How to Practice Boundaries and Care for Your Mental Health as a Freelancer

Freelancing can sound super tempting, due to the autonomy to work when you please, ability to travel freely, and control over the clients you accept and work you take on.

Whether you’re a freelance web designer, copywriter, graphic designer, fine artist, or photographer, there are a few things every freelancer frequently ends up facing during their career.

Practicing self-care and setting boundaries can be the most important way to stop yourself from burning out early. Considering that freelancers are free agents, there is plenty of room to be taken advantage of by the wrong people.

With these tips and tricks, you can set yourself up for success.

The help of a mental health professional such as those at MyTherapist can be a great first step towards realizing what your boundaries need to be and what your values truly are. Once you realize what you need and want in both your personal and professional lives, you can begin to set rules and self-care tactics in place.

Listed below are a few of the most common challenges freelancers face:

Unrealistic Expectations

If your client is setting unrealistic expectations, this is when you will need to practice boundaries and self-care. If you know you need a solid time frame in order to do your best work, do not accept jobs that give you a short window to work or ones that will change your schedule at the last minute.

If you are not comfortable working under these conditions, make sure to set those boundaries for yourself.

Additionally, say “I’m sorry I cannot do that” or “I’m sorry I don’t know how to do that” if a client asks something of you that you are not capable of doing. Saying “yes” can feel easy at the moment, but give yourself a reality check and be transparent about your boundaries.

Time Management

Time management can be one of the hardest traits to learn if you do not inherently have good time management skills. That said, it is possible to become better at time management. As a freelancer, you will need to be your own boss and keep yourself productive and punctual without the assistance of a supervisor or manager.

To practice your time management skills, try making a daily schedule for yourself and see how frequently you can stick to said schedule. Set small goals for yourself and see how long it takes you to complete the goal. The better you become at following through with your intentions, the better you will also get adapting when things change.

Freelancer are expected to be agile, so having time management skills will be important both when you are on a set schedule and when you have to adapt quickly. Likewise, managing your time within work will help you manage your time outside of work. Since you are in charge of your own hours, you will need to manage your personal and professional lives separately in such a way that they can both succeed.

Not Filling Up Your Plate

Another boundary you can set for yourself is not filling up your plate. Because freelancers are in charge of their own workload, it can be easy to overbook yourself on projects.

Though this may seem good at the time, taking on too many projects will affect your quality of work and the depth of the relationship you create with the client.

Let Your Creativity Shine

When you practice self-care, you are setting yourself up for more creativity. In many ways, this should be reflected on your website or blog. When your website or blog showcases your personality and creativity, you will be more appealing to clients.

Make sure that you take the time to rest, relax, and recuperate when you need to so that your creativity can shine through at every opportunity.

Conclusion

Freelancing does not mean you have to work alone. If you need help with your professional profile or with your personal mental health, reach out to specialists who can help you succeed in those ways. Figure out how you can best take care of your mental health to benefit yourself and your work.

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