I’m sure there are less dramatic ways of taking a fresh look at your life than having a heart attack, (as happened to me last week), but unfortunately we aren’t always offered a choice.
It casts just about everything in a new light, but for obvious reasons, the main effect is to make you consider your lifestyle in terms of health.
Because we’re freelancers, without the safety net of most long-term employees, we’re particularly vulnerable, making it all the more important to focus – if just for a little while – on some key issues.
But how to capture these in just 300 words? All we can do here is suggest a few key words, with a promise that we’ll be discussing each of these over the next few days in the ProZ.com Facebook group, where you can share ideas and read of others' experiences.
One crucial area is physical fitness and exercise. As a recent convert, I’d make a special case for yoga – a discipline that’s good for both your physical and mental health, and is available now in every town and city. While we’re on the subject, have you looked into standing desks? The benefits are pretty easy to research, and it could be the most valuable investment you make this year.
Diet is also central to our performance, as is hydration – there’s nothing simpler than drinking water, but so many of us forget to do it.
There can be enormous benefits to having a stable daily routine, with “me-time” set aside each day… you might want to research the “5am Club” online for the whole world that opens up.
On the emotional side, friendships, a healthy social life, and practices such as meditation can play a huge role.
The quantity and quality of your sleep is another vitally important issue. Do you nod off while still squeezing the last drops of juice from your social media accounts, or do you banish all electronic devices from the sanctuary of your bedroom?
And if you do all this and still get struck by an unexpected illness (and I certainly hope you don’t!), two failsafe back-up measures are taking out proper health insurance and making sure you have at least one or two close colleagues you can delegate to when in need.
Some things in life just can’t be avoided, but at least you can prepare yourself as well as possible for every eventuality, helping you both cope emotionally with nasty surprises and bounce back as soon as possible…