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Prioritising your mental health

Going freelance means you’re in charge of your day and get to plan things exactly as you choose. One of the potential downsides of working for yourself is that you don’t have that camaraderie of working in a salon. If a client complains, only you can deal with it; if you haven’t posted any work on social media for months, only you can change that. While you might be working alone, you should never feel alone; read on for our tips on keeping your mental state healthy and balanced.

Take a break

If you’re finding yourself dwelling on a lack of bookings or lack of social engagement, that means it might be time to reflect on all the things you have done, and you can only do that by giving yourself a break. We don’t mean booking a flight; taking a break can be something as simple as taking a morning or an afternoon off.

Giving yourself a window of time allows you to zone out, rest or get active. Taking a walk can free up some valuable mind space and has been proven to improve our mood. Make the decision to take a break and then sit down with pen and paper and write down what you have achieved, what you’re proud and what you’re grateful for. Keep this as a regular reminder of how far you’ve come.

Stop scrolling

It’s so easy to spend hours on social media looking at your competitors or the pros who inspire you and question as to why you’re not where they are. At times you might even feel envious – and that is totally normal. There is no set path on the freelance journey, so don’t beat yourself up about where you’re at or how you feel. It’s great to have monthly and yearly goals and aims but if you don’t meet them, just think about why, and what you can do next time.

Instead of focusing on social media, take regular breaks. You can even set limits on how much time you spend on each app, and your phone will cut off your access once you’ve reached that limit. Or tell yourself you’ll spend one hour per day on social, to check if clients have been in touch. No need to look at what anyone else is up to!

Be kind to your mind

Every single day is an opportunity for a new client, a new booking or a new experience. Taking time out is the easiest way to stay refreshed so that you’re actually able to take on these new opportunities.
Whether you’re a nail tech, a massage therapist or a hairdresser, fundamentally you are a creative person. This means a visit to an exhibition, a botanical garden or even hanging out in a café could inspire you to try something completely new.

Keeping your eyes open also means you keep your options open. If you do have a packed schedule and can’t plan any breaks, at least take five minutes out of your day to use an app such as Calm or Headspace for handy, short moments of meditation.

Also look for hair and beauty business communities online or check out the Freelance Hairdressers Association or the National Hair and Beauty Federation – you are not alone and you never need to feel like you are.

If you do feel that you need a professional’s help you can research online therapy or look up someone who’s close to you. Betterhelp is a relatively new online resource that aims to match you with your ideal therapist, anywhere in the world. These days we can have therapy via Zoom, so there’s no excuse to leave your mental health as your last priority. You can’t give your clients your best if you’re not checking in with YOU.

Further reading: Apps to help you unwind