Taking Care of Your Health as a Freelance Translation Professional

When it comes to your health, it doesn’t matter if you a a freelance translator, freelance interpreter or some other kind of freelance translation professional. The important thing is that you take care of it, which is many times easier said than done.

Why You Should Worry About Your Health

As a freelancer, it can be easy to neglect your health and put it on the back burner, thinking that you have more important things to do like find clients, do actual language work, or improve your language skills.

While those are all very important if you want to be a successful freelance language professional, they will be much harder to do if you are not healthy enough to even do them in the first place.

  1. Your health is the foundation. Some people have the mistaken idea that health is only physical. That is simply untrue. Health affects every aspect of your life. Of course it affects the physical but it also affects our emotional and cognitive state as well. If you have poor health, you will suffer in those other areas as well. Conversely, if you have good health, those other areas will be positively impacted as well.

  2. Good health can combat stress. Almost every entrepreneur will suffer stress at some point. It’s a natural occurrence when we are face with something new such as starting a new business. As a freelancer, you will face stress. That’s not important. What is important, however, is making sure that you deal with it properly. And research shows that one of the best ways to deal with stress is to exercise regularly. If you’re not doing that, you’re allowing your stress to affect you more negatively than it should.

  3. Heath affects our life outside of work. Contrary to popular belief in need some circles, your work should not be the most important think in your life. Things like family, friends, social relationships, etc. are really what should drive you. And positive health help you be your best self for those things. We all have competing priorities in life. Knowing how to best handle those priorities becomes much easier when we take care of our bodies first.

  4. You’ll be a better translator. Or interpreter. Or whatever kind of language professional you want to become. As I mentioned earlier, health can positively (or negatively) affect your brain. This means that if your prioritize your health, you will be smarter, think more clearly, and become a better language professional.

  5. You will have more confidence. When you take care of your health, you will begin to see physical changes in your body that you enjoy. Maybe you’ll lose weight, gain muscle, or learn to stand up straight. Positive changes in your body will lead to greater confidence. Greater confidence will lead to more positive interactions with your customers, potential clients, and other language providers.

OK, now that you know about just a few of the benefits of prioritizing your health as a freelance language professional, it’s time to talk about how to make that happen. Not surprisingly, this usually takes the form of getting rid of some bad habits and adding some positive habits in your daily routine. If you’re just getting started on trying to be a healthier freelancer, here are ten things you can do to start:

  1. Get rid of temptations around the house. You already know what food you have around the house that is bad for you. You know what food you buy at the store that you use as a crutch to eat when you want to waste time and not work. If you have any of that around the house, you have to get rid of it and decide right now that you aren’t going to buy any more of it.

  2. Stop drinking the grande frapuccino at Starbucks. It’s fine if you want to work out of the local coffee shop because you get stir crazy in your house trying to work. However, if you want to stay healthy, stay away from eating most things on the menu at the coffee shop. Stay away from the breads and the drinks (especially the drinks). If you have to buy something in order to use the free wifi, stick with buying fruit cups. It’s expensive buying fruit that way but the toll on your body from eating that other stuff with be even more expensive.

  3. Replace sweets with sweet fruit. Speaking of fruit, you should be eating more of it. Ditch the sweets, ditch the sodas, ditch the smoothies. Instead, fill up on your favorite fruits. They are cheaper in the long run and you will fill much more energetic as you work.

  4. Set up a meal schedule. One of the biggest hurdles for people that stay home and work is having a specific time set up for eating meals. If you work from home, it can be easy to sneak in to the kitchen whenever you get bored, eat something that you find in pantry, and not really stick with a specific meal plan. Instead, set aside 1/2 for breakfast and lunch every day. Stick with eating at those specific times each and every day. If you need to eat more often, incorporate specific snack times (along with appropriate snacks) and then don’t deviate from that plan.

  5. Move at least once every hour. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day is terrible for your health and your posture. Don’t fall into this trap. Get up at least once every hour and walk for at least five minutes. Your back and shoulders will thank you. Your eyesight will be grateful. And your cognitive abilities will stay sharp. This is a must for optimum health.

  6. Try to sweat every day. If you want to increase your stamina or strength beyond your current level, you’ll need to do something more than just walk a few minutes a day. However, instead of trying to come up with a complicated workout routine or aerobic schedule, all you have to do is follow this one rule for getting in shape. Try to work up a sweat at least once a day. It could be from anything. As long as it gets your heart rate moving and your sweat flowing, it counts as a workout.

  7. Go for a walk at least three times a week. One of the hidden gems of exercise and healthy living that nobody really talks about is the power of walking. Walking is great for anyone that wants to stay fit and keep active. It’s low stress on the joints, it can be done easily by yourself or with someone else, and you can make it as relaxed or intense as you want. Do it at least three times a week for an hour each time and you’ll be in better shape than most of the freelancers out there.

  8. Limit your eating out. Don’t eat out if you can help it. There is usually no benefit to spending your money and your calories eating out. Your health will be much better off if you limit the times you go out to eat. If you can’t eliminate it completely, at least cut back to at the most one time per week, less if at all possible.

  9. Munch on vegetables throughout the day. As I mentioned above, if you need to eat more than three times a day, eat vegetables for your snack time. This is also a great tip if you don’t usually like to eat vegetables with your regular meals. Lots of people prefer raw vegetables over cooked vegetables. To make it easier, cut up a bunch of vegetables at the beginning of the week and put them in the fridge so that you have easy access to them when you get hungry for a snack.

  10. Try to work part of the time standing up. Try to avoid sitting down at your desk or on your couch as much as possible while you are working. You should already be getting up every hour to do some shots walking or stretches. Improve that even more by standing up as much as possible. A popular option for lots of people are stand-up desks, for example, which allow you to either sit or stand throughout the day. Anything that gets you moving your muscles, even if it’s only a little, is much better than sticking with a sedentary state.


If your body is healthy but your translation business needs some work, be sure and check out Translation Rules.

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