self care as a freelancer.

pete's coffee image

Last night, I picked up my forgotten copy of The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande and headed over to a coffee shop for some light reading. I was not feeling great and after spending all day on my computer, I felt like I deserved some time to relax. Sans pixels. It was an incredible evening. I got through several chapters, sipped my hot chocolate and returned home feeling rejuvenated and my mind buzzing with thoughts.

I also realized that while I enjoy and love what I do, it is also important to take time for myself. After hours of full-time work (building something awesome) and another 30+ hours per week collaborating with my incredible, spunky freelance clients, my body felt drained and I lack any sort of creative spirit. Even having freelance clients that are innovative and damn good at pushing me, it gets overwhelming and exhausting.

The human body is ridiculously good at giving the red light. I always think I am on top of the world while simultaneously being semi-exhausted, unmotivated, but powering through. Then you wake up, feel like death, and realize that your body doesn’t appreciate 75 hours of work on a red wine-based diet. Maybe I should have switched to white or rosé?

Similarly, I realized that I was not being my supercalifragilisticexpialidociousself. I needed time to regenerate my creative brain power, maybe head over to the gym and get on those electric torture devices (“treadmills” or something like that). I think we have all been there, am I right?

Just a simple two hours of reading and casually learning more on a topic that I am not constantly researching solutions for was therapeutic. In conjunction, I recommend shutting down your small electronic devices and stowing in the seat compartment in front of you, or in your purse, or in your car, or a somewhere your little eyes cannot start longingly at it.

While I am still not feeling amazing (I’m sorry, not even two hours and hot chocolate can solve a head cold), I came to appreciate taking time and focusing on myself.

What are some ways that you work to create a work/life balance as a freelancer?

Originally published on Medium.