Balancing Wellness & Freelance Work


Self-Care is Essential!

The nature of freelance work can sometimes feel both isolating and frustrating, but because this is a line of work we often choose for ourselves, it can be hard to acknowledge these everyday challenges to our family or even ourselves. Even if you might feel passionately about what you are creating or managing, the multiple schedules to juggle, fluctuating income levels and the sense of needing to “go it alone”, can feel overwhelming at times.

Yet, the paradox is that while strong emotions can sometimes be a fuel for creativity, when everything feels a little too much, we can get a “creative block” which gets in the way of our work itself. So, self-care is an essential part of your creation process being sustainable.

Beyond the everyday stresses, freelance work can feel quite vulnerable as it necessitates an openness in engaging with all kinds of people, in a variety of different circumstances. Unfortunately, amidst the fluid interactions, some hirers or even peers can overstep your boundaries, physical or otherwise, and this is NOT OK

Here, we have put together the following resources for you to draw upon. Anxiety, stress and depression can happen to anyone, even in the best of times, and there are ways you can support yourself through it. If you feel that you might benefit from professional support, some useful contacts are shared here.

‘Ways to Wellness’ (2min42secSlide-show)by Alberta Health Services gives us simple steps to improve both our physical and mental health.


‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for Anxiety’ by Senior Clinical Psychologist Dr Keith Gaynor, who introduces CBT ideas and skills that can be helpful in reducing anxiety and helping people build the capacity to protect and develop their own mental health and wellbeing.


‘How to Sleep with Severe Anxiety’ by Counsellor Gordon McInnis, who gives us practical steps on how to sleep when our mind is not calm by bedtime.


‘How to make Stress your Friend’ by Psychologist Kelly McGonigal, who introduces us to rethink and see stress as positive.


‘Happy Brain: How to Overcome our Neutral Predisposition to Suffering’ by Dr Amit Sood, Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, who takes us on a backstage tour of the human brain in an attempt to decrease stress and improve focus, resilience and happiness.


‘Coming through Depression’ by Dr Tony Bates, who shares with us the need to have important conversations on mental health, conversations that keep us alive.


‘Why Perfectionists become Depressed’ by Dr Keith Gaynor, Senior Clinical Psychologist, St John of God Hospital, who talks about “clinical” perfectionism and how that is associated with increased risk of depression, anxiety disorders and eating disorders.

Self Care

‘Role of Nutrition and Exercise in Coping with Depression – Food for Thought’ by Deirdre McCormack, who gives specific details on what is good dietary behaviour and having regular exercise to keep depression at bay.


‘The Role of Self-Compassion in Recovery’ by Dr Katie Baird, Senior Counselling Psychologists, and Dr Jennifer Gibson, Senior Clinical Psychologist, St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services, on the need to pay attention to the practice of self-compassion to alleviate and prevent depression.

Wellness Activities

SAMH Creative SAY! (Sports, Arts and Youth) helps arts freelancers below the age of 35. For more information, click here.

From Our Friends at the Institute of Mental Health

‘Removing Mental Health Stigma’ (4min17sec Video) Social Experiment Video by Institute of Mental Health.


‘Steps on Managing Stress at Work – Be Aware, Analyse, Apply’ (3min 43sec Video) by Institute of Mental Health.


‘The Importance of Valuing Yourself and Building Self-Esteem’ (3min 10sec Video) by Institute of Mental Health.


How to Recognise, Cope and Manage Bereavement, Change, Depression, Panic Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Insomnia, Stress and Psychosis by Institute of Mental Health.


IMAGINE – A Magazine on Mental Health byInstitute of Mental Health


CHAT – Community Health Assessment Team

A group of healthcare professionals dedicated to promoting awareness of mental illness, access to mental health resources and a free and confidential mental health check for those between 16 and 30 years old. CHAT’s physical hub is located at *SCAPE #05-05 and is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 12nn to 9pm. Closed on Sundays, Mondays and Public Holidays. To find out more, visit


Ask the Expert by the Institute of Mental Health

Specific concerns on psychological and behavioural issues can be addressed by experts via email to; or you can find out more about common conditions like bipolar disorder, depression, self-harm and anger management by visiting


Community Wellness Clinic

This is a one-stop centre focusing on continuum care – from preventing mental illness to treatment to rehabilitation. There are two branches conveniently located at Geylang and Queenstown, each fully staffed with a multi-disciplinary group of specialists from psychiatrists to psychologists, occupational therapists to counsellors, all providing comprehensive and integrated community care.

Community Wellness Clinic Geylang:
21 Geylang East Central, Singapore 389707

Community Wellness Clinic Queenstown:
580 Stirling Road, Level 4, Singapore 148958

Find out more about the Community Wellness Clinic by visiting

There are also many other Outpatient Clinics on hand to help you and your loved ones. You can assess more information by visiting


Helplines Support for Individuals and Caregivers

As an individual living with a mental illness, social inclusion plays a central role in recovery. However, the lack of understanding about mental illness, compounded by the negative portrayals of the mentally ill in the media, often adds to the marginalisation of this misunderstood group. Caregivers, too, suffer from various issues in their arduous caregiving journey. If you or your loved ones need help, please visit for a comprehensive list of Helplines.


Crisis Helplines

Sexual Assault and Harassment


Women’s Helpline: 1800 777 5555
Association of Women for Action & Research
Block 5 Dover Crescent #01-22
Singapore 130005

Tel +65 6779 7137
Fax +65 6777 0318

Write to

Official Website


Helpline: 6779 0282 (Gender Neutral)

Learn about Workplace Sexual Harassment

Actress and survivor Debra Teng’s talk show Under the Carpet: #metoo’ is an 18-episode passion project that deep dives into topics that most people find difficult to talk about.


Depression and Suicidal Thoughts


24hr Helpline 18002214444

Write to befriender

Official Website

If you or someone you know is in immediate risk of harm, call 24-hour Emergency Medical Services at 995 or approach your nearest A&E.


Mental Wellness


Toll-free Helpline 1800 283 7019

Block 139 Potong Pasir Ave 3

#01-136 Singapore 350139

Tel +65 6255 3222

Write to

Official Website

Mental Wellness Articles on Causes and Coping Mechanisms

Dispelling Common Misconceptions of Mental Illness



24hr Helpline 6389 2222

Buangkok Green Medical Park
10 Buangkok View
Singapore 539747

Tel +65 6389 2000

Official Website