DEAR HARRIETTE: I work freelance and, therefore, never know when it will be feast or famine. As a result, I always say a resounding yes when I am asked to do a job. I had a good year last year, but things are kind of dicey this year, so I have been saying yes like crazy.
I also have been fighting off one illness after another this year. I feel certain that my illnesses are happening because I haven’t gotten enough rest, but I’m afraid to stop. If I turn down work this month, how am I going to pay my bills in a few months? I don’t mean to sound desperate, but recently I have been in a situation where my income was down and I was nearly thrown out of my apartment. How can I take better care of myself and afford to take care of myself? -- Not Enough
DEAR NOT ENOUGH: Get quiet for a minute and assess your life. What can you do differently? Can you look for freelance jobs that pay higher rates? Can you consider adjusting what you do to make your work less strenuous? Can you look for a full-time or part-time job, even if it’s not directly in your field? The constant juggle of searching for projects takes a lot of energy. If you can get a job that possibly offers benefits but definitely offers some stability, at least for a while, you may be able to give yourself the luxury of not working around the clock, resting more without putting yourself in financial peril.
Also, assess how you care for yourself. What do you eat? Drink? When do you rest? How do you spend whatever time you have to yourself? Can you develop healthier routines that may improve your state of mind and body? Be honest with yourself, and make whatever changes you can, one at a time.