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Today’s post is all about combating loneliness.
There are many, many perks when it comes to working from home. For one thing, you don’t actually have to leave your bed if you don’t want to. You can wear your PJs all day. You can create your own schedule. You can even sit in front of Netflix whilst tapping away on your laptop and nobody will tell you off!
Not that we do that. Obviously…
However, as glorious as it is to work in a hoodie and not have to make tea for the whole office, if there’s one thing that a lot of us struggle with it’s this: Loneliness.
After all, working all day, every day without the desk-to-desk chatter that comes with working in an office can feel more than a little bit isolating. This post is all about combating loneliness when you work from home so if this sounds like you, read on…
The Ultimate Guide to Combating Loneliness When You Work From Home
Why are we talking about Loneliness?
You probably landed on this site looking for productivity tips or systems hacks and might be wondering why on earth I’ve decided to write a post about combatting loneliness.
There is a reason – bear with me!
Not only is loneliness bad for your mental health generally, but it can also leave you creatively drained which is bad for your work too. If you aren’t putting your mental health at the very top of your priority list, your business will be just one of the areas of your life that suffers.
That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to start combating loneliness before it even sets in and gets the best of you.
Knowing that you are either a business owner or want to be, I thought I would share my to tips, to hopefully save your productivity and happiness levels by stopping isolation in its tracks.
1. Work with others
Do you know any fellow work from home-ers, business owners or self-employed pals? If so, make the most of it!
Meet up with them for co-working sessions to recreate an office environment, without the boss looming over your shoulders. Whether it’s for a few hours or a whole day a week, this is something I love doing, especially when coffee and biscuits are involved!
I try to book in co-working time when we’re tackling more creative projects. That way, not only will it keep loneliness at bay, but it gives me the perfect opportunity to bounce ideas off another person. Plus, it’s helpful to have someone close at hand to tell you how much you’re bossing it when the imposter syndrome sets in!
If you don’t have anyone close by who work from home, look into local business groups on Facebook to see if you can make a new business buddy that you can meet up with in person.
2. Work around others
There is a huge difference between working with others and working around others. Seriously HUGE.
Working with others means tea and chats, working around others means getting all of your more strategic tasks done without distraction, but with a nice buzz of conversation going on around you.
The absolute dream, right?
The truth is, sometimes you just need to get out of the house to avoid cabin fever. Coffee shops and libraries are a brilliant option for this, as nobody is likely to disturb you, but you’ll still be surrounded by people and a bit of background noise.
3. Have a virtual meet-up
Don’t want to leave the house but do want some kind of human interaction in your day? I feel you!
This is when a virtual meet-up is ideal. I love booking in Zoom chats with clients and other self-employed friends to catch up and chat about business and life. It’s good to be able to talk about these things with people that understand, but it’s also good to be able to do so in PJ bottoms, ya know?
As well as arranging 1:1 chats, I’m also a HUGE fan of having group chats like the ones we have in the O+G Hub. There’s something so magical and inspiring about a group of strong, creative business-owning women joining together with a fresh cup of coffee, bucketfuls of energy and heaps of ideas from the comfort of their own homes.
4. Turn off the silence
Working in silence can make being at home feel even more lonely. That’s why background noise is pretty much essential for me when I’m working.
What I listen to depends on the level of concentration I need: If I’m having an admin day, I might pop on a podcast, an episode of How to Get Away with Murder or even a Harry Potter film! But, if I’m writing something, I choose something less distracting like a chill out playlist on Spotify.
However, this will all depend on how you work. Play around with different stations, playlists, and podcasts until you find the perfect soundtrack to your workday.
5. Take breaks!
Would it be a blog post about working from home without us telling you to take breaks?
In my experience, days without proper breaks are the ones where I feel most overwhelmed. My negative emotions – including loneliness – are hugely exaggerated and the whole thing can feel pretty hopeless.
Taking a break from work – usually getting outside with the dog – really helps to clear my mind. Seeing other humans while I’m out and about also does a huge amount in making a start on combatting loneliness as it’s always great to know that there actually other people out there!!!
6. Attend events
Finally, I’d highly recommend attending any workshops, events or talks near you that are relevant to your field. It’s a brilliant opportunity to get out and meet people in your area (remember those coffee dates I mentioned earlier?) and to get the business inspiration flowing around like-minded people.
Not only is it the perfect way to combat loneliness in the short-term, but it can also allow you to build up a network of connections for combating loneliness in the long-term. Perfect!
No matter where you are on your working from home journey, let me reassure you that you’re not alone in feeling alone! Switching from office life to “I can work from my bed if I want to” life is glorious. But it’s also a big transition to get used to.
Most importantly, you need to find what works for you in terms of feeling content whilst working. Try all of the methods that I’ve listed above and figure out what your ideal level of sociability looks like in your workweek.
If you’re looking for an easy way to meet like-minded business owners, attend virtual co-working sessions that are arranged for you (I’m all about minimal effort!), be held accountable to your goals AND get your hands on a ton of worksheets, checklists and resources to help organise your business, then the Organise and Grow Hub is just what you need. Find out more below.
Can’t wait to see you there!