Independance from the getgo/Stay Healthy

As a freelancer you might know how difficult it is to squeeze in some time for your health.  It is vital to get some exercise just as it is important to sleep.  Not only is exercise smart for your heart and weight, but it can make you smarter and better at what you do.

So how do you find the time to do this?  I am guessing you have a few of those jobs in your “in” basket that you know you are not getting paid very well for.  So why are you doing them?   Instead of taking that bottom of the barrel job when business is slow, STOP!  Go for a walk and get paid to do it.

Rather, I challenge you to get a newspaper route.  Walk every day.  You know, loose weight—feel great.  I am getting some of what has been touted as the best sort of exercise, walking, and making a little cash to do it.   With that little bit of cash, you don’t really have to take every job that comes your way.  I will talk about that in another article about negotiation.

And I love walking in the fresh, crisp morning air.  I can see stars I have never seen before and I like to study the moon in all it’s colors and shapes. Yesterday I watched the lunar eclipse in it’s entirety while passing out papers house to house.  I run into animals I never otherwise see, and sometimes but seldom there are other early morning risers.    I have recently found walking is nothing new to writers for creative inspiration and I have often used a walk for ‘clearing my mind’.  Mostly though, I have the neighborhood to myself, and I am listening to my favorite podcast.

Get yourself a route.

newspapers delivered to my front porch at 3 a.m.

So does this sound like you?  Fresh air?  Time alone? Exercise? Your local newspaper will have routes available and will probably post it in their classifieds. There are always a routes available.  Request a small route, just to try it and if it is near your home, better yet!  My paper delivers the papers to my home so all I have to do is organize them and go out the door.  It should take you just a few weeks to decide if this is right for you, and here are a few tips to start.

  1. Have a look at your route in the daylight before you start.
  2. You will be given a list of the addresses with instructions on how they like their papers delivered.  Get that down from the beginning.  It does not hurt to get to know your subscribers personally.  If you ever get into trouble and they have a light on, you will be amazed how helpful someone can be at three in the morning!
  3. Draw a map with directions.  Sometimes the circulation department will supply that for you, but if not it is easy enough to do.  You might make changes as you go along but just have it for yourself.  You will thank yourself.
  4. Figure out how long you think it will take to walk that route.  Give yourself an extra hour each morning for the first week. This might seem extreme but you will find yourself looking for house numbers, safe walking areas, and just sorting it all out. Don’t get frustrated.  It will take a little time to memorize it all and when you do, it will cut your time in half.
  5. Set alarm and go to sleep.  If you are a tosser and turner, you might want to get up earlier, or not go to bed until your papers are available. Then set aside time in the morning afterwards to sleep.  After a fresh morning walk, you will be impressed how easily you will go to sleep and the quality of rest you get.  Another trick my doctor okayed and I would suggest you talk to yours anyway is over the counter melatonin.  Not a sleeping pill but an aid and you will be able to get up when you want. Another, if you are worried about aches and pains, take some aspirin or my favorite is naproxen sodium.  Your choice, before you go to bed or after you get up.

Enjoy yourself. You are not getting paid much, but a very good time to think, clear mind and create.  If you are inclined, take a small note pad to jot down your thoughts.