Arlington Entrepreneurs

Archives for Health and Wellness

How Proposed Health Care Changes Will Affect Freelancers


I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly looking over my shoulder in anticipation of what Congress will do to our healthcare access if it can get its hands on it. Their latest round of proposals have some bad and some not-so-bad options, particularly when it comes to health care plans many freelancers purchase through Associations. These may be a blessing or a curse, assuming they are legislated into action. While we’re waiting to find out, here’s an interesting article by Freelancer’s Union participant Carol Poster:

How Proposed Healthcare Changes Will Affect Freelancers
by Carol Poster

The health insurance regulatory landscape in the United States may soon be changing in ways that offer new opportunities and new hazards for freelancers and entrepreneurs. The new opportunities are ones that allow sole proprietors to join Association Health Plans, Short Term Health Plans to be extended from a three-month to a 364-day maximum period, and both to be sold across state lines. The hazards are that these plans pose substantial financial risks and may destabilize ACA marketplaces, making insurance more expensive for many people.

Although the proposed new regulations are still works-in-progress, as health insurance enrollment periods for 2019 approach, freelancers should pay careful attention to changes affecting Association Health Plans and Short-Term Health Insurance Plans, which are now being touted as possible alternatives to ACA marketplaces. While both these types of plans may be promoted as offering lower premiums than ACA-compliant plans, experts have raised significant questions about their quality of coverage, including cherry-picking only the healthiest customers, allowing age and gender discrimination, limiting coverage of pre-existing conditions, having lifetime benefit caps, offering no or limited coverage of many common conditions, and, in the case of AHPs, potential financial insolvency.

Read the rest of this article.

Take Time for Yourself to Achieve Your Goals


Here’s another great article from The National Freelancers Union. Too much work without break time built in can actually hinder your productivity. This article explains why.

Speaking of break time, don’t forget Arlington Entrepreneurs’ upcoming Coffee at Kickstand will give you the break you need to get back into the saddle and working productively!

Here’s the beginning of the article:

Practical Tips for Taking TIme for Yourself to Help You Achieve Your Goals

by Freelance Union Member Irene Barnard

Carving out “me time” can help give you the energy and focus you need.

Self-care and taking time to rest, stay healthy, and accomplish other goals besides work—we’re all familiar with these principles. Articles and blog posts often emphasize their importance.

Ironically, however, they can seem harder to achieve as a freelancer than a full-time employee! My schedule as a freelance writer and editor is supposed to be flexible and under my control. Yet for a long time, I couldn’t seem to get past the unhealthy habit of forsaking all else in my life and hunkering down to finish a job—then accepting yet another one.

There’s always the excuse of the inherent insecurity of freelance life: worry over losing a client or not bringing in enough money.

But what else was stopping me from finishing the novel I’ve been writing for years, in the hours when I wasn’t working? Perhaps you can recognize some of your own habits below; these obstacles can halt any pursuit, creative or otherwise:

Read the rest of this article.

Margy’s Winter Warmer



It’s cold out, and the sub-zero temperatures are predicted to last for quite some time. Margy Rydzynski, the Founder and Community Manager of our network, would like to offer this suggestion for staying warm. A few years ago she visited Portland and came across a spa that specialized in foot baths. She decided to spring for a treatment and had a delightful time. Here is her formula, something that you can do at home without paying the same fortune she did for much the same result.

First, the ingredients (wait until no one is home, or make sure you’ve kicked out all the interlopers):

  • A clean dishpan, the kind of thing you put into your sink to hand-wash dishes.
  • Several towels, one large enough to fit under the dishpan and some hand-towels for wash-up
  • A chair
  • A roll of paper towels
  • Flip-flops (optional, but helpful if you want to keep your feet off of the floor)
  • A clean pair of soft, comfy socks.
  • Hand or body lotion of some kind. Margy uses a combination of coconut butter, olive oil, coconut oil and shea butter. Some of these oils are hard at room temperature, so you might need to keep them warm.
  • Epsom salts (optional, but nice if you have it)
  • Glass beads, smooth river stones or marbles, something that you’ll enjoy rolling under the soles of your feet (optional, but nice)
  • Essential oil/s of your choosing. Lacking that, some dried, fragrant herbs from your kitchen
  • Dried Flower petals, if you have them
  • A small side table (nesting or parsons table?)
  • A good book, a notebook for journal writing, or some such, relaxing, item
  • A way to play soothing, meditative music. There are also websites that have online mindfulness meditations, like Margy uses her smart phone with headphones. There are great meditation and calming play lists on Pandora.
  • A scented candle for the room (optional)
  • Something beautiful to look at (optional)
  • Something hot to drink (optional, but very nice)
  • A little snack (again, optional but nice)

Start in your kitchen or a very large bathroom. Use a kettle to heat up water. Place the chair close enough to the stove and also to the sink. Try to arrange things so that you’re looking at something nice (not the recycle bin or garbage, for example). Put the large towel in front of the chair.

