Self-Care For the Self-Employed


Self-care is important for everyone, whatever your employment status is.

But, in my experience, it’s often easy to neglect your own mental health when you continuously put your business needs before your personal needs.

This probably should be an open letter to myself, seeing as I’m writing this at 10pm on a Sunday.

However, I wanted to share some ways you can implement self-care techniques into your everyday work life when you’re running a business.

Freelancers often forget to top up their own cups, before sharing and caring for others. It’s hard to fit a self-care routine into your week, when you’re also expected to complete work, keep up with your books, manage your finances, get new clients, market your business and goodness knows what else…

Here are five ways you can prioritise your own self-care:

And, I’ve also added in some quick ways in which you can take time out for yourself right now at the end of the blog post, so do stick around until then.

Take a break.

Whether it's a five-minute coffee break or a trip out of your city, taking a break can do wonders for your mind and help you to feel refreshed and ready for the next task.

Prioritise your health.

My physical health often gets put to the bottom of the pile when things get tough. Long days at work often result in a takeaway and me slumping on the sofa scrolling through Instagram with one eye open.

Not good.

I know, in my heart, that when I manage to maintain a regular exercise routine and relatively healthy diet, I can achieve so much more and feel so much better.

I think I’ll always find this a battle, but it’s one I’m willing to keep on fighting.

Plan it in your diary.

If it ain’t in on my Google Calendar, it ain’t getting done. So, I’ve started blocking out time for breaks, self-care and wellbeing activities.

From going to the gym to breakfast dates with friends, and even when my hair needs dying - I put everything on the Calendar.

It really helps to remind me to take out the time for myself, but also it means there’s always time to get most things done.

Geek alert - I use colours for each part of my life and I have recently added a ‘Me’ category so I can quickly see how much time I’m taking for myself at a glance each week.

Make sure you're getting enough sleep.

When I am consistently sleeping between seven to eight hours per night, I feel so much better and more resilient to what life and running a business throws my way.

I’ve recently been using the iPhone Bedtime App to remind me when it’s time to hit they hay. It’s cool because you can programme in how much sleep you’d like and see how much sleep you’re going to get. I mean, I use the term ‘cool’ loosely here - it depends on what floats your boat.

It also offers a more gentle wake-up call than the abrupt and awful ‘Radar’ default alarm sound on iPhone.

Take Time Out For Yourself When You're Self-Employed

Quick ways to take time out for yourself right now.

  • Take a walk.

  • Clean your space.

  • Hop in the shower.

  • Make your favourite drink and take time away from your desk to enjoy it.

  • Breathe slowly for a moment.

  • Organise something to look forward to with friends.

More resources:

The wonderful mental health charity Mind goes into depth about self-care on their website.

Meanwhile, if you enjoyed this post you may also appreciate these two blog posts:

30 Ways To Pick Yourself Up

10 Tips For Improving Your Mood and Dealing With Anxiety.