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“I love this woman, and our morning coffee walks have been a legitimate sanity-saver while working for myself from home.” – Freelance writer/content producer.

When we think of “wellbeing” it’s easy to get caught up with the health and fitness aspects; however, Real Wellbeing is so much more. It focuses on seven key domains, including our finances, relationships, connection to the community, our sense of purpose, our safety and our feelings about the future. We followed the life of a freelance writer for a week to see how she supports her wellbeing.  

Age: 33 

Job: Freelance writer/content producer  

Lifestyle: Lives alone in a bustling inner-city Melbourne apartment while juggling work, study and an active social life 

Day one: Monday

Being a freelancer means no alarm screams at me in the morning, so I wake up at my natural time of 8am and stretch my way to the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea. I tell myself I am going to walk to the supermarket, get fresh produce and make myself something healthy to start the day. As I stare down into my bowl of Coco Pops, I console myself that that’s a job for tomorrow.  

I set my laptop up on the kitchen bench and check the news of the day, pretending that I’m not procrastinating. My best friend Mel messages me with times for our morning coffee ritual and, since it is now past 9am, I decide I will potter around, check emails and do some admin tasks until we meet up at 10am for a coffee, walk and ridiculous chatter. I love this woman, and our morning coffee walks have been a legitimate sanity-saver while working for myself from home.  

Come evening, I start my new online course in producing. Let’s see how this Zoom study works …  

Woman sipping tea and looking at her laptop

Day two: Tuesday 

I wake up feeling spritely and refreshed—class last night really set my brain working and I’m feeling positive about learning. I call myself out for being a nerd.  

My morning routine is rinse and repeat. I have tea and tell myself I’ll head out to get fresh produce, then check the news at the bench.  

Then it’s the usual coffee and walk with Mel. The sun is beautifully warm this morning! I’m catching up with some friends tonight, so I know I have to steam through client work and this coffee is giving me just the buzz to do so. I’m proud of the business I’ve been able to generate for myself and I like this particular project, so my day is looking good!  

Day three: Wednesday 

Woke up with a headache—definitely not a hangover—so my morning is slow moving. Coffee with Mel, and then straight back into client work. I am working on some interesting projects at the moment, which is really getting me thinking about my career in a few different ways—which is exciting.  

I have class tonight, and four social engagements I neglected to schedule properly. It’s going to be a juggling act!  

Day four: Thursday 

I feel so energised after seeing so many friends yesterday and, while I am a bit exhausted, my extrovert recharge has been filled.  

Working throughout the morning makes me feel quite accomplished; I hit my deadlines and made some big submissions. It’s times like this that I catch myself feeling empowered and impressed by what I have managed to do workwise amid the madness that was 2020.  

I am off to my mum’s house for afternoon tea and to see my niece, which I’m excited about. I’ve missed her. Oh, and I have a date later. Good Lord.  

Day five: Friday 

Waking up on a Friday morning still gives me a spark, despite not working in an office or in a full-time capacity. Mel and I are going for our morning coffee a little earlier today, and she’s excited to prod me for details about my date. It went well, so I give her the run-down as we laugh our way around the streets of Fitzroy. The best part about dating is laughing about it afterwards with your best friend.  

I have a bit of a manic afternoon to get a few important pieces submitted before close of business and then it’s off to some much-overdue drinks with my former colleagues. I didn’t realise how much I missed them all but it’s so lovely we’ve all stayed in touch and I’m excited to see them. 

Day six: Saturday 

My head. My back. By bank account. Maybe the time we all spent in lockdown was good for me? 

Once I get over my existential crisis, I enjoy my Saturday afternoon. I’ve had a recovery brunch, done a bit of shopping along Fitzroy’s Smith Street and am heading to a friend’s house for a party. Watch this space. 

Day seven: Sunday 

The party turned out to be in the beachy suburb of Albert Park and there were lots of kids in costumes last night. It was surprisingly fun to hand out lollies to them—they were so polite and adorable! 

I head to the beach to relax and reset my mind for the week ahead. It’s been a massive week with work and study, and the warm weather has meant I've been busier socially as well. I am a bit nervous about the expectation to “do it all” and worried I might burn myself out, but for now the future is looking exciting and positive.  

How do I rate my wellbeing? 

When I see my week laid out in front of me like this, it’s hard to ignore elements I need to improve.  

My overall general health is often the first thing to be neglected, as I forego healthy choices when I am busy and often stretch myself too thin with social commitments. My financial discipline is also not as strong as I thought.  

I am an extrovert and I genuinely find my balance, happiness and recharge in the people I love. That includes my family, my friends and the people I date, so prioritising time and activities with them is the best thing for my mental health.  

Also, starting study again has really boosted my confidence and my outlook on my career prospects. Freelancing has been wonderful for me—I am so lucky I work in an industry where I have the capability to work my own hours and earn my own money. However, it can get a little lonely and I sometimes doubt if I am making the right choices. Studying again has made me re-utilise areas of my brain I haven’t had to for a while, and it excites me that I might take a new direction in the future.   

Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature. Australian Unity accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions, advice, representations or information contained in this publication. Readers should rely on their own advice and enquiries in making decisions affecting their own health, wellbeing or interest.