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How To Reduce the Potential For Isolation: A Freelance’s Guide to Mental Wellbeing

An illustrated person sitting in a lotus position in front of a temple
An illustrated person sitting in a lotus position in front of a temple

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    The digital age has enabled a level of autonomy never seen before. Freelance work is at an all-time high, and remote workers are on the rise. But what about when you’re alone in your office? It’s easy to feel isolated from the world outside of your home office. This blog post will discuss how to reduce the potential for isolation as a freelancer or remote worker.

    The freedoms offered by remote working are difficult to argue against – flexible working environment, the ability to travel, the potential for flexible hours, your chance to work with world-class co-workers.

    But there are darker sides, that sometimes need discussing – loneliness, isolation, depression, imposter syndrome, to mention just a few.

    These mental health challenges can sometimes present themselves without ever having experienced these feelings or emotions before. And that can lead to us questioning or doubting ourselves, our thoughts and our ideas.

    The good news is that there are ways to reduce the potential for isolation as a remote worker.

    Loneliness can, in part, be combated by connecting with communities like Big Orange Heart or other freelance networks, attending virtual events and workshops, and getting involved with Slack groups who share your interests.

    We can also take time for ourselves to reduce our stress and anxiety levels. For example, taking a moment at lunchtime or leaving work early on Fridays are two quick ways you can give yourself some mental wellbeing space.

    There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to wellbeing, every person is individual and we can all have unique experiences.

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    Be Physical

    There are lots of studies that demonstrate the direct correlation between our physical and mental wellbeing. If we are physically well, it will impact our mental wellness.

    As a freelancer, working remotely, we can often spend a lot of time sitting. Taking the time to create movement in our bodies will have a positive impact on our minds.

    Amanda Gorman delivered a session at WordFest Live, in which she walks you through a practical guide to Chair Yoga for Remote Workers.

    I have been doing Chair Yoga for some time now as it is one way that I can still enjoy some movement while working. It’s great to be able to take time out from my workday and do something practical that will help me become more focused on the tasks at hand, without spending any extra money

    An illustrated person stretching on a stability ball

    Be Mindful

    Taking time to listen to our thoughts and connecting with our minds through mindful practices can enable us to have a deeper understanding of where we are mentally. It is also a great way to take care of our wellbeing and mental health.

    Some studies have shown that mindful practices can, in some instances, reduce the potential for feelings of loneliness or isolation – so it’s worth trying out if you are feeling this way!

    An illustrated person sitting in a lotus position meditating

    Be Connected

    The old cliché says “It takes a village to raise a child” is an African proverb that means that an entire community of people must provide for and interact positively with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.

    This is a sentiment that many freelancers and remote workers may be able to relate to, and it’s also one that Big Orange Heart understands well.

    We have been building our online community for freelance designers and developers since 2015, with the knowledge of how important it is to connect on an emotional level in order to create connections that will help foster healthy relationships with fellow freelancers, remote workers and distributed team members.

    Two illustrated people connected by a heart

    Be Open

    Taking steps to be open about your needs with yourself is important. If you are struggling to cope with work or feeling the effects of loneliness and isolation as a remote worker then it’s important that you speak up.

    This is not about weakness – seeking help from our community can empower you to take steps towards wellbeing in a way that you may not have considered before.

    If you are struggling to cope with work or feeling the effects of loneliness and isolation as a remote worker then it’s important that you speak up.

    Join Big Orange Heart today, and connect with the community.

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