There are droves and droves of guides, advice articles and blog posts circulating around the internet about improving physical and mental health in the workplace – but what if your workplace is your kitchen dining table?
Or your spare bedroom?
Or a quiet corner in a coffee shop somewhere?
There is plenty of help out there for those employers with teams or departments of staff looking to make their workplace more sensitive to physical and mental wellbeing.
In this article, however, we want to offer those working in self-employed solitude or enjoying the benefits of freelance flexibility, advice on how to improve health and wellbeing during their working day.
Don’t neglect valuable pillow time
Being your own boss is great; you can come and go as you please as long as deadlines are being met. However, this sometimes means that your routine and time schedule can go a bit awry when you haven’t got the guidelines of 9-5 to dictate it.
It’s easier said than done when you’ve been working since 7am, you’re elbows-deep in your to-do list and the clock is already showing 11pm, but it really is essential that you squeeze in your 8 hours’ worth of sleep.
Without enough shut-eye, your physical reactions and cognitive function can be dramatically compromised meaning you can’t possibly be doing your best work, nor looking after your physical and mental wellbeing.
Pencil in some time to get outside
If you’re somebody who spends most of their day indoors, at a desk, in front of a screen, it’s crucial to factor some time to get outdoors.
Experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes worth of cardiovascular exercise in every day in order to get the blood pumping to support healthy brain and muscle function.
So, whether it’s a rejuvenating stroll around the block while you’re taking a phone call, a lunchtime run in the fresh air or taking your dog for a quick walk, getting outdoors will do wonders for your wellbeing.
Remember, you are what you eat (and drink)
As well as getting enough sleep and exercise, it’s paramount that you remember to refuel and rehydrate throughout the day.
Without the structure of a 12-2 lunch hour, this can be easy to neglect but if you aren’t powering your brain with the right nutrients, how can you possibly expect to feel your best and work to your full potential?
Strike a balance between work and play
As humans, we thrive on social activity, conversation and connections with other people. For this reason, we recommend setting time aside each day or week for socialising with friends and spending quality time with loved ones.
Unwinding at the end of a busy work period by enjoying a family dinner without screens getting in the way, or going out to see a film with some friends will help refresh your mind and give your brain the break it needs.
Plus, some of the best professional ideas are generated around a table at the pub!
If you have any of your own advice on improving health as a self-employed freelancer, leave them in comments below or share them with us on Twitter.