Click, clack goes the purring keyboard under your fingers. Your pinkies are dancing and chasing ring fingers across the laptop. It’s an exercise, right? No, it’s not. We get it (oh boy, we do); when you’re a freelancer, you get cozy and familiar with the sedentary lifestyle. However, it’s important not to get too comfy with doing absolutely nothing (physically) but spilling coffee on your PJs by accident. It’s crucial to take care of your health, and some physical activity will go a long way in ensuring that. It’s not impossible to stay healthy as a freelance writer if you’re ready to take the proper precautions.
Stretch it till you scratch it
As a freelance writer, you undoubtedly spend a lot of time bent over your laptop. That’s the worst evolutionary curse for the spine since – well – standing. You know, when you’re really sucked into your creative space, so much you could probably absorb your laptop, every single molecule of your vertebrae is crying! Unfortunately, the human body is built in a way that prevents you from hearing those cries until it’s too late. So, what you want to do is – be smart and prevent it.
- Salute the sun. The wise ancient people who started practicing yoga were right to start their day with a good morning stretch. While you sleep, you lie down, so the gravity influences your spinal cord differently than when you stand up. It’s important to put every bone in its place before starting your day. So, to achieve your goals for the day, do some morning yoga as soon as you open your eyes.
- The scratching technique. For every hour you make your spine spend in its unnatural position, you lose a crumb of mobility that could be valuable long-term. Fortunately, it’s preventable. Start scratching it from the outer lines to the middle, every hand starting from opposite sides. Pay attention to making at least a little progress every hour until you can finally scratch the middle point of your back with both hands.
- Say goodnight to the yoga mat first. Once you have finished your daily tasks, your bones and joints need to be released from any tension. Put your brain and body to rest with some simple stretching exercises. Your body will be grateful later.
Prolonged sitting is a no-no
Long hours at a desk staring at a computer are common in freelance work. There are a lot of benefits to being a freelance writer but sitting for long periods is not one of them. Standing desks have become increasingly popular in recent years and are an excellent way to increase your physical activity while at work. Workplace interventions can also help you cut down on your sitting time. Stand up and take a break every 30 minutes to activate your pelvic and gluteal muscles.
Respect the basic rules of biomechanics
Make sure to pay attention to your posture and sitting position when you must sit. Doctors advise against hunching over the computer and slouching in your chair. Be sure to keep your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees at a right angle rather than crossing them.
Excercise who? We don’t know her
We’re going to start slow on this one. We’re aware you’re probably not too keen on the idea of putting another exhausting activity in your already hectic schedule. But, hear us out. You don’t have to run a marathon every day. For starters, it will be enough if you find some goodwill to go to a gym or participate in any other physical activity for 30 minutes, three times a week.
Incorporating some physical activity in your busy schedule will not only help you stay in shape easily, but it will also improve your mood and concentration. As expert personal trainers explain, dopamine and endorphins secreted in your bloodstream during exercise will raise your vibration to another level. That means that if you choose to do a 30-minute workout instead of procrastinating behind your desk, it will improve your efficiency in doing the task and overall happiness.
Protect your eyes
Long periods spent staring at a computer screen can cause eye strain and fatigue. Experts advise computer users to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away from your screen for a 20-second break.
The secret is in deep hydration
While coffee may be the lifeblood of every independent worker, water is even more critical to your well-being. As a result, dehydration can cause tiredness and a lack of focus. Some people find plain water boring, and if you’re one of them – try flavoring it with lemon, mint, or cucumber, or drink tea instead of coffee for a tasty middle ground.
Make your guilty pleasures healthy
Not bringing your favorite snack with you while you work is one of the freelancers’ biggest challenges. In addition to preventing hunger pangs, having healthy snacks in your home office can help you stay energized throughout the day. Snacks like granola bars, cheese, fruit, and vegetables are simple to keep on hand and can help you avoid fatty and sugary foods that leave you feeling lethargic.
If you want to stay healthy as a freelance writer, don’t overwork
A lot of people perceive freelancers as lazy, home working people. But, the fact that your job is in your home makes it harder to distinguish personal from professional. A proper work-life balance can only be achieved if you treat your freelancing like any other job. Work when you have to, but relax and take it easy at home when you don’t.
Also, restrict your work to a single area by setting up a designated work area. Don’t bring your work stress and hectic schedule into your happy place.
Mens sana in corpore sano
So, dear fellow freelance writers, we would like to conclude with something wise Roman people once said: a healthy mind is in a healthy body. We hope that at least some of the advice will be helpful and that you will stay healthy as a freelance writer – in both your body and your mind.