For those of us with chronic pain and disability, being self-employed may be our most viable work option. Here are the top three reasons why people with chronic pain and disability should consider self-employment:
1. We can set our own hours.
We can revolve our schedule around our physical needs. If we struggle with insomnia, we can start our work day at noon. If we need to engage in movement throughout the day, we can do shifts of one-hour work blocks and half-hour movement blocks.
2. We can work from home.
Whether sitting at our ergonomic desk in our home office or leaning against fluffy pillows in our bedquarters (BQ), we can ensure that we are as comfortable, and therefore, as highly-functional as possible — enabling us to transcend our pain and physical limitations, to a great degree. In addition, for those of us with energetic and physical sensitivity, we don’t have to deal with other people being in our space.
Working from home also means that we have ready access to our medications, that we can prepare anti-inflammatory, nutritious meals and snacks, and that we don’t have to worry about the fatigue that may come with commuting. For those whose onset of pain was triggered by a car crash, we get to skip the anxiety that may come with getting in the car every day.
3. We can take time off.
Being self-employed, we still do work with other people — clients who may need immediate turnaround on materials. So I’m not going to say that taking time off has no consequence, but it certainly is much easier to do when self-employed than when working for someone else.
If we hit a setback a need to lay low for a few days, we can do our best to find other options for our clients while taking care of ourselves, without risking getting fired. As the boss, we get to put our needs first and foremost.