Beating Work at Home Loneliness
When I tell people that I work from home the first reaction is almost always something along the lines of how great it would be and that they wish they worked from home. I mean it sounds amazing, and really it is, with the total freedom, the completely flexible hours, the working from the couch (or the bed even), the making money while you sleep.
I quit my job back in May of 2007 and so I’ve had a lot of years to experience both the good, the bad and even the ugly of working from home. The good FAR outweighs any downsides in my opinion and that’s why I’m coming up on my tenth year of working completely from home to earn my living and support my family.
One of the big downsides, though, is isolation and loneliness. That’s real and it’s a slippery slope because work at home isolation and loneliness can lead to depression if you’re not careful.
So let’s tackle this challenge!
I’ve learned a lot from my years at home and I’ve experienced the isolation and loneliness myself. Even though I see family every day we need more interaction in our lives than just the few people in our immediate family.
Here are my best “Beating Work at Home Isolation & Loneliness” tips:
- Lunch With Friends – Do you have other work at home friends? Maybe a mom friend on maternity? A friend who works shifts or weird hours? Do lunch! Meeting with my work at home and stay at home mom friends has been a great way to pick me up every single time. It’s so nice to get out with a friend and share a meal, chat about common interests and just have a laugh!
Me and local friend Jen Hazlett of Alt Admin meet up for coffee and lunch on the regular.
- Coffee. Get Coffee. – When I feel like I need to get out and I can’t arrange time with a friend I like to go and just have a coffee at the local coffee shop. Sometimes I’ll work, sometimes I’ll sit and people watch (not stare of course or be creepy in any way 😉 ). It gets me out around people and that’s often enough to make me not feel isolated at all.
Love spending an hour or two at the local coffee shop.
- Events – There are always events to go to. You can go to events related to a hobby or personal interest, or go to ones related to your business. Of course it’s fun when you can combine the two! I’m going to start looking into going to much more events now that I’ve figured out I’m totally able to get to downtown Toronto on the train. A quick and easy 45 minutes or so and I don’t have to brave the busy city in my car opens up a whole lot more opportunity to attend events.
My son in the first row, me in the second at Kelly McCausey’s Exposure & Profit Event, Toronto 2014.
My daughter was there too, just six months old but she’s out of the shot.
- Join Groups – One of the best things I EVER did for my business was join a membership group for moms who wanted to work at home. I did that back in 2006-ish and I still have so many friends from that group that I can email and connect with on facebook anytime I want to talk with someone who understands what it is I do for a living. That’s entirely why I created my own membership at the Laptop Lifestyle Business Club. I know just how incredibly valuable it is to be part of an online community of people working towards the same goals.
Meetup with online business friends, In Real Life.
- Get Your Blood Tested – Weird one, right? You might think you’re lonely and unmotivated because you’re working at home but you could also be suffering from a deficiency in something. A common deficiency for many people these days is Vitamin D, which would only be made worse in our industry because we spend less time outdoors. Our office is just a few feet away and we don’t even get a little sun on our way to work. I found out from my own blood tests that I am both Vitamin D AND Iron deficient. Add to that less sleep because of a ill-sleeping toddler and it’s no wonder I’m not overly energetic!
- Workout & Eat Right – Another one that SEEMS out of place but it’s so NOT. Working at home can lead to major inactivity if you let it and that can lead to weight gain, poor meal choices and very low energy. I chose to make a change back in September when I became a Beachbody Coach and signed up to do the 21 Day FIX. I lost 21 lbs within the first couple of months and I started my own blog. I’m serious about making this a life change and it’s been hard. I know it will be worth the effort in the end and I KNOW this will help me beat feeling isolated and lonely. The thing is when you’re energy is low you don’t want to leave the house, and when you don’t leave the house you’re sure to feel more isolated and alone. Keeping on top of health and fitness will give you the ability to think better and have more energy. Thus allowing you to get doing all the other tips I’ve given you so far in this post.Toddler girly and me getting a workout in.
- Rent Shared Office Space – Did you know that some places have shared office space for rent? You’re not renting a whole space on your own, rather renting a room for a few hours, days or weeks out of the month. I looked into this in my local area and I can rent space for 2 hours for just $60/month or 10 hours for $190 per month. It’s a great way to get that office atmosphere and connect with others without committing to renting one on your own.
- Work at the Library – I love working at the library. There’s something quite awesome about being surrounded by books, filled with information. All I have to do is glance in either direction to get all kinds of inspiration and content ideas! Also, working at the library gets you around others which takes you out of isolation.
- Take a Class – You could take something related to your business, or not. Either way you’ll get around people of similar interests and you might make a new friend! I’m seriously considering taking hula hoop classes myself, or hula hoop class instruction. I’ve always found it fascination and fun what people can do with a weighted hula hoop.
- Take Care of YOU – This fits with suggestion six on working out and eating right but it encompasses so much more. You’ve heard the work at home people talking about spending all day in their pajamas. What about when all day turns into a week? Is that ok? What if you barely shower? What if you’re too busy working that you don’t clean the kitchen and as a result you don’t cook healthy meals. You see how this can quickly spiral out of control leaving you with no desire to leave the house or socialize. That’s a problem! Take care of YOU. Do that workout, shower, get the laundry done, cook healthy meals, clean the house and take time to do things that make you feel renewed, energetic and ready to go see the world (or at least something more than your own four walls)!
I’m looking for events in Toronto, Ontario based on blogging, marketing, healthy eating and fitness. If you know of any could you let me know? That will help me take care of making tip three off my list 😉
I know I’ve given you a LOT of tips. You don’t have to do them all. I don’t do them all. I have done most at some point or another. For now I’m actually going to use this post for myself as a sort of to-do list to get out and social MUCH more than I’ve been. I hope it helps you do the same![social_sharing style=”style-15″ fb_color=”light” fb_lang=”en_GB” fb_text=”like” fb_button_text=”Share” tw_lang=”en” tw_button_text=”Share” g_lang=”en-GB” g_button_text=”Share” alignment=”center”]
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