Working from home can be lonely
How to overcome loneliness when working from home?
Working from home can have its side effects, like being lonely. Without enough social contact, working from home becomes hard to achieve. In this article, we will discuss the ways through with you can fight loneliness and be more productive.
When your job requires working from home most of the time, the lack of social contact can take its toll even on the most brave-hearted. No one wants to be just in their own company for so long! As humans, social communication is one of the most essential aspects of our learning and survival, and it is tough to manage your social bonds with a limited work horizon.
Even before the COVD-19 pandemic forced people to become cooped up for safety and work from their homes, loneliness has been a key factor in the home offices.
Office life can provide relief the much-needed social interaction, even if it just work-related. You might hang out with coworkers, grab a bite to eat at lunch, and develop a sense of comradely when faced with the same enemies (which your boss is not, of course).
Especially if you are working as an author, freelancer, designer, or the owner of a home-based business, chances are that loneliness has touched your work life at some point in time. And that is a nasty feeling to feel. Let us look at some ways you can combat that loneliness and be back on your way for a happy day at work.
Ways to combat loneliness when working from home
While everyone has their own methods of dealing with being lonely while working through their home office, many of them are either not successful at removing loneliness, or are counterproductive and result in enhanced feelings of sorrow and despair. And we simply cannot deal with either of those! Perhaps trying the following tips will the key to a better emotional state that gets you up and about.
Perhaps this is the most obvious option on the list, but it is important to mention because so many of us know about it but seldom do it. Calling your friends and remaining in contact with them is especially important when you are feeling down. The sense of companionship from a good talk with a friend works as well as Tylenol on pain.
If you feel as if you may impose on them, find a suitable time that works for both of you for a chat twice a week. Build a rapport with your coworkers over projects, they can be just as lonely as you and will respond when you reach out a friendly hand.
Even if it is just once a week, arrange a meetup with your close friends and family. Make time on the weekend for a gathering that is convenient for everyone and make sure that you attend and participate. Social contact is very important for maintaining a good life, and meeting your friends, even if occasionally, can have a drastic impact on your loneliness.
Not only will it bring up positive feelings at the time, but it will also give you something to look forward to when you feel lonely later. Even a Skype meeting will do, use the technology as it was meant.
Go for a walk
The beauty of nature and the blissful activity of observing joy is enough to inspire joy in you too. Set time aside to go for a walk every day. You can opt for a morning walk for a refreshed mind and memory, beginning your day with an energized outlook, or go for an evening walk after the day's work, to look and observe the people around you.
It is the law of nature: when you see beautiful things, you feel happy. Which is why you should also avoid horror movies!
Watch a good movie
Speaking of movies, watching a good entertaining film or a TV show might just uplift your mood and make you feel better. Happy endings and superficial scenarios work great as mind diverters.
Also, humor and comedy might not be for everyone, but they sure are effective methods of coping with negative emotions. Anything that uplifts your spirit is a good deal, and so a fun movie is a great idea to fight your loneliness. You can even hold an online watch party with your friends and family!
Scroll Social media
While it has been said that scrolling social media when you are lonely can actually increase feelings of loneliness and make you feel worse, it is a good idea for combating loneliness if you interact as well.
Use your social media for interacting with your social circle as was intended rather than mindlessly scrolling through cat memes (Come on, we ALL do it!). Even sending a small thoughtful message to a friend you have not talked to for long, or general chitchat with a new acquaintance can help boost your mood and give you something to look forward to.
Work at least once a week outside your home
Even if you can't work in an office, try at least once a week to work somewhere else. Even if it's just a coffee shop or the library.
Just to be around other people can uplift your spirit and help you to combat feelings of loneliness.
Also, just the process of getting ready to go out and meet other people is helpful.
It is said that empty minds attract all sorts of atrocious ideas. The same can be said for emotions as well. Keep your schedule relatively active and productive to avoid wasting time. Idle periods can lead to negative assessments of self and surroundings, giving rise to feelings of loneliness and despair.
Keep your home office hours fixed, and your chores time driven. Being busy and keeping your mind engaged in productive activities prevents improves your mental health.
Maintain a good routine
The best thing about a good routine is the feeling of control it gives you. You know when you need to do what, and that put life into perspective and gets things done.
While rigid schedules can be somewhat counterproductive, a good steady routine can neutralize unpredictability in your life and keep you in better control of your mental and emotional health. You will also be less likely to focus on the lonely feeling when working from home.
When we do not have to work from the traditional office and are free from the obligation of ‘always looking presentable’, we often let ourselves ‘go’. Who knows if you are calling in a work meeting while dressed in your PJs?
It is liberating! But it also leads to loneliness. It is important to integrate self-care into your routine for personal well-being.
Always try to dress sharp when working from your home office, which highlights the feeling of accomplishment and drives productivity. Take time at the end of the day to unwind and care for your body through hydration and eating healthy; you will feel much better.
As stated above, eating healthier is important for well-being. It is tempting to just grab instant noodles or drink one more glass of wine, but when you put effort into eating healthier, it will show in your physical and mental health. Why? Because you are what you eat.
And while everyone loves eating pizza, no one wants to BE a pizza. Eating healthier has been proven as having positive effects on your mood and mental health, with more happy emotions, and better stamina for dealing with negative emotions like loneliness.
Choose a Hobby
An interesting hobby or activity that entices enthusiasm in you is a great coping mechanism for loneliness. Working from home often leaves you as exhausted as you're working from the office since you being associating your home with your job, which is stressful even if you love it.
A hobby after, or before, work hours can work wonders for your mood. It helps in employing your emotional energy as well as physical energy into an activity, which does not leave much room for negative feelings to take up space in.
Painting, sculpting, gardening, writing, learning a musical instrument, baking, or programming are all great examples of simple hobbies that you can integrate into your lifestyle while working from home. Or if you prefer the outdoors, you can pick a sport, go hiking or jogging, and use cycling as hobbies that also keep you fit and active.
Loneliness is a natural thing to feel, especially if you have limited social contact and interaction, that comes from a home office. A happily engaged mind can fight loneliness when it strikes its head in your life.
Some above suggestions also work towards an overall outlook with a better life quality, which is important for preventing negative feelings from the start.
Using these tips, you can effectively tackle the lonely feeling when working from home, and improve your emotional health for a better home and work life.