Most of my jobs have been semi-active, from my very first job at a movie theatre where I would rush around on my feet cleaning cinemas and serving customers, to my last full-time job before traveling, which was working as an office assistant for a law firm. In this position, each day I would do two ‘runs’ to the courts (either District or the High Court), which were about 20-30 mins walk away, each way. During the rest of my shift I would do hourly runs around the building delivering mail and such (thrilling work, I know).
I was always on my feet and never really had to worry about staying slim because I was so active.
Since being self-employed and constantly nearby my fridge, I have gained quite a bit of weight.
I was very bored in Christchurch and maybe even a little depressed – I didn’t feel like going to the gym and walking around a city that was still in shatters from the earthquake was pretty depressing too. I just worked (a lot), occasionally went out to eat and hung out with family and friends.
If I had to do things over differently, I’d change quite a few things. Here are some tips for keeping healthy when self-employed:
1) Get a Standing Desk
It’s really unnatural to sit on your butt so much. Unless you’re becoming a self-employed personal trainer or the likes, chances are your work is going to have you on your butt! I bought a standing desk attachment when I was home and actually found it really good. I felt a lot more energized when I was standing up than I did when I was sitting. I did, however, have my chair nearby so when I felt like I needed to sit down I could. You also burn more calories standing than sitting which is good for the waistline.
2) Get Health Insurance
In New Zealand we have public health care which is pretty good, but it’s still a good idea to look into private health insurance as the coverage is much more considerable and extensive. For Americans out there, private health care is absolutely essential. If you’re based in Australia, I suggest you check out HBF health insurance for their affordable coverage plans.
3) Maintain Your Exercise Habits (or Increase Them)
This is a little embarrassing to admit, but when I first started to make a decent amount of money online, I decided to forgo most of my usual weekly exercise. Hourly chunks of my day became potential ways to earn money. No longer was I limited by the 40 hour work week – I was instead limited by my enthusiasm for earning money. I would think about an hour at the gym (with transit each way) as a few hundred dollars in lost income, rather than something important I needed to do for myself. It started off slowly, just thinking I’d miss this ‘one session’ which then quickly snowballed into almost all of them.
4) Don’t Make Money Your Everything
Following on from point 3, make a conceded effort to ensure that you don’t become obsessed with work and prioritise things above it, such as time with friends and family, your health and of course SLEEP. I know a lot of friends who are self-employed that are consistently up until the wee hours of the morning working and then up again early to continue where they left off. While earning money is great, and being in charge of your income is also great – it’s not worth sabotaging your health or sleep over.
Are you self-employed, or have you been?