How Freelancers Look After Their Mental Health

I spent the first three years of my adult life as a freelancer. I loved the idea of designing graphics, but I did not receive formal training for it, so I assumed the only way that I could find clients who would trust me were the ones who wanted online workers.

During those three years, I instantly figured out why most people did not even want to try freelancing. It was not always because of the difficulty of making money through it. That’s honestly a fallacy, considering clients were willing to pay as much money as regular workers get, sometimes more. A more fitting reason is that freelancers’ mental health tends to suffer, especially when they come across awful projects with worse clients.

Here’s how freelancers can look after their mental health.

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Know Your Value 

From the get-go, you need to realize how valuable your skillset is to a particular industry. That will allow you to set a decent rate for your services instead of letting the client pay peanuts.

For instance, since I had a profound scientific background, medical website owners wanted me to write articles and textbooks for them. Another friend of mine had an MBA, so companies needed him to conduct business reports and analyses. Thus, neither of us agreed to take on the job until we got our desired salary.

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Avoid Accepting Every Job Offer

A typical error in new freelancers’ mindset is that they think it is essential to accept every job offer that comes their way. They tend to oversee the fact that some of them are from vulture-like individuals who want high-quality output but don’t want to pay fairly. Some say, “Newbies can’t be choosy.”

Well, I get that such workers want to do everything to jumpstart their career in the freelancing world. I also did the same when I was new, to the extent that I juggled three clients at once and barely had time to eat and sleep. However, doing so could reduce your work quality or, worse, make you feel unhappy in the end.

From one freelancer to another, you need to realize that not every job opportunity out there is a catch. Sometimes, it is better to apply for the projects you like than to accept whatever job that’s available.

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Leave Troublesome Clients Behind

Let’s say that you already got your dream project in the bag. The client was willing to pay you a handsome amount every month, and you did not need to clock in hours as long as you delivered the output on time. However, if someone messed up, they loved scolding and embarrassing the employee in a group chat whenever they messed up.

Even in the freelance business, anyone can experience work bullying. Witnessing that happen to a co-worker entails that you may find yourself in their shoes sooner or later. 

You need not go through such a heart-aching experience, so you should leave troublesome clients behind. Otherwise, you will risk losing your interest in the job you love because of someone’s power-tripping habit.

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Change Things Up If Need Be

Whoever said that multitasking is not recommendable – not even for freelancers – is only 50% correct. While it is true that not everyone can handle two or more projects at a time, some people need that variety to avoid going crazy. Doing a single task all day every day makes them feel dull and sad, to the extent that they ditch the freelance job and look for an office-based work.

So, if you feel like changing things up and get part-time jobs, go for it. It is not against the law to do that, you know. As long as you can fulfill your roles in every project without a hitch, you can multitask. 

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Source: pexels.com

Establish A Rest Day Or Two

Another thing that causes mental health problems among freelancers is their inability to get a full rest day or two. Since doing a freelance job does not always mean that you have set working hours or sometimes even a fixed salary, you may want to be available for as many hours as possible every day. Or, your goal is to earn a lot of money quickly, so you almost don’t sleep anymore while trying to complete multiple tasks daily.

By doing either, you must understand that you will see yourself burning out in no time. It is as if you have willingly gone into a small box and asked people to avoid helping you – there is no breathing room at all. You need to allocate 24 to 48 hours of your entire week to rest so that your mind and body can recuperate after subjecting both to too much stress.

Bottom Line

Being a freelancer is one of the most exciting roles you can ever play in this lifetime. But before you start taking on a job, you should know what your skill set is worth so that clients will never be able to scam you.

Good luck!

 

Broken Families Can Bring Out Self-Made Entrepreneurs

 

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This is when entrepreneurs are at their best – their golden period. There hasn’t been a more fruitful time for freelancers, businessmen, founders, and startup hopefuls wanting to find success from all their hard work. Just look around you. You will realize that there is no shortage of reputable figures that are leading the path. They are the great dreamers, and this includes self-made men and women who have made history in creating power brands with their own creativity, guts, and confidence. Arianna Huffington and Sara Blakely are only a few of them, smart women who found big and successful companies that have helped modernize technology, economy, and culture itself. Zipcar, Amazon, and Uber are only some of these power companies.

But what about the roads they have traveled to get to where they are now? Are there really straight-cut skills and traits that entrepreneurs must possess in order to achieve success? What of those who come from broken families? Do they have the same chance that the others are given?

