When I first started my business, staying healthy as a freelance marketing consultant was a challenge. I still struggle. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of running your business.
Please remember. You’re only human! And as a human being, there are things that everyone needs to do to stay healthy.
So here are ten ideas on how to stay healthy as a freelance marketing consultant.
- Consider meal prepping healthy foods
When you get busy, it’s easy to reach for junk food. You’re hungry from all the work you’ve been doing, and suddenly, a pizza or fast food sounds like a great idea.
Don’t do it!
Instead, consider meal prepping healthy foods.
Cook up a big batch of healthy food on Sunday. Put a couple of containers in the fridge and a few in the freezer. Now you can grab quick and healthy meals throughout the week.
Meal prepping has three benefits: first, your body will thank you for the healthy food. It’s hard enough to run your consulting business, don’t add health problems to your plate.
Second, those healthy foods are high in energy. So, you will have the extra burst of energy to finish your work instead of taking a two-hour nap.
Third, this is an excellent way to save money. It may not seem like it, but fast food and take-out costs a lot more money than cooking at home.
- Don’t skip meals
When you skip meals, your body goes into “starvation mode.”
Starvation mode happens because, over time, your body has learned to equate the lack of food with a potential famine. So rather than burning energy, it holds onto it for dear life!
Skipping meals makes you want to eat more when you do finally eat. Your body craves fatty, sugary, high-calorie food because it’s thinking, “I need to stock up for the famine.”
As a freelance marketer, you need all the energy you can get. Without the proper nutrition, you’ll lose energy and feel tired, which means it’s harder to be productive.
Not good when you have a schedule full of work from clients!
So don’t skip meals.
- Get a workout buddy that’s also a freelancer or entrepreneur
When you have a workout buddy that understands your lifestyle, you’ll be more committed to working out because you have someone counting on you!
Research shows that physical activity reduces stress, improves sleep, and boosts brain function. So working out will help you be more productive in your work.
Exercise can also help you think about things in a way that is more positive and productive.
A good workout buddy can inspire you to reach your goals and keep going when you’re tired, stressed, or overwhelmed.
One study revealed that picking a workout partner who you believe to be more fit than yourself might boost your exercise duration and intensity by up to 200%.
If you live in a city, I’m sure there are other freelancers in your area. Find one and workout out together.
- Find multiple ways to workout depending on the time you have
Your schedule will vary. So, how much time you have to work out will change too. But working out a little bit is better than not at all.
Find multiple ways to work out depending on the amount of time you have. That way, you’ll never have an excuse to skip exercising.
If you have an hour, do your usual thing. For example, go to the gym or your favorite class.
If you only have 30-minutes, find a good resistance band exercise routine. Resistance bands are lightweight and easy to transport, so they’re a great alternative when you can’t make it to the gym.
Last but not least, consider a 7-minute workout. A 7-minute workout is an interval training program designed to be done in the convenience of your own home with no equipment. All you need is a mat and enough space to move around!
The premise behind the 7-minute workout is that performing high-intensity exercise for short durations benefits both your body and mind.
If you don’t have 7-minutes to spend on your health, you’re doing something wrong!
- Set aside time every day to relax
Running a marketing consulting business is stressful. You need to set time aside to relax. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. Even 10 minutes can work. But you need to find a way to clear your mind.
Get outside. Taking a quiet walk in nature or meditation are my personal favorites. But it could be watching your favorite show after the kids are asleep or reading that book you’ve been meaning to read. Whatever relaxes you, do it daily!
If you don’t find time to relax, you will burn out. And for freelance marketers, burnout is deadly. It’s sort of the equivalent of writer’s block for a novelist or a sprained ankle for a runner.
If you burn out, your business will fail. You need to stay motivated and happy!
- Schedule time for extended self-care
Let’s expand a little on the subject of relaxing. Think about extended self-care as an advanced version of relaxation. Extended self-care is something you do every other week or monthly.
It’s when you get away for more than a few minutes or hours. So, not quite a vacation, but you’re still scheduling it ahead of time.
For example, go to a day spa and get a massage once a month. Or get a sitter and have a romantic dinner with your significant other.
Put your computer and phone away. Forget about your business and the emails pouring in.
If you don’t respond to an email for a few hours or even overnight, the world won’t stop. The same goes for phone calls, text messages, and social media updates.
So when you are engaged in self-care, turn off all distractions. Your work will be there when you turn everything back on. Believe me!
- Block of time for vacations early in the year
Running a business takes a lot of your time. Many freelance marketing consultants get consumed with work and don’t take vacations. You’ll get so caught up with finding your next client, next thing you know, it’s a holiday weekend, and you forgot about it.
When you worked in the corporate environment, I’m sure you got the standard 2-weeks vacation. Guess what? You’re now the boss. So you can take as much break as you need.
Build vacation time into your schedule. Try to block off dates at the beginning of the year even if you don’t know where you’ll go. That way, you can plan your client engagements around your vacation.
If you don’t block off time early, you’ll never do go on vacation. You’ll consistently miss vacation days because of “this project” or “that client.”
And finally, when you have time blocked off, it’s early to plan and communicate your vacation days with clients.
- Don’t be afraid to tell your clients no
As a freelance marketing consultant, one of the most complex skills you can learn is how to say no to a client. If you don’t learn to push back, you’ll get run over and taken advantage of.
Let me explain. You’ll have a contract with a scope. That scope will say you need to accomplish five objectives. Then, it will specify the deliverables for those objectives.
Suddenly, something changes for your client. Maybe an executive asked for further analysis. Or a competitor announced a new product.
So now your client wants to dump the extra analysis on you. And somehow, they’ll frame it as part of the current project. But you know it’s outside the scope.
They’ll get you on a call and explain how you’ll be doing them a huge favor. Over and over again, little by little, your project will get bigger.
So now you need to do more work but for the same pay and amount of time.
Don’t let this happen. Instead, learn to say, “no.” I mean it! You’ll thank me.
Or at least to say, “thank you for the opportunity to support you more. I’d be happy to add this to the project. I’ll get back to you with how much the additional work will cost.”
- Start a hobby that’s not related to your work
From my experience, business owners need to take up a hobby unrelated to their work.
I’m a busy guy, but I still find time for hobbies. My favorite hobby is what I call “tinkering” with wood. When I’m in my garage working on a project, I can clear my mind.
The whole world melts away. The day’s challenges are forgotten as I focus on creating something out of nothing.
A fun hobby is a fantastic way to step away from the hustle of running your business and relieve some stress.
- Find time to volunteer
It’s important to give back to others in need. Not only does volunteering give you a sense of purpose, but it makes the world a better place too!
When you volunteer, not only will you help your community, but also you’ll gain a healthy boost to your emotional well-being.
Researchers have discovered that volunteering can make you happier. In a March 2020 study in the Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers found that volunteers are happier than people who don’t.
Additionally, the benefits of volunteering include making new connections, improving your professional network, sharing your knowledge with others.
You’ll also find that volunteering is a marvelous way to create new clients without selling yourself. Not that gaining new clients should be your goal. But as you build your network and make new connections, new business opportunities naturally happen.
Take a little time to research volunteer organizations in your area. Find one that is close to your heart. Reach out to see if they’re looking for new board members or volunteers. Then, take the time once or twice a month to give back to your community through volunteering.
There are a lot of challenges when you’re running your marketing consulting business. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of working with clients, networking, etc. But it’s important not to forget about yourself too!
In this article, we’ve outlined some tips for how you can stay healthy while still growing your business as a freelance marketing consultant. We hope that these insights will set you on a path towards success as a “healthier” consultant.