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Self-Care Secrets for Freelancer Superheroes

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Jordan Baker, Founder – Focuster

3 February 2017

For freelancers and entrepreneurs, taking care of business is top-of-mind every day. But how much attention do you give to taking care of yourself? Increasing self-awareness and self-care can help you take your freelance career to new levels and boost your overall well-being. Here are five tips to prioritize well-being every day.

1. Meditate

meditate
Regular meditation brings a spaciousness to your thoughts and increases your clarity and focus. You don’t have to sit in half-lotus, just find time each day to bring awareness to your body, your surroundings, your thoughts.

Meditating can be as simple as closing your eyes, putting your hand on your stomach and breathing until you feel your nervous system calm down a bit.

If you’d like more guidance and feedback, there are apps, including Headspace, 10% Happier, Insight Timer and Heartmath that provide a simple guided program.

2. Be Conscious About What You Put Into Your Brain

focus
Digital culture is full of distractions. From alerts and notifications and timers and alarms, it’s common to feel overwhelmed by our devices and to-do’s. When you consciously cultivate a clear mind, you avoid mental clutter and reduce distractions. To create a clear mind you can:

  • Turn off notifications on your phone
  • Don’t start your day with Facebook in bed
  • Schedule news and social media for a break
  • Put your phone in do not disturb mode

Most important is to understand the cost of carelessly ingesting information, even if it’s the TV at the gym. Train your attention to be at your command, not the other way around. Instead of mindlessly consuming you can:

  • Be with your own thoughts
  • Find 10 things you can feel truly grateful for
  • Consciously choose an inspiring podcast to listen to
  • Become comfortable with silence. It’s ok not to look at your phone for 5 minutes

3. Food as Fuel: You Get Out What You Put In

productivity
It’s a mistake to ignore your body. If you start the day with a bagel and a cup of coffee, you’re going to get a sugar high and a bolt of adrenaline. It feels productive but it will be short lived. You’ll crash and find yourself needing more caffeine and sugar in the afternoon to make it through the day.

Diets that help you focus are high-fat diets. Fats help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you feeling full longer.

Entrepreneurs and freelancers have extraordinary demands on their focus and extraordinary demands on their capacity. A low-carb, high-fat diet has been shown to have numerous cognitive benefits, including improved focus. My favorite resource for newcomers is Going Bulletproof for Beginners.

4. Don’t Skimp on Sleep


A good night’s sleep is vital to overall well-being. One study found that getting only six hours of sleep is the equivalent of being drunk.

A lot of entrepreneurs are just sprinting toward an undefined finish line. I’m not saying there’s not a place for the occasional all-nighter, but I hear “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” way too often.

Everybody’s physiology is different. Some people can do well on six hours of sleep. You probably won’t know that, though, unless you get more sleep and see how you do first.

5. Deal with Emotional Issues

focus
Emotional issues that you’re not dealing with steal your focus. Whether it’s the conversations you wish you would have had with your spouse, or resentments you have with a colleague or client, they’ll creep into your consciousness until they are dealt with.

Mindfulness can help with this. When the issue comes up, reflect on it, hopefully, get some insights, and deal with it so you can free up your energy and your focus.

Even just one of these tips could have an amazing impact on your health and by extension your success. Try them out and let me know how it worked for you!

— Jordan Baker

 

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