The Reality of Going Freelance With Anxiety

July 25, 2018

Going freelance…a dream that many have but not everyone achieves.

I feel like the word “freelance” conjures up images of lay-ins every morning, endless brunching, working on your laptop in a trendy coffee shop and other Insta-worthy scenarios. But it really isn’t that glamorous.

In June I took the plunge and handed in my notice at a job I wasn’t passionate about to follow my heart to work in content creation again. It wasn’t easy from a security point of view. I had the same amount of money coming in each month on the same date. I knew where I was working each day, each week.

But did security give me happiness? Definitely not.

After weighing up my options I decided my happiness was most important and I left. I actually grew balls and handed in my resignation letter! That’s a massive thing for me as I couldn’t do this a few years ago. I would have been paralysed with fear of the ‘what ifs.’

After that, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted. I felt hope for the future and motivation to make my new venture work.

 

(This is where I briefly plug my new business!) Alongside this blog I have my own content creation business – Wellness & Wander Studio – where my services include photography, graphic design, writing and social media management. So now you know who to call if you need any of this!

 

So there I was a month later on Monday morning with no office to go to, no emails to open, no mundane tasks to complete. I was in charge of my own life.

Sounds great, right?! It is actually pretty scary.

I didn’t know what to do with myself at first. I previously had my own photography business when I first left uni, but because I didn’t have much self-belief or confidence I packed it in (damn it Han!)

Getting your own business off the ground is a huge mountain to climb and one that comes with A LOT of setbacks and rejections. These can be heartbreaking and especially with my anxiety, I did take this to heart.

I actually felt a little depressed about three weeks into my new life path. I had no schedule, no daily plan, no routine. This set off my anxiety big time and I spent a lot of time feeling panicked and worrying constantly. I thought I would be loving life, but there I was sat on my sofa, feeling alone and not sure what to do.

All I could think about was “how can I do this when I have crippling anxiety?!”

 

 

I am now two months into my freelance life and it is definitely looking a lot brighter. I have more of a routine and I have realised how important a daily schedule is for my mental health. My anxiety could have stopped me from following my dream, but this time I didn’t let it. My tips for anyone considering going freelance whilst suffering from anxiety are as follows:

 

DON’T EXPECT TOO MUCH OF YOURSELF

Be kind and patient with yourself. Starting your own business is a huge thing and something that takes time. Don’t expect to be earning ‘x’ amount of money each month or to be living a certain lifestyle.

It is great to have goals, however putting pressure on yourself will result in guilt and anxiety. Work hard and learn to roll with the punches.

 

CREATE A NEW DAILY ROUTINE

It is likely that your daily life will change going freelance. I went from working eight hours a day, five days a week to working completely for myself at home. One of the biggest obstacles I found for my mental health was to find a new routine that worked for me. I no longer had to get up at 7am, but I still choose to because I work well in the morning.

A routine is so much more than just knowing what you are doing at certain times. It makes you feel secure and gives you purpose.

 

KEEP IN CONTACT

Working freelance definitely has its pros, but it also comes with cons. One con is that you will be on your own a hell of a lot more and that can be hard on mental health. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love my own company, but sometimes it does tend to get a little lonely and the feeling of cabin fever starts to set in.

Make sure to keep in contact with family and friends. Maybe try working somewhere other than your home too to experience a change of scenery. I went a step further and bought a puppy to keep me company!

 

H x

One response to “The Reality of Going Freelance With Anxiety”

  1. nikita2829 says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, I had been wondering about this, especially as someone who sometimes idolises freelance work as the opposite of office life!

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