Happy Monday! How are you doing? I am fighting a little head cold. Being in the middle of a large project, the last thing I want is to be sick. Which sets a good basis for sharing another guest post about staying healthy and fit as a freelancer :) This time, a great colleague and a young mother Emeline Jamoul is sharing her experience.
How to stay fit and healthy
When I read that Olga was looking for contributors to her new series, I couldn’t help but take part. Recently, staying fit has become a significant interest of mine for several reasons. First and foremost, I am mom to a five-months-old baby and losing that baby weight was definitely much needed. Secondly, starting my freelance business and working from home resulted in less commuting and less moving around in general. It was definitely time to join that gym and try to eat less of the sweets I indulged in when I was seven months pregnant.
Move your body to keep your mental sanity
Currently, I am going to the gym twice a week. I have never been fond of treadmills, rowing machines and the likes. Instead, I’m attending group classes, which are less tedious and have a team spirit that I enjoy. Wednesday evenings are for an abs and glutes workout. It is quite hard, but definitely rewarding when you realize that the exercise you couldn’t even do at the beginning of your membership gets increasingly easier for you. On Saturdays, I go to my Taibo lesson which I wouldn’t miss for anything. As much as abs and glutes can get tedious, Taibo is so much fun - I would recommend it to everyone. It is a very intensive workout but it allows me to unwind – late invoices? Baby crying all day? Famine period? Marketing strategy not working? All the negative things that happened during the week are out of my mind the minute the music starts to play. As a constant multi-tasker (translator/entrepreneur/mom/wife/need I say more?), it is invaluable to get some me time. These are just two hours out of a long week, but they are definitely much needed and just the perfect balance for me, at the moment. It also allows me to meet new people and to be in a different environment (working from home can get suffocating pretty quickly). I am lucky to have a great instructor – she is funny, motivating and knows what she’s doing. She challenges us to give our best, which is a trait that I was looking for.
Eat healthy but do not starve yourself
Let’s just get to the point – I love food. I love eating. I could eat all the time if my metabolism allowed. There is something so satisfying about eating, right? Currently, I’m trying to find the balance between eating healthy and still enjoying what I eat. This is a pretty big challenge for me because I’ve never really looked at what I was eating before (sad, but true). So I do try to cook more rather than just to unfreeze a random pizza. I also try to eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day. But the hardest challenge for me is not to give in on snacks. I am trying to discipline myself into a new routine: no snacks for one day = 1 square of dark chocolate the next day (yummy AND healthy!). Hopefully, this will work.
Work hard, play hard
Taking some downtime is also very important. When was the last time you read a good book, grabbed a coffee with a friend, went to the cinema or just took a stroll in your local park? Probably too long ago. I try to make sure that for all the hard efforts I deliver during the week, I get some reward at some point. It might be as ridiculous as watching an episode of Revenge. But the point is that my brain needs to disconnect from work. One of my main resolutions for 2014 will be to spend less time in front of screens (be it my laptop or my TV) in order to relax my eyes.
As you can see, I am just at the beginning of my journey, but I feel this is such an important issue for freelancers. We are constantly pressured by tight deadlines, sometimes working late into the night in order to deliver the best quality possible. We need to remind ourselves that our health, both psychological and physical, comes first and that an unhealthy translator will not lastlong.
Emeline Jamoul is an English to French and Spanish to French translator. She specializes in medical, environmental, IT, marketing and business texts. A lover of languages since her childhood, she decided to found her own freelance business, In Touch Translations, in 2013. She recently organized the International Translation Day 2013 project, an initiative launched to raise awareness about the state of translation and to increase the pride of fellow translators in what they do. Check out her website, blog and find her on Twitter and Linkedin.