Maintaining Your Physical, Social & Mental Wellness as a Gig Worker

As the year comes to an end with Christmas festivities and new year resolutions near in sight, many would take this time to reflect and unwind with family and friends. When you’re in an office-bound job, that’s easy to do. You simply leave the office, take a few days off work and come back when it’s time to start working again. As a digital gig worker, that narrative is not entirely the same. When you’re working from home the line between work and play can get blurred and many articles these days showcase the negative consequences on the wellness of this gig economy workforce. But is it all bad?

As a participant of the digital gig economy that currently provides an opportunity for 11,000 SupaAgents across Southeast Asia to work and earn from home, we’re advocates of the digital economy. To back it up further, experts also predict that by 2020, half of the American workforce will be doing a form of gig-work and that’s just in the USA alone!

graph depicting freelancers to be majority of U.S. workforce
Freelancers are expected to become the majority of the U.S workforce by 2027. Source: Upwork

To say that it does more harm on the wellbeing of gig workers compared to those working a traditional office job would be unfair as it ultimately depends on the individual. With that being said, we fully support the need to maintain your wellbeing as a gig worker.

To help with that we’ve compiled a few tips together that gig workers can carry out to maintain their wellbeing. As wellness is such a broad thing to grasp, we’ve broken general wellness down to physical wellness, social wellness and mental wellness.

Physical wellness

Admittedly since a lot of the work that you may do as a digital gig worker would involve sitting in front of the computer for longer hours than usual, it’s important to take care of your eyes. There are many ways to do that as this article shares but some main takeaways would be to apply the 20-20-20 rule (after 20 minutes of looking at the computer screen, look at an object that’s 20 feet away for 20 seconds) and to keep your distance from the screen.

While you’re taking the time to rest your eyes, go ahead and move your body as well. Doing simple exercises such as chair squats or shoulder stretches regularly would help to reduce the risk of obesity, backaches and bad posture. Something you definitely don’t want!

stretching yoga woman body

Creating an ergonomic workstation at home can also be beneficial for your body and productivity. From setting the right height of your chair to altering the amount of light that your work desk receives, all these play a role in your overall physical wellbeing. Zapier has compiled an extensive list of suggestions to improve the ergonomics of your workspace. Some tips include keeping personal decorations on your desk to a minimum and by using different colours to invoke the emotions or feelings that you’re looking for; red to stimulate your pulses or blue to help maintain concentration.

Social wellness

Working from home may be a dream for many introverts or people who are easily distracted but any good thing in large doses can become unhealthy. Often times, working remotely starts out well, there’s so much peace and it’s so easy to concentrate! However, if you’re not careful, you might notice yourself withdrawing from people more; this is when being alone (which is okay) turns into loneliness (not okay). Feeling lonely not only affects your social well-being or your happiness, but it also affects your work performance. So it’s in your personal and professional interest to make it a priority.

One obvious cure to loneliness is to talk to people! Make it a weekly occurrence to catch up with a friend for a movie or a meal. You can also change up your work location occasionally and choose to work from a co-working space or cafe instead. Even if you’re not communicating with others, being in a social environment can do wonders compared to the deafening silence you might experience at home.

two women la

Filling up your social quota doesn’t always require you to physically move. There are also many online communities on Slack and on Facebook which you can join. This not only allows you to chat with others who are in a similar boat as you, but it can also result in idea sharing and new friendships!

Mental wellness

Interestingly enough, when we asked our SupaAgents which they thought was more important to prioritize out of physical wellness, social wellness or mental wellness, most chose mental wellness

poll result importance of wellness

When you start thinking about it, it’s not hard to see why. Like the saying “healthy mind, healthy body”, your physical and social wellness is affected by your mental wellbeing as well. If you’re not maintaining your mental wellness, negative thoughts can lead you to being reclusive and to you abusing your body by not eating right or exercising enough.

So what can you do to keep your mental health in check? Again we turned to our SupaAgents for some insight:

poll results maintain mental wellness

A big majority shared that they participate in activities that involve others in order to maintain a healthy mind. This comes back to spending time with close friends or loved ones or by dedicating your time to improve the life of others through volunteering.

At the same time, it’s hard to ignore that others also find comfort in doing activities for themselves. Some indulge in meditating through using apps like Headspace or by just grabbing a few books and diving into fictitious worlds. Ultimately it’s important for you to know what works for you and to just be aware of keeping your mind happy. For a quick guide on the different ways that you can take care of your mental wellbeing, have a read of this list that Mental Health Foundation has put together.

With these tips at hand, we hope that it helps lead you to greater overall wellness and happiness. Not only would it result in a happier you, but it will also have positive effects on your productivity at work and your relationship with others. We hope that maintaining your wellbeing will be on the list of resolutions for the new year for many of you! From all of us here at Supahands, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Not a gig-worker yet and want to join our team of 11,000 SupaAgents that are earning online with just their laptop and internet? Find out more about the opportunity here and apply today.


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