Ah, the birds are singing sweetly, fragrant blossom fills the air, and the first rays of sunshine begin to gently awake the animals from hibernation. Okay, freelance life isn’t a Disney movie, so maybe you haven’t even noticed yet. For those of you who have been glued to your laptop in your home office, newsflash: spring is here! And with it comes the sweet promise of picnics, vitamin D and even being able to leave your Big Coat at home when you go out for your daily walk. Thanks to the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, winter has felt like even more of a slog than usual this year, so we’re ever so grateful that warmer weather and longer days are on the way. Because weather can have a huge impact on your mood, we’re calling on freelancers everywhere to embrace spring and reap the benefits of a new season. Here are our top tips for how you can spring into action this season.
Have a spring clean
The necessities of high-calorie snacking and coffee-chugging through winter may have left your desk looking like a disaster zone. Spend a morning clearing out the clutter and crisp packets, give the surfaces a wipe down and your screen a dust. A sparkling office will make it more inviting to get to work each morning, and organising your desk will also help you prioritise any outstanding tasks. Choose a spray or disinfectant with a floral fragrance for that extra dash of sensory uplift – just call us Mrs Hinch!
Pick up some flowers
Having fresh flowers around the house has been recommended by many as a way to improve your mood and care for yourself in lockdown. If you can’t get outside as much, bring the outside in. Flowers offer a visual pop of colour to stimulate the creative parts of your brain, and the scent will bring you calm and focus. It doesn’t even have to be an expensive luxury – bunches of daffodils are available for only £1 from most supermarkets at the moment and look just as gorgeous arranged in a pint glass as they do in a fancy vase.
Open the curtains
Tempting as it is to work like a hermit, it’s time to throw those windows open, let the light in and get some fresh air. Even if the view from your window is more “grey and gritty” than “green and pretty”, having the curtains open will give you a boost. Exposure to daylight acts as a stimulant, making your brain more acute as you power through the day’s to-do list. It also helps to set your circadian rhythms, meaning you’re more likely to settle easily into a deep and peaceful slumber when you go off to bed. We’re not meant to live in the dark 24/7!
Treat yourself to some new houseplants
That peace lily that you bought in a pre-lockdown panic last year might now be looking a little worse for wear. Brown crunchy leaves and dead flowers aren’t bringing anyone any joy. Once you’ve cleared the desk of the dirty mugs and piles of paper, it’ll probably be looking a bit sparse too. A houseplant (or five) is the perfect spring pick-me-up for your home office space. As well as looking lovely, houseplants have a number of benefits to health. In one study, houseplants reduced fatigue and headaches by 20-25%. They’ve also been shown to improve mood, boost productivity and reduce stress. Grab some greenery and get to work.
Go for a lunchtime walk
It was difficult to persuade ourselves out the door in the rain, wind, ice and snow throughout winter, but now the temperature is raised up to “light jacket” status, there are no more excuses! We bang on a lot here about the benefits of physical activity, but that’s because the evidence is so strong that getting out even for just a leisurely stroll will boost your health both mentally and physically. If lockdown has made you bored of walking in the same areas, spring will bring changes with it that will make you see your local park in a whole new light.
New season, new cover
As you get sorted for spring, it’s also a good time to check whether your business insurance is up-to-date. Freelancer business cover is there to protect you in the event of a claim against you or your work. Dinghy insurance has been uniquely designed to fit the needs of freelancers like you, combining the cover you are most likely to need – professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance and business equipment cover – with a specialist Freelancer Assist service to help you chase unpaid invoices and deal with tax and legal matters. Dinghy cover can be switched on or off, which is particularly helpful if your work has a tendency to ebb and flow with the seasons. You can get your quote from our website or have a chat with our friendly team on 0116 380 5654.