enjoy, you also have to find gigs and manage your finances. The daily grind can become overwhelming at times. That’s why we recommend a day of rest. A mental health day is one tool that helps you truly unwind, relax and rejuvenate. But to actually reset, follow three tips that maximize your physical, mental and emotional health.
1. Release Guilt About Taking a Mental Health Day
It’s true that independent workers don’t have sick or vacation days. If you don’t work, you probably won’t get paid. But you need to invest in your mental health. If you’re depressed, anxious or overwhelmed, you can’t function at the top of your game, and your business may suffer. That’s why you need to take a guilt-free mental health day. Give yourself permission to build “me time” into your weekly schedule, and keep that appointment. Remember that you need to put your oxygen mask on first before you can help anyone else. That philosophy is true in an airplane, in the gig economy and in your daily life.
2. Check In With Yourself Physically, Mentally and Emotionally
Like your vehicle’s dashboard signals problems like low tire pressure and low fuel, your body, mind and emotions offer alerts. You may feel overtired, have trouble focusing and get irritated easily. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t light up when there’s a problem. But you can take time each day to tune in to how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. The information you discover during your check-in can remind you to take a mental health day and guide the activities you plan on your day off. A tool like Cerebral offers a free emotional assessment. Try journaling, deep breathing and meditation, too, as you check in with yourself regularly.
3. Actually Unplug and Enjoy Your Mental Health Day
If you feel panicked when you misplace your phone for even a few minutes, the thought of unplugging for an entire day can feel very unsettling. But unplugging really helps you to unwind, relax and reset your mind, body and emotions. On your mental health day, make a pact with yourself to eliminate distractions and stay focused on relaxing. Turn off your work phone and computer and clear your schedule of work-related events. Also, choose relaxing activities you enjoy. From painting or reading to running or napping, spend time today doing things that recharge your batteries and rejuvenate your body and mind. Plan to spend the entire day investing in yourself so that you can truly unplug and enjoy your mental health day.
You’re more likely to thrive as a gig worker if you add a regular mental health day to your schedule. Use these three tips to actually reset, unwind and relax as you invest in your physical, mental and emotional health.
About the Author: Jennifer Turner writes web content for a variety of clients. As a gig worker, she understands the benefits and challenges of the industry, which is why she prioritizes daily self-care. Find her at WriterAccess.