The Dysfunctional Family Concept

We all know that it doesn’t take just one big idea to start a business. But what gives the successful, intelligent entrepreneurs the edge over others?

Steve Blank, a professor at Stanford University, came up with the notion that this depends on a person’s psychological makeup. Having worked for decades at the Silicon Valley and seeing various companies fair and succeed, he concluded that big startup executives seemed to possess similar traits, which included steadfastness, passion, and amazing confidence and comfort while operating in a messy business.

Blank, together with his colleagues, observed another bizarre pattern – an inconsistent number of executives and CEOs were born and raised by broken families. In his concept of the dysfunctional family theory, Steve Blank suggests that a lot of entrepreneurs come from a not-so-good upbringing, where parents often fight or are separated and the like.

In his rather ‘unempirical’ survey, blank discovered that there are about 50% of people who struggle at working laboriously to improve their companies identified as born and raised from home environments that were filled with fighting, arguments, tough discipline, significant conflicts, drug and alcohol abuse, and little to no love and affection.

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He stated that of the children that were raised in broken families, some come out from their childhood with a special ability to concentrate and perform amidst chaos and conflict. They learn to develop skills to deal with uncertainty and to thrive despite being confronted by a lot of imbalance. They have gotten resilient and headstrong because of their household environment.

Additionally, research also supports the notion that a rough upbringing leads to achieving success. The essential attribute that allows this broken child to develop into a powerful entrepreneur is that which is called resilience, or the capacity of a person to adapt amidst adversity, challenge, or trauma.

Individuals that are resilient are capable of bouncing back from tough experiences more quickly and come out unscathed. They are relatively stronger mentally, solve problems more efficiently, and are more in control of themselves and their lives. They that endure a devastating adolescence but are still capable of using that emotional strength and turning it into success could actually have a greater possibility of holding a remarkable status in the future.

Do these hit a mark on you? If you think you are one of those that belong to the broken family/professional powerhouse camp, you may identify with these attributes or circumstances.

You can perform despite the odds.

Leaders that were raised in messy home environments are not new to acts of will. Though the circumstances are not in your favor, you know you have to do it and finish it anyhow – even if you’re alone in doing this. In the workplace, despite the brimming deadlines, you maintain that confidence and work your butt off to finally deliver in the end.

You persevere.

You are so used to feeling cold and alone, which will actually serve you quite well in the work setting. You are not the type to wait for you should do or how you should do it. You simply prepare yourself for work and get it done.

You cringe at tough rules.

Raised in a broken family where things can be different every single day, you might want to be flexible on your own terms and do what you can to adapt to the situation. In this way, you become an awesome out-of-the-box genius.

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You are an expert in reading people and places.

Because you are living with a broken family, you have practiced the art of going through and overcoming emotional paths. In the workplace, that emotional quotient allows you to be well-equipped for reading the mood of investors, executives, new colleagues, and other members of the entrepreneur field so you can decide which course of action to take.

Bottom Line

Whatever it is you’re dreaming to achieve for your future, it is inspiring to realize that hardships from being born and raised in a broken family could be put to meaningful use in your professional career. After all, one thing that we can predict in starting a company is its unpredictability. Just be aware of the trials and challenges that have brought you to that fruitful and happy place right now.

 

 

Is Your Marriage Causing Stress?

Marriage takes both maturity and skills from both partners, plus good matching.  Partner choice does matter. — Susan Heitler Ph.D.

Going through a stressful marriage can break your heart into a million broken pieces. It can make you question your decision of marrying your husband in the first place. Worse, the situation may even make you consider getting a divorce. It is such a sad reality. Fortunately, there is something else that you can do to save your marriage before it becomes too late to even get BetterHelp therapists involved.

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De-Stressing Advice Get More Of Your Relaxation Time

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It may seem like stress is an external force — something that happens to you, such as a rude driver, a work deadline, or the illness of a loved one. As a result, it may seem like there’s really nothing you can do about your stress, but this simply isn’t the case. — Melissa Samartano, PhD, LMHC, RYT

Relaxation is essential in one’s health and well-being. It also restores body and mind in order to further excel in life. Inability to manage and handle stress will lead to various diseases such as depression, lifestyle disease like hypertension and cancer, weight gain and an overall feeling of discontent. The state of relaxation is achievable with these steps in mind.

