As part of International Stress Awareness Week, a network of freelancers have come together to share their tips to staying ahead of the game and keeping mind, body and soul in check.

We Are The Allies

We Are The Allies

And with more and more people leaving full-time permanent employment to seek solace being their own boss, the focus is fully on less stress, more success!

Emily Brinnand, 29, from Manchester works as a freelance producer and is a member of We Are The Allies – a creative network of freelancers. Emma is also a trained life coach. Having turned her back on full-time permanent work two years ago, Emily is a big believer in prioritising positive mental health and making life less stressful and shares her advice: “Change your perspective. Rather than seeing a problem, enjoy finding the solution. Enjoy looking out for yourself. To get to this stage takes self-belief, confidence and dedication,” she says.

Disturbingly, mental health charity MIND have found that more than 50% of all UK workers claim to be affected by poor mental health in the workplace.

  • Almost one third - 32% - of UK workers no longer enjoy work as much as they used to
  • 19% of UK workers said that they don’t have time to see a medical professional about their mental health
  • Over one fifth - 22% - of UK workers said that they are too busy to think about their mental health, despite having consistent symptoms of anxiety/depression
  • Over a fifth - 21% - of UK workers would like to see someone about their mental health but worry that treatment would take too long
  • A fifth - 20% - of respondents said that, as a freelancer, they feel that they cannot take time away from work to address mental health issues as it would be a detriment to the business
  • 15% of UK workers have had to turn to payday lenders or short-term finance solutions due to inconsistent payments from my freelance work
  • A quarter - 25% - of UK workers can’t afford big-ticket commitments such as weddings, holidays, and home improvements due to the freelance payment structure
  • Almost a quarter - 23% - of UK workers work between 2 to 5 jobs at one time to support my income

These findings follow research published as early as 2011 that stress and other mental health concerns have been the primary cause of sick leave across the country, and earlier this year it was reported that stress and mental health is also the main cause of sick leave for NHS workers; according to NHS Digital Statistics; who themselves work in the healthcare sector.

The North’s first freelance creative network, “We Are The Allies’ urges professionals to think about their health when it comes to work.

We Are The Allies Director, Pavan Riyat-Ward, says: “Such statistics are shocking. Over the past six months alone, we’ve noticed that more of our creatives are telling us that they’re feeling the health benefits of working for themselves as freelancers as opposed to when they were in full-time employment.

“Many of our team actually seem to be reaping the benefits both mentally and physically which can come with working as a freelancer.”

Award-winning We Are The Allies was set-up in April this year and is now taking the Advertising and Marketing industry by storm. With 200 highly talented creatives on the books so far - across a broad spectrum of creative disciplines, this is one of the largest virtual creative departments in the North and the firm has won their first accolade, having been awarded Best Freelance Creative Network 2019 by CV Magazine.

Top Tips to Make Your Career Less Stressful and Work for You.

  • Work out exactly what makes you feel good
  • Write down 3 things you’re grateful for everyday
  • Write down 3 positive intentions for each day
  • Live with intention both in your work and life
  • Surround yourself with good people and good energy
  • Take that break you think you don’t deserve or have time for
  • Develop some sort of mindfulness practice
  • Put the effort into creating a work-life harmony
  • Stop striving for the unrealistic work-life balance
  • See your life as an ongoing cycle full of lessons and chances to keep trying
  • If you need support, ask for it
  • Listen to yourself
  • Look after yourself
  • Believe in yourself

Emily adds: “Instead of striving for the unrealistic work-life balance, strive for that work-life harmony, where you see everything in your life as a cycle, that’s interlinked, where each part enables the other to thrive, to make you feel good, fulfilled and happier.”

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