Entering the freelance world can cause mad anxiety for someone who doesn’t have an anxiety disorder, but that doesn’t mean the job-free life isn’t for those of us who deal with this particular mental health issue. For me, there have been many health benefits of becoming self-employed.
1. Freedom to prioritize
Some days, I can turn my anxiety into motivation to kick butt. Other days, my heart beats so quickly I worry it will explode and I can hardly get out of bed. As a freelancer, I can get three-days worth of work done during one high energy, excited day, and then stay ahead of my work in case I need to take a mental health day later. Freelancing gives me the freedom to prioritize different aspects of life on different days, so high-anxiety days can be given over 100 per cent to self-care.
2. Lose job-specific anxieties
Snotty co-workers, late buses, no clean work clothes. Having to leave home everyday to work comes with it’s own set of anxieties that sometimes become so normal, they’re not recognized as daily stressors. Leaving a job means leaving all that. And means working all day in sweatpants, if that’s your thing. Personally, I’ve got a killer collection of fancy-patterned tights that are well-worn through my work week.
3. You can’t be laid off
With freelancing, the biggest thing I hear newbies and wanna-be’s say is that they’re scared of not finding enough work. That’s fair. But when you’re your own employer, you don’t need to worry about getting laid off. Sure, you might lose a gig that makes up for part of your income here or there, but it won’t all be gone in one fell swoop like the traditional 9-5 could be.
4. Pick and choose work
If one client is constantly filling up my voicemail on the weekend, despite me asking them to communicate via email outside of work hours, I just drop them. As a freelancer (once you’re in the swing of things), you don’t need to put up with clients who don’t respect your time and preferences. It gives you the power to only work with people who don’t push your buttons the wrong way, unlike with a traditional job where you don’t have a say on who your boss, co-workers and clients are.
4. Turning back is allowed
After a few days, weeks, months or years of freelancing, you can decide it’s not for you and go back to a traditional jobs. There will always be jobs out there, but there won’t always be the opportunity to strike out on your own.
In all honesty, as a freelancer, money gives me a shit ton of anxiety in ways it didn’t before I started my self-employed journey. Next week, I’ll visit that topic, but, in the meantime, check out my Facebook page where I post links to all the articles I get paid to write and some of those I’m paid to edit.