Acknowledge The Existence Of Stress

Stress in acute stages is actually good for us. It gives us the adrenaline pump to beat deadlines and cram for an exam the next day. In a sense, it provides motivation and excitement to one’s life as long as a person can find the right balance and can manage the stress. The signs that you are too stressed:

  • You continuously experience body tension which is often manifested as headaches, neck aches, backaches and fatigue
  • You feel overwhelmed because you have a lot of things going on in your life
  • You have difficulty sleeping and feel tired or less rested upon waking up
  • You are short-tempered, moody and irritable. Small things get to you.
  • You are eating unhealthily either too much, too little or opting for fast food and processed food.
  • You can’t recall the last time you had a hearty laugh, and you noticed that your sense of humor is out the window.

Allot A Specific Time For Relaxation

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After accepting that you are under a lot of stress and it’s starting to control your life, it is now the perfect time to allocate time for de-stressing and relaxation. You can start by accepting these facts:

You Are Not A Superhero

Many cultural and religious beliefs put value in hard work. Moreover, technology is keeping us connected to work 24/7. Hard work is a dedication to the task at hand at the given hours in the workplace. It doesn’t need to control you when you are at home or during your off-hours.

Think about an experience you have had in which you felt your five senses were thoroughly engaged: a wonderful meal, a beautiful place or a time in which you felt exceptionally delighted. Now close your eyes breathe deeply and evenly and for two minutes re-experience that in all five of your senses. — Margaret Wehrenberg Psy.D.

Sleep Is An Essential Part Of Life

At rest, your mind recuperates and continues to learn. Also, sleep restores and rejuvenates the body and has an impact on the immune system of a person. Do not sacrifice your sleeping hours for work.

Recognition Of The Optimal Ways You Relax Will Take Time

It will involve a lot of trial and error but finding the right mixture of activities that will help you relax is worth it.

Schedule Relaxing Time Is Effective

It is best to consider relaxation as a client’s appointment. Make sure your family member is aware and respects your ME time.

Relax In The Physical Sense

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Consume Healthy Food Options

Avoid processed and high in sugar food. Always, opt for organic and wholesome fruits and vegetables.

Try Different Breathing Techniques

This is the easiest way to calm yourself when you feel like panicking. It is a distraction technique that focuses on the flow of air.

Exercise Everyday

This is scientifically proven to reduce stress. A simple break like a walk in the park or a run on the treadmill will do.

This willingness to be challenged—to temporarily be with unpleasant thoughts or bodily sensations we experience both within and outside the context of exercise—is akin to receiving an immunization that protects from stressors. Much like a vaccine, exercise artificially introduces manageable amounts of stress to the mind and body in a controlled manner. — Melissa Stringer, LMHC, DCC, NCC

Go For A Massage

Studies show massages lowers the release of cortisol in the body.

Relax In Mental State

Positive Thinking

Failures and disappointments are always a subjective concept. Always see the brighter side of things.

Let Go Of All The Guilt

Forgive yourself for all the shortcomings, missed deadlines, and mistakes. You are after all human. Learn from these circumstances and improve yourself.

Master The Art Of Prioritizing

Always ground yourself about the important things in life.

Smile And Don’t Take Life To Seriously

The advice of some BetterHelp experts is to smile and laugh even during the hard times. After all, you are still alive and tomorrow is another day filled with possibilities and opportunities.

Paranoia And Insomia: How To Sleep Successfully

Sleep disorders affect a lot more people than most people realize — up to 20 percent of Americans in any given year suffer from a sleep problem, according to the National Institutes of Health. Many people who suffer from problems sleeping don’t even realize it. — John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

If you have had insomnia the past few days, you might also be dealing with the possibility of having persecutory thoughts in the future. Research findings present that persons who have problems going to sleep are five times more like to develop paranoia. Paranoid thoughts are characterized by a false belief that someone or something is out to get you. Harm is the foundation of fear and the person having these ideas would also be on guard and distrustful towards other persons or situations.

source: cnb.gov.sg

The relationship of insomnia to paranoia could be seen as the brain’s supply, and regulations of neurochemicals and hormones are altered due to lack of rest and hyperfunction of the mind while awake. Paranoid thoughts are the product of increased dopamine and adrenaline levels thus the person is hyperalert and hypervigilant all the time. Paranoid behaviors can be lessened to a minimum or eradicated if proper sleeping habits are practiced. This article will list down and discuss several ways on how to achieve good sleep.

