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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MUJ chapter.

As I sat in my pajamas at noon, staring at my laptop screen with a Maaza in hand, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony of my situation. Here I was, a proud member of the gig economy, living the dream of working with HerCampus and being able to talk about anything and everything.  But as I glanced around my cluttered hostel room, I couldn’t shake the feeling that my dream, and the freelance writer in me, had turned me into a hermit crab with a Wi-Fi connection.

It dawned on me that while the gig economy had given me the freedom to work from anywhere and anywhere, wearing formals, or forementioned pajamas (don’t judge, it’s the freelancer’s dress code), it had also turned me into a master of procrastination and a connoisseur of weird work rituals. My journey has taken me on a hilariously bizarre ride. I would like to confess that it was a huge creative block that inspired this article. I was talking to my senior about it and got to thinking about my situation and researching it. And I came across this topic- “The Gig Economy”.

“The Gig Economy” has revolutionised the way people work, offering flexibility and autonomy to individuals seeking alternative employment. However, it comes with its own set of challenges that can have a significant impact on mental well-being.

Freelancers encounter a range of challenges that can have a profound effect on their mental well-being. The irregular income and unpredictable cash flow associated with freelancing can lead to significant stress and anxiety about financial stability. Personally, the fellowships and internships just come and go. Writing has become more of a hobby now than when I wanted to be an author or a journalist. Even when you’re remotely interning, working independently without the social interaction and camaraderie of a traditional workplace can result in feelings of loneliness and isolation. Balancing periods of high workload with potential lulls in work can create stress and uncertainty, making it difficult to plan and maintain a healthy work-life balance. The blurred line between work and personal life can lead to burnout and increased stress levels, as freelancers often find themselves working longer hours and struggling to separate their professional and personal responsibilities.

While the gig economy presents its fair share of challenges, it also offers numerous opportunities for individuals looking for flexibility and independence. We have the freedom to set our own schedules and work from anywhere, providing flexibility that is often not available in traditional employment. Generally, freelancers have the ability to work on a variety of projects, allowing them to diversify their skills and experience, which can be beneficial for personal and professional growth. The gig economy encourages an entrepreneurial mindset, empowering us to take ownership of our careers and pursue our passions.

Now after talking to a few friends I made during my old fellowship, we can attest to the fact that establishing set working hours can prevent work from encroaching on personal time and allow for proper rest and relaxation. I remember when I would start working at absolutely any time and when I wasn’t, I would still be thinking about what more I could do. Also, creating a designated workspace, separate from personal areas, can help maintain a clear distinction between work and personal life, promoting a healthier work-life balance. As an 18y/o in college with my parent’s hand in everything, financial management has never been a concern for me but I still suggest creating a detailed budget which provides a sense of financial security and helps alleviate stress during lean periods. For me, I’ve just given myself a 100-150rs per day cut-off, unless there is an emergency.

I will always encourage prioritising your health by incorporating regular breaks throughout the workday as it is essential for preventing burnout and maintaining productivity and focus. Moreover, engaging in regular physical activity can help reduce stress levels, boost mood, and improve overall health and well-being. Don’t become a couch potato like I did!

Seeking support and building a community of like-minded individuals can provide invaluable support, collaboration opportunities, and a sense of belonging. Becoming a member of professional associations within the field can offer access to resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities, fostering professional growth and development. For someone starting out, there are a lot of fellowships open to high school students and college freshers.

The gig economy has brought about a paradigm shift in the way people work, offering both opportunities and challenges for freelancers. By understanding the impact of freelance work on mental health and implementing strategies such as establishing clear boundaries, engaging in financial planning, prioritising self-care, seeking support and community, and utilising technology and tools, we can successfully navigate the demands of the gig economy while safeguarding our well-being.

In this fast-paced and constantly evolving landscape, it is crucial for us to prioritise and take proactive measures to ensure a sustainable and fulfilling career. By creating a supportive environment, implementing effective strategies, and embracing the unique opportunities afforded by the gig economy, we can not only survive but thrive.

Buckle up your seat belts because I am going to tell you about myself. So, sit down and enjoy the experience of my 2 a.m. caffeine induced blabbering. Mentally stuck in the 1970s to 90s rock era, I laugh and joke all the time even if the conversation is dead serious and throw jokes like confetti. Every text I send has a "cat-on-keyboard" which y’all call a keysmash. I’m very proud of my lingo which everyone just keeps adapting but eh, iconic, I guess :P I am that hyper kid who dances and sings all the time but in public will be so silent until I’m comfortable. Music is my whole personality- half the time I’m talking, just assume I’m quoting lyrics. My response to a single dopamine hit from a good song is listening to it until I have wrung out every last neurotransmitter out of it. I’m constantly making impulsive decisions out of boredom, such as starting my own magazine, but eh, they all turn out so swag. *chef’s kiss* My personal work style is closer to spontaneous bursts of energy than organised and consistent efforts. Being from a quintessential fauji Punjabi family, I’m from everywhere and nowhere but I completed my schooling from Navy Children School, Mumbai and am pursuing my B.Tech. in CSE w/ DS at MUJ. My other goals are to finally get a license for Scuba Diving (which yes, I’m giving more importance than a driver’s license but can you blame me 🏃‍♀️). Jokes apart, I sincerely hope you all like my work. Thank you for being here <3