It’s “Blue Monday”, apparently the most depressing day of the year. The day when a combination of the weather, returning to work after Christmas, an empty bank account, lack of motivation, and failed New Year’s Resolutions hits us hardest. While there’s no real science behind the calculation of the date, January can be a depressing time for freelancers. So how do we deal with this Blue Monday, or any day when we’re feeling particularly glum?
#1 Plan a break
The concept of Blue Monday was first created by a travel agency to market winter holidays. Despite no evidence for the date, it can feel pretty miserable switching your laptop back on if you took time off from freelancing over Christmas and New Year—even if you love what you do. To counteract this, plan your next time off, book a holiday, or schedule some interesting days out. Planning to take a break can give you things to look forward to.
#2 Pay yourself
January can feel like the longest wait for pay day ever. While some freelancers pay themselves as and when, one of the great things about freelancing is being able to manage your own payday. To avoid the long gap, pay yourself once a month like you would in an employed job, but schedule it for regular intervals. And keep a savings pot for those times when you run out of money or a client doesn’t pay up on time.
#3 Set balanced goals
Over New Year, you might have set resolutions or goals for your freelance business for 2019, and 21 days into the month your inspiration for them might have waned. Rather than ditching them, plan your goals and and break them down into small, achievable chunks. Eat away at them bit by bit every week and every month. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day because you had too much work—but don’t let your goals fall by the wayside either. It’s all about having balance.
#4 Beat the weather
One of the amazing things about freelancing is you can choose where you work. In the summer, that means working from the garden, park, or another joyous outdoor venue. But in the winter, it can feel like you’re stuck in the house all the time if you work from home. To combat the weather, try working from a co-working space, coffee shop, or library. Choose an inspiring indoor venue, or if you can, travel somewhere warmer and work from there.
#5 Find motivation
It’s easy to feel demotivated in January, so figure out what motivates you and keep reminding yourself of that. Maybe it’s earning enough to plan your next adventure or growing your business to take it to the next level. Whatever it is, find something that motivates you and create a visual reminder, as that can be even more effective when you need that extra kick.
Your freelance life
Blue Monday and miserable January don’t need to bring you down! As a freelancer, you control your working life, so you can make it work for you. If you’re feeling blue this month, figure out what’s causing it and do what you can to improve the situation. You’re free to make whatever changes work for you, so your freelance life is positively rosy.
As a freelancer, what makes you blue? How do you deal with down days? Do you have any Blue Monday strategies? Comment below or get in touch.