We've all heard of work/life balance. Many freelancers try to implement this balance into our…
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Freelancers have a lot more freedom and flexibility than people who are employees of a company. When you freelance, you get to work the hours that are best for you and live your life the way that’s healthiest for you.
Too many freelancers, though, don’t embrace the freedom and flexibility of the freelance lifestyle. They spend too much time inside working on their computers and not enough time outside in the fresh air.
Does this sound like you?
Spending time in nature is actually one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves. Taking the time to literally stop and smell the roses has many positive effects on our physical health and our mental health.
When you’re a freelancer, you’ve got more of an opportunity than most people to take care of yourself by connecting with nature. Here are six reasons freelancers should get outside and smell the roses.
Six Reasons Freelancers Should Stop and Smell the Roses
1. Scientific evidence says spending time in nature helps us physiologically
Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, has become a vital part of preventative healthcare in Japan. The Japanese are not the only ones who have studied shinrin-yoku and verified the health benefits.
The National Institutes of Health recently conducted a study of shinrin-yoku too. They found that spending time in a forest promotes “lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do city environments.”
2. Nature is healthy even if it’s virtual
Virtual nature is better than no nature at all. If you live somewhere like I do, that has long winters and only a few short months of warm weather, it can definitely be difficult to connect with nature when there’s so much ice and snow outside that you can barely function. Spending time in nature can also be challenging if you live in a big city.
Virtual reality can help with this. A recent study from the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that people who viewed nature through interactive virtual reality then experienced a significant increase in positive mental health. So even if you can’t actually be in nature, you can still benefit from it.
3. Nature is just simply good for you
Scientific studies aside, spend some time outside and common sense will tell you it’s good for you. You’ll feel better naturally, both mentally and or physically, and that is good proof that nature is good for you.
4. You can combine nature with your freelance work
When you work for yourself, you can work anywhere you want. So if you’re not interested in spending time relaxing or exercising outdoors, take your laptop outdoors and spend time working in nature. Breathing the fresh air and hearing the birds sing is good for you even if you’re working while you’re doing it.
5. Nature makes you more mindful
According to Positive Psychology, “breathing in nature gives us wholesome sensory awareness.” When we spend time outside with nature, we become more mindful of what we see, hear, smell, and feel. Being more mindful can help you in your work and in all areas of your life.
6. Nature helps us with our work
The same Positive Psychology article mentions a University of Kansas study on the positive effects of nature. This study found that spending more time outdoors and also less time on our devices can increase our problem-solving skills as well as our creative abilities.
So spending time in nature not only helps you have a better freelance life. It can help you improve your freelance career too.
Take advantage of the freedom freelancing gives you. Stop and smell the roses. You’ll be helping yourself both short term and long term in your freelance career and your freelance life.
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Image by GLady
Sabina Lohr is a lifelong freelancer turned entrepreneur who created World of Freelancers to help others discover how to work for themselves online and live the freelance lifestyle. She’s always really enjoyed the freedom that freelancing brings, including several years on and off of working online while traveling and living abroad.