Days like this

It’s not like us to be all doom and gloom, but some days, it takes 200% more effort to get out of bed and make an impact on the world, and that’s especially true when the weather isn’t playing ball.  If you live in the UK, you will know all about it. We’ve had a miserable, grey, wet November and it just seems to get worse.

As independents and freelancers, we have no choice but to push back the covers and try and make the best of it.  It’s not an option to give in, because the responsibility is all with us – creating, selling, and doing the admin.

To top it off, there’s the pressure of knowing that work will be slow to dead in December and that you’ve realised you hadn’t fed the piggy bank enough to get through that. It will be a lean Christmas for many of us this year.

A sage friend recently told me ‘it won’t always be like this’.

Enough doom and gloom! There are coping strategies for days like this, and here are our tried and tested tips.


1.  Work with others!

We aren’t advocating that you give in to a permanent job, oh no. But picking up your laptop and heading to a co-working group, or ‘jelly’ will really lift your spirits and help you to realise that you are not alone, either physically or emotionally.  Obviously, we think our Pop-Up Co-working events in London are just the job, but if you aren’t lucky enough to be based here there are lots to choose from.  In the UK, the UK Jelly site lists all the groups in your area.

2. Take a coffee break with a friend

Sitting at your PC hoping that you are going to feel better, or finally get around to finishing that project isn’t going to work.  Stop. Pick up your coat and scarf and take a break.  Find someone close by to take a break with and change the pace of your day.  You’ll be amazed how much more productive you’ll be when you get back to your desk.

3.  Connect with your environment

For me, that’s the local Park, but to be honest, it could be the City or your local Mountain. Just somewhere where you can tune into the sounds, smells and culture of the place that you live and work. There’s nothing like reconnecting to make you feel that you aren’t alone; that you are part of something much bigger.

4.  Help someone else

We often forget what we are good at as freelancers. It’s so easy to lose confidence in yourself.  But helping out another freelancer with their business issues won’t just give you a warm glow, it will remind you that you are valued for your talents.

5. Share it

We know.  Facebook is a blessing and a curse isn’t it? But use it to your advantage and share your day with others. You’ll be amazed at how much positivity you’ll get back in return and it could be enough to get you back on track.

6. Get inspired

There’s no one method for this, it completely depends on you.  It could be a couple of hours at a Gallery, or it could be a day volunteering in your local community.  It could be an hour watching some of the Do Lectures or Ted Talks on your PC.  But it is important to remember that very few people have success handed to them on a plate and that amazing things come from the unlikeliest of places and people.

7. Forgive yourself

We’re very good at beating ourselves up, aren’t we?  For not being fast enough, clever enough, as good as everyone else.  What if we could be happy being good enough for today?

Tomorrow is, after all, another day.

Who is Alex Butler

Hello, I'm Alex Butler and I founded the KindredHQ community and blog back in 2011 after I re-started a freelance career. I LOVE freelancing and I wouldn't swop the freedom, control and joy of working for myself for anything. But I realised how much I missed the company and energy of other people - of having a team around me. So, I got a few people together one day with our laptops, a jar of coffee and some jelly babies and we sat and worked together one afternoon. We've been doing that every week in London, UK since then! I am still 100% freelance and I like to share the everyday highs and lows of being a freelancer here on the blog.


  1. Illuminate Communications Reply →

    Great tips.

    Sometimes the sharing of business challenges and bad days is better done offline (or out of the public space) for obvious reasons and so myself and another brilliant freelancer have a one-to-one weekly ‘arse-kicking’ session to motivate each other at the start of the week and help negotiate any hurdles.

    Usually involves a few laughs as well and so the Monday Blues vanish away.

    Definitely agree that sharing helps.

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