A Freelancer’s Guide To Loneliness

According to a recent study*, nearly two-thirds of freelancers say their job makes them feel lonely on a daily basis – something which needs to change. 

Despite the many benefits of going freelance, the very sharp double-edged sword of working for yourself, however, is dealing with spending the majority of your day alone. 

Loneliness can lead to mental health issues, which is why it’s such an important matter to combat. 

And with the self-employed sector now accounting for nearly 15% of the UK’s workforce – the unique set of challenges for independent workers need to be addressed as soon as possible. 

To provide guidance to our freelance community, we’ve pulled together our top tips on how to beat freelancer isolation: 

  1. Get A Pet

If you’re working from home, a furry friend is a great way to help with loneliness.

It means you won’t be entirely by yourself during the day and will distract your mind from any negative emotions.

A dog will even give you an excuse to go for a walk during your lunch break, therefore keeping you active, motivated and overall improving your wellbeing. 

According to recent research** more than 90% of respondents in the study said their pet helped them cope emotionally with the lockdown and 96% said their pet helped keep them fit and active. 

  1. Join Online Freelancer Communities

Social media helps to bring people together. There are so many different platforms to meet like minded people.

We suggest joining freelancer Facebook Groups such as Freelance Heroes, Freelancers UK and Freelancers – Marketing, PR, Digital, Social Media and Communications. 

Get involved with discussions and conversations and don’t be afraid to reach out to users within the group – they are likely to be feeling the same way you are. 

  1. Try To Work In A Different Location A Few Times A Week

Albeit it depends on lockdown restrictions, but when rules allow, try to work out of the house a few times a week.

Co-working spaces are great for freelancers who want to recapture the support and structure of an office environment. 

They also present a great opportunity for building your network of freelancers and allow you to build relationships with other independent workers in a similar situation to yourself. 

If co-working spaces aren’t your cup of tea, support local cafes and pubs. Some are even offering special deals to encourage people to visit instead of working at home. 

  1. Make Plans For The Evening

Give yourself something to look forward to during the day and plan things to do after work.

Whether that be meeting up with a friend for a socially distanced walk if rules allow, or scheduling your favourite TV programme to watch.

At the moment, it’s about appreciating the small things. 

Treat yourself to a bubble bath after work, order a takeaway or simply just cook yourself a new tasty meal you’ve never had before. 

Keep life varied and exciting, even if these things you look forward to may seem small, it will help you to be more motivated to work harder the next day.

  1. Pick Up The Phone

Speak to your clients over the phone and try not to communicate just over email. This will make you feel more in the ‘real world’ and break up your work schedule – don’t underestimate the power of a phone call. 

You could also call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. This could be an older relative or even another freelancer. 

Allow and push yourself to be as sociable as possible. It is very important for your mental health and overall wellbeing. 

What tips do you have to combat Freelancer loneliness?

Sources:

*https://blog.viking-direct.co.uk/freelancer-loneliness-survey 

**https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200926145210.htm#:~:text=The%20study%20%2D%2D%20from%20the,had%20at%20least%20one%20pet

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