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Looking After Your Mental Health When You’re Self Employed 

24/11/2018

Going self employed is probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. 

There are so many positives to being self employed, especially if you don’t do well in the traditional work environment like me. 

I love having control over everything I do; which clients I work with, what content I create and how I manage my day. I can even choose where I work. Some days I might want to work from home, while others I might want to catch the train into the city and work from one of the coffee shops there. 

But while I’m loving being self employed, I won’t pretend that it’s all easy. 

Finding clients has definitely been harder than I expected it would be. This month I’ve only made around £50, which is a mix of earnings from my shop, society6 sales and some copywriting I did for Bella on her media kit. 

Even though I still live with my parents, that’s not even enough to cover the rent I pay them each month! 

I knew jobs wouldn’t just magically pop into my inbox, but I don’t think I realised just how hard it would be to make money. Or how negatively not making much money would effect me. 

Graduation 2018

As much as I hate to say it, this first month has had a bit of a negative effect on my mental health. My depression thought this would be a brilliant time to put in a reappearance, right at a time when I needed to be getting as many pitches and emails out as possible. 

Luckily I had my graduation last week and walking across that stage, thinking about everything I’d achieved and seeing the pride on my parents faces, gave me the kick up the arse I needed to get out of the black hole I’d been in. 

This first month has shown me that just because I’m self employed now, I can’t stop prioritising my mental health – in fact I need to look after it more than ever! 

Find your tribe 

I don’t only mean this in the traditional sense of meeting up with a group of people for a coffee or brunch. 

I’m sure thats great for some people, but that would drain me of all my energy and I wouldn’t be able to get anything done for the rest of the day. 

For me, my tribe is pretty much all online. 

I’m part of quite a few groups and communities on Facebook, that are full of amazing people who will cheer you on and celebrate your wins. They can also be there for you when you’re having a bad mental health day and need a pep talk or someone to vent to. 

Self Care Mug | Pret Chocolate Bar | Dr Who Fairytales Book | How To Look After Your Mental Health When You’re Self Employed

Some of the best groups I’ve found over the last year have to be Freelance Hero’s, Exciting Emails, Blog & Beyond & Bloggers Tribe.

They’re all full of supportive and amazing people who will help you with any question – no matter how stupid you think it is!

Get out of the house 

For me, regularly getting out of the house for an hour or two is one of the best things I can do for my mental health. 

I struggle with writers block at least once a week, but one of the things I’ve found is that getting out of the house (or more appropriately – my bedroom) can really help my creativity, as well as my mood. 

Sometimes its something as simple as going to the local shops to pick up some shopping or nipping round to my nan and grandads for a cuppa; they actually live next door to me which is very helpful. 

But other times I just can’t seem to work from home full stop, so I need to grab my iPad and head off out to a coffee shop or the library and work from there for a couple of hours. 

I’m actually writing this post from Starbucks while drinking a Strawberry Black Tea and Lemonade – my latest obsession! 

Self Care Mug | Pret Chocolate Bar | Dr Who Fairytales Book | How To Look After Your Mental Health When You’re Self Employed

Be organised

One of the main things you need to do when you’re self employed is to be organised. 

You don’t have someone else to tell you what you need to be doing that day (and nagging you when you don’t get on with it) which means you need to keep track of everything yourself. 

This can be quite daunting in the beginning, especially if you’re used to an office environment.

I use a lot of different techniques and resources to keep track of any projects or ideas I have going on. I use Trello for project management, my daily planner to keep track of my to do lists, and Google Drive to keep all my assets in one convenient and portable place. 

Being organised can help reduce stress levels and keep you from burning out.

If you know exactly what you need to do, and when you need to do it for, you can stagger tasks so that you don’t find yourself having to rush around finishing things the night before a deadline. 

Self care 

You might think this one is pretty obvious, but it’s so easy to slip into the mentality that you have to work all hours of the day as a freelancer. 

Planning some dedicated self care time into every day is a great way to make sure you take a break from working, as well as looking after your mental health. 

Mustard Primark Pyjamas | Warm Ribena | Bed | Self Care

I try and fit three separate self care sessions into every day. First thing in the morning, in the evening when I’m winding down for the day, and then little acts of self care throughout the day. 

Self care doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and the best thing is it can be tailored to what works best for you.

Remember your worth 

I know that I’m really bad at charging what I should; I’m forever undervaluing my work because I think I’m not good enough to charge a higher amount. 

But I then end up making myself really anxious because I’ve done all that work and I still don’t have enough money to pay the bills.

Although that doesn’t stop me from undercharging on the next project. 

Charging your worth not only helps reduce anxiety, but it can also help improve your self confidence and self worth.

How do you look after your mental health if you’re self employed? 

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How To Look After Your Mental Health When You’re Self Employed

27 responses to “Looking After Your Mental Health When You’re Self Employed ”

  1. Give it time. It is tough and can be isolating and knock you back on quiet months but keep going. Good luck.

  2. Hannah says:

    I have a lot of respect for anyone that works self employed/freelance. My Mum is a free lance designer and she works so hard – it sounds as if you fo to! I loved this post.

