One of the perks of being a freelance writer is the ability to work from home. Yet, remote writing has its share of unique physical, mental, and emotional downsides. Thankfully, you can significantly reduce the health risks that accompany a freelance writing career by “hiring” a canine coworker. You may even be surprised to learn some of the benefits of writing with a dog.
Your Physical Health
If you allow it, freelance writing can result in a very sedentary lifestyle. Your fingers get a great workout, but the rest of your body needs attention too!
Even if you work as little as six hours a day, those six hours spent sitting are shortening your lifestyle with every keystroke. The risk of suffering a heart attack increases dramatically. Your cholesterol skyrockets. Your metabolism plummets. And your posture and musculoskeletal system deteriorate. Believe it or not, you even face an increased risk of developing diseases like diabetes, and even cancer!
Granted, you face the same health risks working in an office as you do working at home. But at home you don’t have the same opportunities to combat those negative effects. In an office, you can get up to talk to coworkers, meet with the boss, or meander from room to room for meetings. At home, the only motivations to move around are the kitchen, bathroom, and, if you are really bored, the mailbox.
To reduce your chances of suffering from sedentary-related health risks, stand at least once every hour, and strive for 30 minutes of exercise daily. One of the easiest ways to ensure that you do these two things is by adding a dog (or two!) to your household.
You are entrusted with ensuring your pet has food and water, restroom breaks, exercise, and playtime. These activities force you to regularly get up. If you really want to beat the sedentary lifestyle health risks, get a puppy or dog that needs housebreaking or choose a breed that requires a lot of physical activity. You will have no choice but to leave your desk for walks and potty breaks.
Your Mental Health
As a freelance writer, you probably know a little bit about a lot of things. Unfortunately, even though your freelancing career increases your treasure trove of knowledge, your sitting routine strives to diminish it.
One of the biggest reasons why this happens is that, while sitting, your metabolism drops. This leaves your mental capacities starving for enough energy to think. You may think that sitting affords you the ultimate focusing ability, free of distractions, but studies show that movement is actually more stimulating than pure, unadulterated focusing!
Stimulate Your Brain
Writing and walking are not easily performed simultaneously. But you can still accomplish a fantastic brain boost with light activity completely unrelated to work.
Dog ownership opens the door to a variety of brain-boosting activities that can stimulate the minds of both you and your dog. Activities that combine mental stimulation and low-intensity movement include canine agility, flyball, obedience trials, and even musical freestyle dancing. In addition to having fun, you might even notice yourself growing into an even more efficient and effective writer as a result of the increased mental stimulation.
Your Emotional Well-Being
Freelance writing is a solitary activity. If you work from home, you could legitimately start and end the day without ever seeing another person. Regardless of whether you consider yourself to be an introvert or an extrovert, you need to regularly interact with other people to stay emotionally healthy. Slipping into solidarity is easy to do, but escaping from a habitually isolated lifestyle is not. This increases your risk of suffering from depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation.
If you do your writing from home, you need to make a conscious effort to be social. You can use your pet as an excuse to go to the park or trail. Furthermore, if you are naturally shy, your dog can serve as an icebreaker to meet people. Most people cannot resist saying hello to a friendly pup! You can also join a therapy animal program and use your dog to brighten the lives of people who share your solitary lifestyle, including patients in hospitals, hospice centers, and nursing homes.
If you love your job as a freelancer but want to minimize health risks, consider welcoming a dog to your life. Your canine co-worker will not only enrich your work environment, but could also save your life.
This article was written by one of our writers. The author’s views are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of WritersDomain.