Working from home is both a blessing and a curse. I mean, you’ve got your personal freedom, but at times a whole lotta lack of social interaction. There’s no more meetings or chats around the break room, no group lunches, no after work get-togethers….
Though I love my solitude, even my introverted side gets a bit lonely now and then. Having friends and a bit of a social life is important for your emotional health, for sure. So, how do you overcome the isolation of working from home? Here are ten tips I came up with:
1 – At least once a week, meet someone somewhere for coffee, lunch, breakfast… whatever. If they have a day job, then you’ll just have to work around their schedule. Remember, you work at home, so we can do that! Just make it happen.
2 – Join your local meet-ups of small business owners. Do some penny auctions and vendor events. Not only does it provide some refreshing social interaction, but you make some valuable work contacts as well!
3 – Make one day a week family day. Spend extra time with your kids, maybe pick them up from school and stop for some ice cream. Go to their sporting events or make a trip to the park or the zoo. Most people start a home business in order to spend more time with their families and then end up doing just the opposite, especially when they first start out. I know I’m guilty of it, even now! If you have to, schedule appointments with your children as respectfully as you do with business associates.
4 – Once or twice a year, attend a live event geared toward your industry. You can travel and then write off the expenses on your taxes. You get the tax deductions, so use them! Even more important, live events allow you to learn from the movers and shakers in your industry. You’ll meet people who have the same mindset as you and be able to interact with your peers.
5 – Take a walk every day, if you can. The sunshine and fresh air will do you a world of good! Your mood will be better, your spirit will be a little lighter and you’ll be happier and more energized if you put some movement into your day.
6 – If there aren’t any kind of local meet-ups or groups in your area for masterminding, start one! Or, you can always travel to a nearby town once a month. Sharing with others the unique set of challenges that only work at home entrepreneurs experience can be a huge stress reliever. It’s always nice to know you aren’t alone.
7 – When you start feeling that ol’ cabin fever start taking over, pack up your laptop and look for a change of scenery. You can work at a coffee shop, the library.. anywhere with an internet connection! You’ll be surrounded by other people and all their activity. Trust me, once you people watch and eavesdrop for a while you will be grateful for your solitude the next day!
8 – Use social media to connect with your friends and family, but do so with this word of caution – don’t get sucked in! Social media is a HUGE time waster. Be careful you don’t end up spending hours scrolling through your facebook newsfeed. Set a timer and get offline after your set amount of “play time”.
9 – Make a few phone calls or Skype calls every day. You don’t have to spend long amounts of time on each call for it to give you a sense of connection with another person. I, personally, don’t like talking on the phone, but I do love Skype conversations with my far away friends and family.
10 – Get outside and sit on your patio or front porch. Visit your local dog park with your pooch. Take a drive to somewhere you’ve never been before in your city or town. A change of scenery can do amazing things for your state of mind. I need regular doses of nature therapy. It relaxes me and recharges me like nothing else does.
When it comes right down to it, if you’re sitting around feeling isolated and alone, there is only one person who can change that – you. Make it a point to get out there and socialize, get some fresh air, step AWAY from the computer and enjoy the LIFE that is out there.
That’s the reason why we do what we do!
Love, Light & Laughter..
~ Carrie A Medford
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