Freelancing is a rapidly growing community for those who want to leave the 9-5 grind of the corporate world. Likewise, there are no office-related problems and no commute since freelancers can work in their homes or any place with a fast Wi-Fi connection. There is flexibility and freedom to control time and workflow while earning cash.
However, while freelancing has these multiple benefits, freelancers aren’t exempt from the health risks of working in such an industry. Not only does one need to manage time for work, but they also need to be accountable for themselves – to manage and take care of their health daily. If not, a freelancer could experience these common health issues:
Freelancing entails working online from home, making them face their computer screens for longer periods than usual. Although you don’t need to commute to work, you do need to face your computer screen to work every day. With this, your eyes could grow tired and puffy from the harsh light of the screen, and this doesn’t even count your leisurely time scrolling through social media.
Spending too much time facing your digital screen could result in digital eye strain, which can cause redness, blurry vision, dryness, temporary inability to focus on faraway objects, and itchiness. If left unattended, it can cause discomfort and negatively impact your work. Eye strain is a huge issue for freelancers since work mainly focuses on them being online.
Although work is important, managing your eyes and overall health should be your biggest priority. As a digital entrepreneur, your health is your biggest asset, as all your creativity and capacity to function stems from it. The Top 12 Health Concerns for Entrepreneurs is a must-need topic you need to familiarize yourself with, especially if it means practicing good health habits and feeling good while working in freelancing.
Broccoli, Spinach, and Squash
Eating broccoli, spinach, and squash helps alleviate eye strain. These leafy greens and yellow-orange varieties have carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These two are compounds found in your retina, particularly in your macula located at the back of your eye.
The macula in your eye is essential for vision, and lutein and zeaxanthin are important pigments that protect your eyes from harmful free radicals. More particularly, these pigments protect your eyes by absorbing excess ultraviolet and blue light. In a 2015 study, diet-related loss of these pigments results in damage to the human eye, whereas diet-related supplementation results in a protective layer to the lens and retina.
Even freelancers who typically work non-traditional hours may sometimes suffer from sleep deprivation, excessive sleepiness, and insomnia. Having a change or shift in working hours can make it worse for them. Such freelancers are vulnerable to sleep issues due to the difficulty of adjusting to waking and sleeping times.
Additionally, there are even freelancers that opt to work longer hours to finish more tasks. However, the excessive dedication may negatively impact your health as you prioritize work over sleep.
Moreover, insufficient sleep makes you vulnerable to infectious diseases, makes you irritable, and causes impairment in learning and memory. When you’re sleep deprived, your focus and attention tend to drift elsewhere, making it harder for you to understand and receive information.
Chamomile Tea, Almonds, and Walnuts
It’s important to remember to limit your caffeine and alcohol intake at night if you want a good night’s sleep. On the contrary, drinking chamomile tea and eating almonds and walnuts is best.
Chamomile tea is a popular herbal tea that reduces inflammation and boosts your immune system. Additionally, chamomile is helpful if you want to improve sleep quality. A 2011 study found that those who consume chamomile tea twice daily fell asleep faster than those who didn’t. Those who also took the tea also experienced less waking at night.
Almonds and walnuts are also helpful in alleviating sleep problems. These nuts are a source of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your body clock and signals your body to prepare for sleep.
Almonds may also help boost sleep quality as well. Almonds and other nuts are rich sources of melatonin. Melatonin regulates your body clock and signals your body to prepare for sleep. Moreover, plant-based food such as nuts has the highest melatonin levels, whereas eggs and fish for animal-based food.
Freelancers work behind a desk for long periods. With this, sitting in the wrong position without enough support could reduce blood circulation in your muscles and tendons. Poor circulation can put tremendous pressure and stiffness on your joints, leading to backache.
When you sit with good posture, you allow your muscles to function correctly and avoid your body’s abnormal wear and tear. However, lousy posture stresses your joints, increases muscle fatigue, and causes them to wear faster.
Moreover, backache doesn’t only affect your physical condition, but it could also impair your concentration and memory. You’d have difficulty focusing on your work because of the physical discomfort, and the chronic pain may cause a significant disruption in your attention and memory.
Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Yogurt, and Milk
Deeply-colored vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes are the key ingredients to reduce back pain. These two vegetables are rich in beta-carotenoids, an antioxidant that controls inflammation and protects against harmful cell damage. A 2019 study found that low levels of beta-carotene heighten one’s risk for spinal health issues. Moreover, dietary supplementation with fruits and vegetables prevents the formation of spinal health issues.
Not only this, sweet potatoes are considered a “superfood” since they’re packed with vitamin A, fiber, and potassium, so you can always expect various health benefits once you include this in your diet.
Yogurt and milk are also beneficial in alleviating back aches. Since bones are your body’s natural calcium storage space, you’ll need calcium to help keep your vertebrae healthy. Not only does calcium help in relieving backaches, but it’s also essential in keeping aging conditions such as osteoporosis and osteopenia at bay. Calcium significantly contributes to bone mass, helping your body avoid bone weakening.
Although freelancing does have its benefits, it’s also helpful to remember and maintain an excellent work-life balance. Doing so allows you to set boundaries for yourself, promote your health and divide your work and personal life. In addition, although it’s important to eat healthy with the nutritional foods listed above, it’s equally important to check in regularly with your doctor.