Wellness Tips and Tricks for Freelance Hospitality Workers
Freelancing in the hospitality industry can be both rewarding and demanding. The greatest thing about working freelance is flexibility and control - you have control over the hours you work, meaning that you can invest your time where you see fit.
Flexibility appeals to people who are pursuing other work - such as creatives, small business owners, and entrepreneurs who need to top up their wage packet by taking on short-term work at their convenience.
Freelance work also appeals to people with families who need to balance family life and childcare. However, at the end of the day, balancing work, personal life, and maintaining good mental health can be a challenge, even with the flexibility of being a freelancer.
In this guide, we will explore practical strategies to help freelancers in the hospitality sector navigate their professional lives with wellness tactics because there is nothing more important than your health.
Self-Care for Hospitality Freelancers
Working in a dynamic industry like hospitality often means irregular hours and high-stress environments. You only have to look at the recent popularity of cooking dramas like The Bear and Boiling Point to begin to get a sense of the outside world’s perception of the hospitality industry, and it is one of high stress, high intensity, and poor mental health.
There is a reputation in the industry that, like the ‘starving artist’ cliche of the fine art world, restaurant owners are expected to throw themselves into their business and give it their all. In reality, whilst commitment is needed, you should not push yourself to the point of exhaustion.
Remember, the hospitality industry is a team-based industry - plan ahead, delegate, and share efforts within the team so that the pressure is not piled on to one individual.
Prioritising self-care is crucial. Start with the basics - ensure you get enough sleep, eat balanced meals and find time for exercise. Incorporating mindfulness techniques like meditation or yoga can also help in reducing stress levels.
If you don’t want to visit yoga classes, or if you cannot afford meditation sessions, there is an infinite amount of free content online at your fingertips for you to try.
Preventing Burnout and Exhaustion
Burnout is a common challenge in the hospitality industry, and it most commonly occurs after an extensive period of high-intensity working without any breaks.
Whilst current popular culture glamorises ‘the hustle’ and working for long periods without stopping, burnout is a serious issue. Not only will it affect your health, but your work productivity and your working capabilities will also drastically deteriorate.
Don’t take the risk - take precautionary steps to avoid burning out.
To prevent burnout, it's important to establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Set realistic work hours, take breaks, and don't be afraid to say no to additional shifts when you feel overwhelmed. Remember, taking care of yourself allows you to provide better service to your clients.
Effective Planning and Time Management
Efficient planning and time management are essential for freelancers. Without time management, the flexibility of the role can quickly become a curse.
Many people enjoy being on a fixed timetable because they get used to knowing where they are supposed to be and when. However, given the nature of freelancing, a regular schedule is not always realistic. If you do not keep on top of your timetabling, then your different freelance jobs can easily catch up with you and cause added stress.
Use tools like calendars and task lists to organise your schedule. The Brigad app makes it easy for you by listing all of the missions that you take on. However, to really stay on top of things, it’s also a good idea to keep these missions in your personal calendar too.
If tasks in your personal life begin to pile up and become complicated, you should begin prioritising tasks based on their urgency and complexity.
Also, remember that work isn’t everything. Allocate time for breaks and relaxation, ensuring you have a healthy work-life balance.
Maintaining a healthy social life is vital for your mental well-being. Make time for activities you enjoy outside of work. Connect with friends and family, and participate in social events. Strike a balance between your professional and personal life to avoid feelings of isolation or overwork.
Mindful Consumption of Alcohol
In the hospitality industry, it's common to socialise with colleagues after work. While it's important to build relationships, it's equally crucial to be mindful of alcohol consumption.
Set limits for yourself and know when to stop. Opt for non-alcoholic alternatives and prioritise your well-being. You should also watch out for your friends if you notice them becoming reliant on alcohol as a way of de-stressing after work.
Why not plan alcohol-free activities with work friends? Try outdoor activities like team sports or hiking, or arts and crafts classes. When we associate drinking as being a social activity, it can be difficult to socialise outside of bars and pubs. That’s why it’s best not to develop this habit, you will feel much healthier in the long term socialising away from the bar.
Seeking Support and Community
You're not alone in this journey. Seek out communities of freelancers in the hospitality industry. Engage in forums or attend industry-related events. Sharing experiences and advice with others can provide valuable insights and create a sense of belonging.
Freelancers in the hospitality industry face unique challenges, but with the right strategies, you can thrive both professionally and personally. Prioritise self-care, prevent burnout, manage your time effectively, maintain a healthy work-social balance, be mindful of alcohol consumption, and seek support from your community.
Remember, your well-being is an essential part of your success as a freelancer in the hospitality industry. By implementing these strategies, you'll be better equipped to navigate the demands of your profession while enjoying a fulfilling and balanced lifestyle.
Looking to pick up more work? Connect on the Brigad app today.