Stress Awareness hub

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Want to improve your quality of life as a freelancer?

In light of National Stress Awareness month, IPSE is highlighting key issues surrounding stress and actions the self-employed can take for a healthier work-life balance.

As many as one in four people in the UK will experience a challenge to their mental health each year. And self-employment allows for potential career changes to reduce workplace pressure and stress, or to manage a more positive balance between work and self-care for mental and physical issues. Around 80% of freelancers feel that switching to self-employment had at least a somewhat positive impact on their mental health.

Our research has shown that along the self-employed landscape, job-related stress levels have fallen to their lowest levels since 2019.

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We've compiled a set of resources and guides to support your mental and physical health - so that you can feel well equipped to take the necessary steps towards keep your wellbeing in check all year round.

Discover real stories from members of the IPSE community and gain practical tips from industry experts to support you and your business.

Physical activity & wellbeing

Physical activity & wellbeing


How to stay active as a freelancer: A discussion with videographer Katie Stover

We caught up with freelance videographer Katie Stover on what staying active means to her and how freelancing affords her the opportunity to do the things she loves and live her life to the fullest.

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"If I’m feeling particularly uninspired in the middle of the afternoon, I’ll just stop and try to do something active, maybe squeeze in a quick trip to the gym or go for a run. Usually afterwards I’m in a much better headspace to get work done." 



Member Story: Consultant Naval Architect and Engineer, Andrew Comley

In addition to being self-employed in a fascinating industry for many years, Andrew shares his insight into how working for himself with Asperger’s makes his business stand out.

He shares how the flexibility of freelancing helps him manage chronic pain and allows him to create a schedule so that he can pursue a positive work-life balance and enjoy his favourite activity - mountain biking. 

Read Andrew's Story



IPSE Freelancer Active Club 

Being a freelancer allows you the flexibility to be your own boss and feel empowered to work on your own schedule.

Join the IPSE freelancer active club to connect with the community, stay active and stay motivated.

Whether you’re a beginner looking for your first step into spring to improve your fitness while working from home, or an avid adventurer looking for your next scenic route, join our community as we get active and boost our wellbeing one step at a time.

Join the club


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Incorporating fitness into your routine

On the Freelance Corner podcast, we spoke to Hannah Lewin, a personal trainer for some key tips on staying active and healthy. 

“The best time to work out is the day and time of the week that suits you,”

“There is no biomechanical benefit to working out in the morning, at lunchtime, in the evening, fasted, not fasted, all this kind of stuff we hear - it has no impact on your progress or on your results.”

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Five ways to introduce fitness into your day as a freelancer

Discover simple and practical tips. We spoke to Hannah Lewin, a personal trainer, to discuss how freelancers can incorporate workouts and fitness into their routines.


Guides and Advice

Desk Exercises for Home Offices

Home office workers often claim that they simply don’t have enough time to do any exercise. However, we will show you in this article how it’s possible to stay fit and healthy while working from home by using simple ‘deskercise’ routines - even with no or very little equipment.

Freelancing and Self-Employment with a Chronic Illness

Discover the range of support and options available for the self-employed to manage working with a chronic illness or condition. And find help from organisation and communities to boost your physical and mental health.

Self-employed health issues

Poor health can be one of the main causes of stress when you’re self-employed. Whether you’re just starting out, or an established freelancer, you may still need answers to questions such as; How to manage freelancing if you get sick, or how to deal with clients and projects during an illness?


Nutrition & Diet

Maintaining healthy nutrition doesn't have to be difficult or expensive.

Staying hydrated can simply mean upping your water intake to avoid feeling tired and dizzy as the day progresses.

Research shows that a balanced diet can support a healthy immune system and the repair of damaged cells. It provides the extra energy needed to cope with stressful events. Early research suggests that certain foods like polyunsaturated fats including omega-3 fats and vegetables may help to regulate cortisol levels. 

If you frequently rely on fast food because you are tired or too busy to prepare meals at home, consider discovering new recipes and planning your meals, a practice that can help save time in the long run, ensure more balanced healthful meals and you'll feel the positive effects. 



My favourite recipes to make working from home as a freelancer

Freelance Marketing Executive Orla Lyons-Hamilton shares her top recipes that she enjoys making from home during the working week.

Explore practical recipes


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A healthy balance goes a long way

We caught up with nutritional therapist Beth Edwards on the freelance corner podcast who explains, it's more about moderation than denying yourself an occasional treat.

Everyone wants to celebrate finishing a project or securing a new client. But taking a little time to incorporate nutrition into your daily life means you'll boost your overall wellbeing and gain energy to power onto the next challenge.

Make the most of IPSE's Food and Drink offers 

Discover Food and Drink Offers exclusive to IPSE members



Claim discounts on your favourite restaurants and delivery services for that perfect meal out or snack at your desk, including Graze, Bill's, and many more...


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Nature & Sustainability

Connecting with Nature & Sustainability

Connecting with nature can alleviate stress 

Research shows that having a relationship with nature is vital for supporting good mental health and preventing distress. 

