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Social Distancing: What You Can Learn from Freelancing Creatives

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

On a recent trip to California, the Coronavirus was just heating up. Government officials were asking people to please stay home and avoid going out to public places. Then there was the push to get people to order in and rely on delivery services.

Next, the term social distancing was popping up everywhere. On social media, people were demanding, begging, and shaming people to stay home.

By the time I left California and returned home, schools across the country were closed for the year. Non-essential businesses were beginning to close. This meant if you did not work for a company that could offer work-from-home capabilities, you were pretty much screwed.

The thought of staying indoors for days at a time is a frightening prospect. Believe it or not many of us do it every day.

Keep reading for tips on how to keep your sanity during social distancing and safer at home orders.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is a response to the Covid-19, also known as the Coronavirus. Although people are being urged to stay home, there are times when we must leave the house.

When you are out in public, you’re supposed to stay away from large crowds and at least six feet from other individuals.

As we saw during Spring Break in Florida, social distancing among younger people was an epic fail. Local governments were forced to step in and close popular beaches such as Miami’s South Beach. This forced many spring breakers to return home since colleges and universities had also closed.

What Does Freelancer’s Know About Keeping Distance?

Often when people think of freelancing jobs, they think of ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. Or food delivery services and dog walkers.

There is a long list of freelance opportunities that keep people in their homes and connected to their computers. These include:

  • Writers

  • Bloggers

  • YouTube Creatives

  • Virtual Assistant

  • Graphic Artists

  • Web Designers

  • …and more

In addition to freelancers, there is a growing population of people that work from home full time.

By default, we are the masters of social distancing. If we take too much time away from work, we don’t eat. Our clients want a timely turnaround, and we’re held to the deadlines we set.

Not leaving the house for days happens a lot. When working on large projects, losing track of the days of the week happens.

Working from home calls for people to be intentional about getting off of social media and engaging with society. It’s striking up random conversations with strangers in line at the grocery store or agreeing to have drinks with friends.

Keeping it Real About How Much Time You’re in the House?

It’s true, a lot of creatives rarely leave the house. Two years ago, I needed to purchase a new battery for my car. The AAA service person who showed up shared that AAA sells batteries and will come out and install it for me.

Reading the online reviews left me concerned. The majority of the negative reviews stated their lifetime warranty was voided because of low mileage on their vehicles. It turns out not driving your car for extended periods can shorten your battery’s lifespan.

Discussing my situation with the customer service representative had me realizing how little I leave the house regularly. There are trips to the grocery store, randomly venturing to the mall, or going out to eat with friends…my bestie relocated to Texas last year. #Tears

In reality, I' am a homebody. I spend my days producing written content and working on my manuscripts. There are days I’m up until three or four in the morning working. Sleeping the day away is not an option, so I have to force myself to get up by nine.

Did I say there are times when freelancers lose track of days? Yes, it’s true.

How to Command Your Days?

Social distancing by choice is different than social distancing by force. In today’s climate of Covid-19, people are being laid off from their jobs. Parents are panicking because they have to choose between work and staying home to watch their kids. Schools have shut down without any warning or preparation.

Sadly, some situations will be exacerbated by this pandemic. If it lasts too long, expect to see a rise in domestic violence, child abuse, alcohol and drug use, even upticks in violent crimes against strangers.

If people can’t afford their basic needs things will reach a breaking point. This is why focusing on our mental wellbeing is so important.

Turn Off the TV

During trying times, the media can be the biggest hindrance to your sanity. Avoid watching news programming that is repeating the same information over and over again. In Florida, there is a website sponsored by the Florida Department of Health, Division of Disease Control and Health Protection. It updates twice a day. Also, I find one reliable news source to stay abreast of what is happening worldwide.

Avoid Seeking Information About the Coronavirus

Be intentional about not going in search of information. Of course, you want to be aware. If you are checking news sources or going on social media to find information throughout the day, you’re doing too much.

Also, avoid engaging in lengthy conversations that are centered around the outbreak. You may not realize it, but the more you talk about it the more likely you will face levels of depression.

Plan Your Day the Night Before

Plan your day the night before so that you will be more focused and have something to look forward to doing. Parents with kids will need to help them with online schooling, which may be foreign to many.

As someone whose daughter participated in virtual school during her middle school years, the biggest challenge is keeping the kids motivated and on task. It can be frustrating. You’ll need to have patience and a good night’s rest.

Get Up as If You Have a Somewhere to Go

Don’t fall into the trap of sleeping in. Do continue to get-up at your regular time. Sleeping longer than normal is a sign you may be falling into depression.

Set your alarm, wake-up, shower and get dressed. Do not stay in your pajamas all day or let your overall appearance decline. Looking good as a part of feeling good.

Please, please, please stay away from contraptions like the desk table which allows you to work, watch TV, and eat from the comfort of your bed or couch. Working from home requires proper ergonomics to work smarter and healthier.

Cook Your Meals Instead of Carryout