Self-Care Habits for Writers: What Are You Doing During COVID?

Evan Jensen

Have you tapped into any self-care habits during COVID-19 to reboot, feel better, or clear your mind to do better freelance work?

Even for work-at-home freelancers and self-described introverts, lockdowns, restrictions, and social distancing have taken a toll.

Honestly, I try not to think about the hours of lost productivity on freelance work spent on helping kids at home with online school. Frustrated is a good way to describe it.

Can you relate?

COVID fatigue is a real thing for freelancers. And without some self-care habits in place, it can make you feel sad, bored, lonely, anxious, fearful, AND frustrated.

Good news. More and more people are getting vaccinated.

Bad news. It’s going to be a while (no one knows for sure), before things go back to “normal.”

And that means there’s bound to be more uncertainty and isolation (depending on where you live). 

How do you deal with it as a freelancer? Sink into despair, binge watch shows, mindlessly scroll social media, eat?

That’s been the common response to COVID fatigue for a lot of writers, freelancers, and other people trying figure it out. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Good self-care habits can help you steer clear of those pitfalls and thrive as a freelancer during uncertain times.

What are you doing to take care of yourself during COVID? Tell us about it in the comments below.👇

6 signs the pandemic is taking a toll on your freelance work

If you’re struggling to make money writing, get clients, or move up and earn more, you’ve got to figure it out.

Maybe you’re simply not doing enough marketing (often the case).

Or you need to refine your skills to pitch editors and reach out to businesses with a letter of introduction. These are skills you can learn and develop EVEN during a pandemic.

But that may not be the thing holding you back from freelance success.

If you are feeling the drain of COVID-19, it can look like this:

  1. You know something isn’t right.
  2. You are sad or anxious. 
  3. You’re not sleeping well. 
  4. You’re tired of feeling isolated. 
  5. Maybe you don’t feel like doing anything. 
  6. Or you’re just ready to ignore all the warnings about COVID-19 and go back to life the way it was.

Sound familiar?

If any of these statements ring true for you, it’s time for some self-care habits to help you break free of a frenzied mind, relax, reboot, and…you know…make money writing.

Self-care habits can include things like:

  • Reading a good book
  • Taking a hot bath
  • Going for a walk
  • Spending time with family and friends (in person…social distancing rules may apply. Or via a phone call or virtual meeting)
  • Spending time on a hobby you enjoy
  • Exercising
  • Massage therapy
  • Carving out some me-time to do WHATEVER you want
  • Even shopping for new clothes or enjoying a treat can count as self care

Pick a non-work related activity and non-clean-up-the-house activity you enjoy, and make it part of your work week or daily habits.

Self-care to get to a happy place

I spent most of 2020 chasing client deadlines, while trying to manage online school with three kids (so many interruptions!).

And we’re still kind of in the same situation. Freelance work…online school…hang out at home.

If it feels like you’re living your very own Groundhog’s Day, you’re not alone.

I wasn’t about to let COVID fatigue take me down last year, so I laced up my running shoes and ran a ton of miles:

  • 6-Half Marathons (13.1 miles)
  • 13-Marathons (26.2 miles)
  • 2 -50Ks
  • 4-50 Milers
  • 2-100 Milers
  • Plus training miles, strength training and rest days
  • TOTAL: 2,023 miles in 2020

Running…it’s my happy place. I ran 185 miles in January, and freelance work is off to a great start in 2021.

If you want to prevent COVID fatigue, you need some self-care habits to clear your mind, reduce stress, crush your freelance goals, and keep going.

Tell us about your self-care habits to be a better freelancer

If you’ve been struggling to stay focused, get motivated, or any other feelings or behaviors with this pandemic, how are you dealing with it? 

Or maybe you were in a funk, and self-care helped you climb out of that hole.

If you’re not there yet, reach out for help, or pick a self-care activity and get started.

When you create self-care habits for yourself, you’ll feel better. You’ll be healthier. And you’ll be a happier and more productive freelancer.

What self-care habits do you recommend? Share in the comments.👇

Evan Jensen is a freelance copywriter for health and fitness businesses. He’s also the blog editor for Make a Living Writing.

Grow Your Writing Income.


  1. Tom Owens

    Even Jensen, thanks for reminding us we are not alone, as writers AND people. I break up any self-pity parties as soon as possible. I don’t want to be “guest of honor” to these events. Instead, I present myself, via self-ceremony, another cup of tea or bottled water. Make your rewards into AWARDS. Earn them!

    • Evan Jensen

      LOL. That’s great!

  2. Audrey Ryan

    Holly crap, Evan! 2023 miles in 2020?! That’s amazing.

    • Evan Jensen

      LOL. Thanks. Just feel a lot better about my workday, decision making, focus, creativity, with a run, walk, or some form of exercise.

    • Carol Tice

      Yes, Evan is our model of productivity! He’s an inspiration to the whole team here at the blog and the Den community.

    • Evan Jensen

      LOL. I think there’s plenty of writers here with better productivity habits than me. Brain’s kind of on overload and constant interruption with freelance work and kids doing online school.

  3. Diane+Young

    Yep, I’m reading, watching Acorn shows, eating, and really doing nothing. Then last week, I stepped down from my van and turned my ankle, which resulted in breaking the bottom of my tibia.
    Not a bad break, but I’m wearing a foot-to-knee air cast for the next six weeks and haven’t dared to try to drive yet. I’m not too anxious to try to work the gas and brake pedals with the big, clunky air cast and risk having an accident! Plus, sitting in a chair at my laptop with the cast on the floor makes my foot and leg ache after 10 minutes. Trying to use my laptop on my lap in bed hasn’t worked well at all either. Aaarrrggghhh! Consider yourselves lucky, you guys!

    • Evan Jensen

      Good grief. That’s quite a way to step into 2021. Heal up!

  4. Sasha Kildare

    Mental health and wellness journalism taught me a lot. However, I learned about effective self-care firsthand through my own research as it was critical in learning how to manage the bipolar depression and addiction that derailed me every summer as a young adult.

    My 5 main tools are exercise 5x a week, sleep as #1 priority, no sugar, white flour, and minimal processed food so blood sugar kept on an even keel, a gratitude journal, and meditating 5-10 minutes a day. I feel so strongly about all that I learned that enabled me to get my life back over 2 decades ago, I wrote. a book about it coming out in March “Intact: Untangle the Web of Bipolar Depression, Addiction, and Trauma.” (It is in part an information guide with tip sheets explaining the science and how to employ various self-care strategies.)

    • Evan Jensen

      Sasha. That’s amazing. It’s so easy to dismiss 5 minutes of meditation, mindfulness or quiet, as useless. But that little bit of focus every day has a big impact on the way we see ourselves, our work, and the world.

    • Carol Tice

      I’m in awe of people who can do the no sugar or white flour thing. Obviously I try to keep that down, but can’t really imagine going cold turkey to NONE of it. Chocolate IS part of my self-care program!

      But you’re giving me a good reminder to get back into the mindfulness program I bought…

  5. Williesha Morris

    Wow Evan that’s quite an accomplishment!

    I do love watching TV but I often did it as a reward for doing something good for me: work, showering, eating well.

    I also did a lot of volunteer work to keep busy and a TON of reading .

    • Evan Jensen

      Hi Williesha. Some good TV AFTER checking off a project and volunteer work are both great ways to keep COVID fatigue away

    • Carol Tice

      My kids are always asking why I only watch TV at night… because we work, and THEN we play, kiddos.

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