Independent Workers + Mental Health: How to Stay Balanced

making time for mental health

As an independent worker in the gig economy, you probably appreciate the autonomy, flexibility and other benefits you gain through gig work. You may realize, though, that independent workers face mental health challenges, too. Now’s the time to take back your health and find balance in three ways.

Build In Breaks 

It’s true that you make your own schedule as a gig worker, but the competition is high. You may find yourself working through meals, bedtime and your days off in order to meet demand, earn a living, and save money for a rainy day. 

While you may think that success will result from overwork and a full schedule, these actions can cause your mental health to suffer. Without breaks, you’re more likely to experience burnout and your quality of work may suffer. You may also begin to resent your gig and clients or develop chronic anxiety or depression.

Protect your mental health and work-life balance with regular breaks. Schedule time for meals, sleep and downtime each day. Give yourself regular digital detoxes and at least one full day off work a week, too. You alone hold the keys to your productivity, success and well-being, so refuse to overwork or over-schedule yourself.

Identify Activities That Recharge You 

Work does give you pleasure and pays the bills. But no matter how much you enjoy your work and the paycheck, you’ll eventually come face-to-face with your need to rest and recharge.

Successfully recharge when you practice activities that promote happiness, peacefulness and calm. Your list may include travel, cooking, reading, yoga, meditation, or other activities. No matter what you enjoy, include only the activities that recharge your mental battery and help you burn off the stress, anxiety and frustration that are a common part of your daily grind.

Next, set aside time each day, week, month, quarter, and year to engage in your recharging activities. You could cook and savor breakfast each morning, work out with Aaptiv every afternoon, meet a friend for coffee or join a book club each week, and plan an extended getaway every quarter and annually. By regularly participating in activities that recharge you, you can find the balance you crave. 

Always Make Time for Your Passions 

Sometimes, you may become so busy making a living that you miss out on making a life. This temptation is common for an independent worker because success in today’s gig economy certainly does require hussle. Remember, though, that you signed up to be a gig worker because you wanted to actually enjoy your life. You don’t have to sacrifice your mental health to make a living.

It’s time to prioritize the things that you’re passionate about and that energize, motivate and encourage you. So add your passions into your daily routine. 

You may already exercise your passion for photography, baking or research in your gig job, and that’s important. But create artwork, bake desserts or write content simply for your pleasure, too, rather than just for the commission. Practicing your passion can boost your health and wellness.

Today and every day, take these three steps to stay balanced and improve your mental health as an independent worker in the gig economy.

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.

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