Keep A Regular Schedule

Discipline yourself to sleep and wake up the same time every day even on weekends. This method is teaching your brain to look for rest on a specific schedule. Once you established this, catching zees is just a walk in the park. Also, avoid afternoon naps. Power naps which only takes 15 to 30 minutes are sufficient to recharge your body until all the tasks laid out for the day are accomplished. Longer than 30 minutes can disrupt your ability to fall asleep at the right time at night.

Sleep homeostasis balances the body’s need for sleep in relation to how long a person has been awake. If an individual loses sleep, the body produces adenosine, a naturally occurring sleep-regulating substance that increases a person’s need for sleep. — Rick Nauert PhD

Create A Conducive Environment To Sleep

There is a reason why television is placed in the family room or living room and not in the bedroom. Do not rationalize that watching TV can put you to sleep. The blue light emanating from the TV stimulates the brain to stay awake. This is also true with digital gadgets such as tablets and mobile phones. Putting them off can do you more good.

Also, you can enhance your ability to sleep if you place some aromatherapy scents like lavender oils, dimming the room, improve room temperature – not too cold or warm, and listening to a soothing music or nature sounds.

source: slate.com

One useful tool for tracking sleeping patterns which can lead to recognizing other associated barriers to a good night’s sleep can be keeping a sleep diary. When looked at closely in therapy, this can lead to new insights and, consequently, improved sleep. — Marni Amsellem, PhD

Food Selections

Believe it or not, certain foods can prevent you from sleeping. Caffeine is one of them. It is advisable not to drink coffee, caffeine-containing foods and drinks, and cocoa products later in the afternoon. Drinking alcoholic beverages can make you drowsy at first, but it can stimulate the brain thereby making you awake in the remainder of the night. To counteract this, there are foods that you can take to help you sleep. Of course, you probably know this already, nonetheless we recommend drinking one glass of warm milk before going to bed is a sure-fire method because if the tryptophan content in the milk. This compound helps the release of melatonin thus making you sleepy. Chamomile tea is also being recommended as it promotes relaxation and calms the nerves before bedtime.

For other information regarding on how to get rid of paranoia, you can visit BetterHelp. The platform can get you up-to-date with the strategies that may help you sleep better than ever.

 

Counseling For Workaholics

That grandiose sense of self-importance that seems to be present in epidemic proportions in our society is related to the worst aspects of workaholism, so was perfectionism. — Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D.

More than ever, the world has seen a large number of workaholics or those who are addicted to their work. Many factors are contributing to one’s work addiction however it doesn’t help that the society, in general, puts a premium on people who sacrifice everything for their work. In addition, with fast pace lifestyle and information overload, everyone is pressured to stay informed and knowledgeable about everything. It doesn’t help that markets are competitive and aggressive.

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Things I Do That Help Maintain My Mental Health (Pandemic Stress Awareness)

For the past couple of months, I heard and saw people complain about a lot of stuff. There is the issue of financial and economic burden, personal hygiene safety, social distancing limitations, as well as mental health problems.

Honestly, all of those things are important right at this moment. So I understand that a lot of people are taking things too seriously. But for me, despite the challenging situation, I want to stay emotionally and mentally stable so that I won’t need to call BetterHelp or any counseling platform for help anytime soon.

Here are the things I frequently do to help maintain my mental health during this pandemic.

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I Talk Often

Like any other person, my emotional and mental stress rise a few weeks after the Coronavirus outbreak. I also experienced anxiety and loneliness. But after realizing that I need to do something to get back on track, I practice talking, like a lot. I talk to myself in front of the mirror, stating the things I hate about everything that has been going around lately. I often tell myself that I need to prepare for the worst that could happen in the future. I also encourage myself to stay calm and try to be as brave as much as possible. Sometimes, I fail to convince myself that I should not think about the negative things. But when my thoughts are getting out of hand, I try to look for another outlet. Thus, I talk to people digitally.

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I call my friends and classmates almost every day to spend time and get personal updates from their lives. I also chat with some of them through social media. I try to socialize digitally more often because it helps reduce my stress. It makes me happy to know that my friends and classmates are okay. Sometimes, I also contact my relatives and ask them about their situation. As they keep me company, I also ensure to encourage them to stay positive during this pandemic.

