When you work from home you can spend time with family as well as set your own work schedule. But, being around small children or being alone so much of the time can breed a feeling of isolation. It’s this feeling of being lonely and disconnected from the adult world that can zap your creativity and productivity.
As a work from home mom, the only other breathing person you may encounter on a daily basis is your children and/or your spouse. Most of us need more human contact than that. Coming from an outside working environment where there were friendly lunches and chats at the water cooler, to sitting in front of a computer every day can become a rude awakening. The silence can be deafening.
A drawback to isolation is mental changes. Whereas you were once excited and intently focused on your new business, now you are missing your friends and simple conversations. At home, not a single word may be uttered all day. It can be tough and after a few months, the effects may start to show. Concentration starts to slip, anxiety builds and a bit of depression may creep in. That is not the way that working from home was meant to be!
Five Ways to Combat Loneliness When Working from Home
Use these five ideas to implement a way to stay connected while working from home.
1. Leave the house – Get outside and breathe the fresh air and soak us some good old vitamin D every day. Take the kids out to play in the park. Run your errands in the middle of the day when you are ready for a break. If you have to, take your work with you and find a new place to work. A new coffee shop, library, book store can provide enough of an atmosphere change to rev your engine and creativity.
2. Separate your work life and home life – This can be as simple an act as closing the door to your home office. Hang a sign on the door like a brick and mortar business that shows the hours of operation. When you close the door, there is freedom. Stay strong and stay out of the office when you are supposed to be family.
3. Chat with family and friends – Use Skype and Windows Live to see the people who are important in your life. Take time to reconnect with them even if a physical visit is out of the question right now. With the many advances in technology, video chats are easier than ever to accomplish. Jump on Facetime during lunch with a friend and pretend it’s a lunch date to catch up and chat!
4. Plan a few outings – Set lunch dates with friends or your spouse. This is an excuse to get out of the house and also to catch up with them over a good meal.
5. Network – Meeting with other business professionals at the local Chamber of Commerce events. Check to see when there will be professional conferences in your area and register to attend. Sure, you’ll be talking business, but you’ll be with other adults and that alone is a great way to take a break from everyday working life.
Stay sane while you work at home by staying connected with others. It’s not as hard as you think! A little preparation and some new ideas will help you beat that lonely feeling!