Did you know that taking a 20 minute nature break has been proven to alleviate stress? Interacting and spending time among nature on your breaks during the working day can significantly transform your mood for the better. 

There are plenty of pockets of green parks and nature to find if you are living within the city. You can also bring the great outdoors inside by upgrading your home office with indoor plants to uplift your mood if you work from home. 

Take a look at how other freelancers in the IPSE community are inspired by being among nature, discover advice on how you can be more sustainable as a freelancer to help the plant, and explore how you can make the most of your time off work to boost your wellbeing.

Freelancer stories

Meet John Bloomfield, founder of Dogs, Mogs and Sprogs, and IPSE member.

After working in the insurance industry for years, John decided to leave it to pursue a job he actually enjoyed among nature and working with animals.

Having always had a passion for animals, John has found his calling as a professional dog walker and photographer.

John's love for his work and the positivity it has brought into his life has been inspiring for us all. 



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5 simple ways you can be more sustainable as a freelancer

By encompassing sustainable practices within your business, you will contribute towards directly improving the environment and ultimately reduce stress on your finances, peers and the planet. 

Follow our simple guide on how you can make your business more sustainable. 

Learn new tips



Freelancer stories

Secondary school teacher turned paper flower entrepreneur Clare Davies shares her story with us.

Clare discusses how she transformed her lifestyle by setting up her own business.

She delves into how she uses sustainable natural materials as a paper florist and how this informs the way she charges clients, advice on managing cash flow and her top piece of advice for freelancers.






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No matter the weather, there are so many great things to see and do.

Through IPSE Rewards you're guaranteed to find discounts on a new adventure ideal for you.
IPSE member exclusive
Plan your next adventure



The benefits of creativity

The benefits of creativity to relieve stress

Research shows that incorporating creativity into your lifestyle reduces stress. 

By incorporating the arts into your lifestyle, you’ll gain meditative time to switch off. Research also shows that even the briefest time spent on creative recreation such as pottery, painting or playing the piano has an impact on how we manage our emotions for the better. 

Studies have also shown that even just listening to music can profoundly impact your mood and boost your wellbeing, alleviates stress - and it has a bigger impact the older you get. 

Read on to enjoy listening to IPSE’s compiled Spotify playlists for the self-employed, gain practical tips on mental wellbeing and explore stories from the community that delve into the relationship between creativity and freelancing. 

Are you looking to pivot in your career into something more creative? Or simply would like to launch into a creative freelancing career? Follow our how-to guides on various creative endeavours that you think will be the perfect fit for your creative lifestyle.


Creative Freelancer Stories 

Have you been wondering about starting a new career or pivoting into creative freelancing?

Gain inspiration from these stories and learn new tips from real people who work for themselves, at various stages of their journey. 


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My Freelance Story: Photographer Jak Spedding

We chatted to freelance interior and architectur photographer Jak Spedding about what a typical working day looks like, how he finds clients, and his advice on anyone wanting to start a similar self-employed career



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My Freelance Story: Journalist Thomas Hobbs

We spoke to freelance journalist Thomas Hobbs about how he has secured bylines for titles including the Financial Times, the Guardian, the BBC, Dazed, VICE, the New Statesman, Billboard, Pitchfork and more, covering a wide range of culture and business subjects.



Podcast: Top mental health tips for creative freelancers  

Hosts Faye and Jess are joined by two guests, Sarah McCaffery and Rachel Murray. Sarah is from Solas Mind, a mental health support service for freelancers who work in the creative sectors. Rachel is a writer, editor, and founder of Pivot: a newsletter that helps people pivot in a new job, career path or industry.  

In this episode we explore the ways that creative freelancers can prioritise and look after their mental health.

How to tackle freelance burnout for the self-employed

IPSE research shows that many freelancers could manage the risk of burnout more effectively, with around 10% taking no time off work in the last year, and 78% working even while on holiday. But if you rely on your client income, it’s easy to let your good intentions slip without realising how much it can negatively impact your self-employment. 

Learn more



Curated Playlists for you

Looking for motivation to complete your freelancer admin tasks? Want to discover exciting new music? 

Dive into our Spotify playlists to discover inspiration and win work today. 



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Where next?

We have dedicated advice pages to help your physical and mental wellbeing whilst working from home but also on areas such as winning work or navigating the tax system. And to help and support you through all the challenges that can come with becoming self-employed, from chasing late payments to being able to work through power cuts and other emergencies.

View all advice pages



Physical wellbeing advice

Running a business, or freelancing and contracting for clients, can be busy, stressful and all-consuming, but Ignoring your health and wellbeing can have serious implications for you, and your business.


Mental wellbeing advice

We've put together a set of resources and guides to support positive mental wellbeing for the self-employed, combing our business knowledge with tips and advice from mental health and wellbeing experts.


Winning Work advice

Tips and advice to help you grow your business no matter what industry or sector you work in.


IR35 advice

Off-payroll working rules, otherwise known as IR35 or the intermediaries legislation, is a damaging taxation law from HMRC that IPSE strongly opposes.