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I Write Things

There are times that I don’t understand my emotions. That is why whenever I feel sad and lonely, I write the things that make me feel that way. Honestly, I don’t know it affects my mental health. But for some reason, when I read the stuff I wrote aloud, there is something inside me that instantly changes my mood. That even if I wrote things that are so painful and devastating, I still feel light and out of stress. There is one time that I wrote a harrowing experience, and reading it twice always makes me cry. But after a few moments, I began to feel motivated, thankful, and happy despite the not-so-encouraging words I put into my writing.

Perhaps not all people are fond of writing or journaling. But I can testify to the excellent mental and emotional benefits it can provide. In uncertain times like this, where social isolation is becoming a thing, journaling can become a lifesaver.

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I Take Care Of Myself

One of the most common things that people do is taking care of themselves. But actually, it serves a purpose in keeping the balance of mental and emotional health. As I understand the importance of self-care, I always make sure to do something that benefits my mind and body. I take a shower every time I feel uncomfortable with the hot weather. I always make sure to exercise regularly. I try my best to eat healthy food, and I try to get sleep as much as I need. Honestly, these are all the basics of hygiene and lifestyle. But do not underestimate these habits because they can go a long way in keeping you mentally, emotionally, and physically stable.

Encouraging Self To Stay Calm Amidst Global Health Crisis

Given that the world is experiencing a global health crisis, the uncertainties of everything continues to grow. No one knows how to stop the pandemic, and it seems like everyone is already reaching their limits. The physical, financial, emotional, and mental exhaustion are taking its toll on people’s lives, and they can’t seem to do anything about it. But despite all the negativity out there, one must remember to stay calm. It is essential to understand that staying positive about this whole situation is still the best thing that everybody can do.

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Mind Over Matter

The idea of focusing the mind on achieving better things is not only for the purpose of survival in this time of crisis. When people think about positive things, it allows them to develop a strong emotional and mental foundation. It helps in managing decisions that can be useful in addressing current issues along with the pandemic. These include supplies of food and necessities, clothing, shelter, as well as financial needs. When individuals keep their thoughts straight and start looking at better things despite this whole situation, they become more aware of their surroundings. They attract positive outcomes.

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Avoid Stress

Stress is the number one cause of self-destruction. Thus, it is essential to stay away from it, no matter what. Yes, the struggle of keeping a stable mental and emotional health is not easy. And there are times that all the negative things people hear and see become their truth. When that happens, it becomes their reason for quitting. Therefore, individuals must recognize their life stressors to remove it out of their lives. But note, people must take actions one at a time to secure a winning move in getting rid of the stress and anxiety. Yes, the process is not going to be comfortable, and the progress may take quite a while. But it is essential to understand that considering taking a step can make a significant difference.

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The Struggle Is Real

In this pandemic situation, people are all anxious and afraid. All the worries they have in mind is eating them up. These individuals can’t see and think clearly because they are blinded by the current hardships and sacrifices they have to make only to survive. There are lots of things they can’t do because of the restrictions they have to follow. Thus, everything in everyone’s lives becomes sedentary and lonely. Humans are known to be free-spirited creatures, and the longer they get restricted to do what they naturally do make them confused and dysfunctional. The more they think about being locked up, the harder they accept and adjust to their current situations.

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Ignore Unnecessary Emotions

This situation indeed has a lot of uncertainties, and that includes giving everyone unnecessary emotional responses. Despite the truth that people’s emotions at this time of the pandemic are valid, not all of them are useful. There are unnecessary emotions that only add pressure to the already struggling situation. For example, there is anger. It is quite acceptable that most people can use anger as a way of showing their eagerness for situational control. However, the battle is not between each individual. What everyone is dealing with is not something they can win over a heated argument. Thus, it is useless to depend on anger, given that the virus doesn’t care about that.

Of course, no one can tell how someone should handle this current global health crisis. Every individual is dealing with their own battle. But regardless of that, all should acknowledge that staying calm and positive in this situation is the top priority in securing emotional and mental function.

Staying Calm Amidst The Storm (Successfully Manage Stress Levels)

If you are going to ask me one characteristic I love most about my husband, without a blink of an eye, I would say it is his being calm.  I admire his ability to manage his emotions even under pressure.  This individuality of him allows him to be in control in any situation with a clear mind whether at work or home.

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