Pour some epsom salts – as  much as you want, maybe a half-cup? – into the dishpan. Drop in the glass beads, marbles, smooth river stones, etc. if you have them. Fill the tub with about halfway up with cold water from the tap. Add whatever scent option you might have on hand. Margy uses a combination of different essential oils that are calming, like lavendar or bergamot. Lacking these, try a handful of rosemary, Herbs de Provence or other fragrant dried herbs. Get your hands in there and stir around!

Set the tub onto the large towel and arrange the chair so that you’re sitting comfortably. Short people – try using a baking pan turned upside down to raise the tub so you can sit comfortably. Place the side table nearby and use it to hold the socks, hand towels, hot drink, paper towels, books/s and/or music player.

Add hot water to fill the tub as high as your ankles. Play around with the hot and cold combination until it feels very warm but not scalding. Add flower petals if you have them (Margy doesn’t, but really wishes she did).

Sit in the chair, remove your shoes and socks and roll up your slacks. No worries if you have a skirt! Dip your feet in the scented water and relax! Breathe in the fragrance and enjoy the heat warming your entire body from the toes up. Sip something warm. Roll your feet over the marbles, river rocks or whatever. The bottoms of your feet will really like this.

Pick up a pen and paper, start your music, read your book, do a meditation – whatever feels right. Margy usually starts with a mindfulness meditation, then writes in her journal. She always listens to music, but that’s her. Do what works for you.

Keep your feet immersed for about a half-hour. Refill hot water as necessary. Sip and snack. Once you’re done, towel off your feet and move the tub away so you won’t get wet again. Sit down again and rub your feet with whatever lotion or oil you’ve chosen. Take your time with this. It feels divine! Use some paper towels to wipe your hands as clean as possible. Take your clean, comfy socks and put them on. Try to keep them dry. Margy usually keeps her shoes or slippers nearby.

You will be in heaven or nirvana, take your pick. You’ve had at least 30 minutes of peace and quiet and a very indulgent treat for your lower body. You’ll be warm, head to toe and blissed out.

The folks at the foot spa used brass vessels to hold the water, one for each foot, but otherwise the experience was much the same. She spent $75, including a foot massage. You can do the same with ingredients you already have on-hand. All you need is a little time and a ritualistic, meditative mindset.


Are You a Daydream Believer?


If you find yourself escaping into an imagined world of your own, you might be doing something that’s great for your brain. Daydreaming is seen by some people as a sign of being easily distracted or disconnected. However, daydreaming actually exercises our brain and helps us develop our emotions. This Monday, let your mind wander for a while!

One of the best reasons to daydream is stress reduction. The act of daydreaming is similar to self-hypnosis and can mimic a meditative state. By mentally removing yourself from a high-stress situation and following a scenario that is more enjoyable, the brain and the mind both get a break from going into overdrive.

Read the rest of this article on DeStress Monday.

Ask Your Doctor About Nature


In keeping with our podcast theme this month on health and wellness, here’s a little prescription that’ll have you up and running (or walking, or dancing, or swimming) in no time!

All Those Hours Working? Not so Good.


Work-life balance and allotting time for oneself are becoming increasingly common themes in the articles and feeds I typically read as part of my daily research routine. Here’s what science has to say about working more than 40 hours in one week, at least according to Inc. Magazine. Here’s my take-away from this article: “Don’t work more than 50 hours if you value your health, happiness, and connections to others.”

We’ll be talking about work-life balance and productivity in upcoming podcast episodes this July. In the meantime, read the full article below. It’s interesting and relevant to the freelance life:

Science Says You Shouldn’t Work More Than This Number of Hours a Week

Working too much can be counterproductive and even hazardous to your health. You’ve been warned.

Do you work more than 40 hours a week? If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, it’s hard not to, but all that extra time in the workplace isn’t necessarily a good thing. After a certain point, it can be counterproductive and even hazardous to your health, so it’s imperative to know when to say no to more hours.

Read the rest of the article here.

9 Ways to Thrive in a Business Famine


(Posted from the Freelancers Union blog)

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, freelance contractor, or an employee that is currently in between jobs, there may be times when you find yourself on the famine end of the feast-or-famine work cycle.

It’s normal to experience fear and discouragement in these times, but it doesn’t have to be your norm. Times of famine can actually help us to reset and focus on the more important aspects of life.

There is more to achieving the ultimate work-life balance, there’s more to YOU and your life than simply living to watch the digits increase in your bank account.

Find out how to manage the inevitable dry-spells of freelance living.

A Healthy Way to End the Week


I’m a major offender when it comes to regular stretching and exercise. It tends to be a catch-as-catch-can affair, usually prodded by habit-building apps on my cell phone and computer. I’m getting better at it, but it’s always nice to have some help.

My stretching routine got a big boost today when I saw an email from a colleague who had been working to get her health and wellness business off the ground. Well, it’s off the ground for sure! Fit As A Fiddle Today owner Margie Dimonte introduced me to some whole-soul stretching, followed by a kale and cannellini bean soup. Take a look at this great video, the first one she’s produced through Arlington Community Media (a double-plus for Arlington!):