    Han | lifewithhan.blog

  3. It was so comforting to read your words. I’m not really self-employed but I still got help from my mother financially and it’s taking a toll on my mental health. I feel like I’m worthless sometimes… But you’re right. It’s important to know your worth & trust it will all be okay. It takes time to adjust & find opportunities. You’re doing great, buddy ! Keep writing !

  4. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you ☺️ I’m not too worried about the isolation part (I prefer being on my own a lot of the time) but I definitely need to stop being so hard on myself!

  5. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you ☺️ I try to work as hard as I can, I’m not happy unless I’m busy usually 😅

  6. Jade Marie says:

    I’m sorry to hear it takes a toll on your mental health, I understand completely why it does though! You definitely aren’t worthless lovely ☺️ and thank you so much! I think things will get better in the new year, once I’m used to being self employed and find my routine and confidence ☺️

  7. Kelly says:

    First off, your graduation photo is lovely. You can see how proud they all are of you! Going self-employed is something that I would love to do but I also worry about the money and it’s always a deadlock when making the decision because of how liberating being self-employed would be but also how negative it’ll be for my mental health. Thank you for sharing your tips – this is the exact thing I need to hear and might just push me to making that leap. You should definitely be super proud of yourself. You’re doing an amazing job, whether your mental health can see that or not. It could just be that time of year where people are spending on Christmas instead. Hopefully it’ll pick up in the New Year for you (which I’m sure it will). Good luck x

  8. These are some really great tips! It can definitely be hard to find clients and work, espechially if your anxious about pitching your ideas. These tips are great though and definitely something to keep in mind!

  9. August says:

    I fucking love this post. I loved your honesty about how it has negatively affected your mental health but also the good things. I’m self-employed and make around like $200 a month from it but I’m steadily building my client list. I really do enjoy it even though it gets lonely at times. I still have 2 years left of my undergrad so I’m glad I have freelance to support me while I finish school. I really love your blog and if you’re ever looking to guest blog, we could swap posts or come up with a collaboration. My point is: A+ post and I admire your honesty.

  10. I hope it will ! 🙂 Take care. x

  11. lolitambonita says:

    Such a good post! I’m not self employed but still nees to remember to find time and stop and think of me!

    Lola Mia x

  12. Excellent advise and tips here, I’m usually housebound with mobility issues and recovering from surgeries, so I know this feeling. So I have to freelance and sell my jewellery online. My tribe is definitely an online bunch xx

  13. Amazing post Jade and great tips. Getting out the house is so important – especially if you work from home! Self employment is HARD – definitely the hardest job I’ve ever had – but it’s definitely worth it, if you keep at it. It’s not a quick route to success, despite what some people might think. It takes so much time, dedication and hard work so learning to prioritize your self care and your mental health during that, when you need it, is super important xxx

  14. Lovely post, Jade! I have living the freelance life for a while and can completely relate to this! We have our ups and down days, sometimes our mood swings from extremes all in a day, right?
    As much as I like my own company, sometimes it does get lonely. We do need our tribe! 🙂

    Aditi | http://www.aditispen.com

  15. Rachel says:

    What a great post! Being self-employed can be so isolating and draining. I am so thankful for all my online tribes. They are a great support and can help pull me out of my funks! I am terrible at practicing self care, so need to work at that. I hope your next month goes better. 🙂

  16. Bella says:

    Hi Jade! You’re doing a great job, and we’re all so proud of you! I needed this post even if I’m not self employed, so thank you for sharing 😀

  17. Angie says:

    I admire your decision to be self employed. And your advice on mental health is spot on. Getting out of the house is a hard thing but yes I think I need to go out more.

    Cheers!

  18. It must be such a struggle sometimes, but your tips are spot on.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk

  19. Jade Marie says:

    I’m glad you found it useful, even though you aren’t self employed ☺️ x

  20. Jade Marie says:

    I’m sorry to hear that 😔 but it’s great that you’ve found an online tribe and that you’ve found a way to freelance too ☺️

  21. Jade Marie says:

    Thanks Jenny! I’ve been ill all week so I’ve been stuck in the house, and it’s definitely effected my productivity – even though I love being in the house normally, I’m going a little stir crazy being stuck in it! I definitely think being self employed will be worth it in the long run though ☺️ xxx

  22. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you lovely! Yes we do – even though I love my own company, i need a bit of human contact every so often ☺️

  23. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you so much Bella! 😘 and you might not be yet, but if things keep improving in 2019 you hopefully might be ☺️

  24. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you so much ☺️ I’m glad you found my advice helpful!

  25. Jade Marie says:

    Thank you! It is but it’ll be worth it all I’m sure ☺️

  26. I think this post was absolutely perfect. I loved your honesty. I shared this to Pinterest and saved this to read again later.

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HI THERE!

Thanks for stopping by! I’m a twenty-five-year-old digital media graduate with a passion for writing and a desire to change the way we view mental health and autism. I’ve owned jademarie.co.uk for nearly two years now, and its slowly changed from a place where I would brain dump whatever was going through my head that day, into a place where people can come for help, advice and hopefully a bit of a laugh. I do occasionally come out with a witty sentence or two. Mostly by accident.

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