How to Keep on Freelancing When You’re Down and Depressed


How can you be lonely when there’s millions of people doing the same thing as you do, freelancing? After all, didn’t they say this would be a dream job? That you can: “be your own boss and work whenever and wherever you want”? Well, they weren’t telling you the whole story…

Nobody mentioned long nights staring at a blank document trying to spark your brain into giving you just one more good idea, knowing that the delivery date is next morning. Nobody told you anything about doing your best work, only to never see any money from it. Nobody said you could lose a client at any moment, but wait for another a month or longer.
Nobody said it would be this hard. This … sigh, depressing

How to Snap Out of Freelancer Depression?

Being your own boss, and juggling multiple projects, while at the same time still having time and energy for your family or friends can be overwhelming.
But there are ways to beat it.

Take a break. A long one if necessary

One of the problems you’ll learn about freelancing early on is that there are no breaks, no sick days and no holidays. At least clients will certainly not ask if you need one. Because freelancing is typically done over the Internet, clients can get even more detached from their freelancers than they would be normally.

That’s why you have to think about yourself and whether you need a break. Not just a coffee break or taking a few minutes off. I’m talking about taking a couple of days off, going to some relaxing place or maybe even another country altogether and completely shutting off from freelancing.

On your return, you’ll see that your batteries have been fully charged and you are ready to go again.

Vent out

For this, you will need someone you can talk about the problems and frustrations you meet while freelancing. Don’t bottle it all inside yourself.

It’s best if you find a community of others like you. This is why many choose to freelance in a co-working space, with a bunch of guys and girls like them, but if you can’t find one such in your town, then at least join a freelancing group on Facebook or a community on Google + where you can talk to others who are experiencing the same problems as you.

You’ll find that talking about it makes it less significant than what it was in your head.

Play some sports. Exercise

All that sitting in front of the computer is not much of a physical activity. In fact, combine a largely sedentary lifestyle many freelancers live with bad diet and you can end up overweight. If you weren’t already depressed, a few extra pounds can be just the thing to push you over the edge.

This is why you need to take care of your body when freelancing. Call your friends and have a game of basketball, go to the gym and lift some weights or punch a bag or, just run.  Make exercising a habit and do it every day for at least half an hour. It’s an amazing stress reliever.

Get rid of the bad clients

A lot of times, the depression you feel has a clear source and it’s not you. It’s other people. In life, not just in freelancing, you don’t have to put up with them. So if a client is over demanding and clearly doesn’t respect you, stop working with him, no matter what money he is paying you.

The same goes for people in your regular life. Cut off all ties with anyone who brings toxins into your life and only pulls you down. You only need people who will pull you up in life.

There will be Good and Bad Days in Freelancing – Focus on the Good Days

Okay, so freelancing may not be all the brochure said it would be, but don’t give up on it just yet. Sure, there will be some bad days. But, guess what? There will be plenty of good days as well. The joy of seeing your article finally posted by a big website, or the sight of your design proudly displayed on that website. Or the email confirmation that says your last client paid the invoice. Or many, many others.

Just focus on these and forget the bad ones and if anybody asks you “how’s it going?” tell them “Great!”

Pic: ©unsplash

Vladimir Covic

Vladimir Covic is a content writer from Belgrade, Serbia whose main goal is to bring quality, actionable and interesting posts to his readers. If he is not around writing or thinking about the next thing he will write, Vladimir is most likely off somewhere running. If you want to know more about him, Vladimir welcomes you to his Twitter, LinkedIn or his blog Vladimir Writes.

By Vladimir Covic

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