Working from home is the ultimate dream. Skype calls in your pyjama bottoms, nipping out to lunch whenever you fancy it, walking the dog when you get brain fade, clocking off early…
But the reality isn’t always as magical as you might think.
Yes, there are definitely some major perks. The short commute, for one. But it can also be pretty damn lonely, when you’re home on your own all the time.
So, how do you beat loneliness when working from home? Here’s how I do it.
- Make Plans
Make plans that aren’t to do with work.
Whether that’s something as simple as arranging to cook a nice dinner when your other half comes home, planning to watch a TV programme or box set that you both enjoy, or going out with friends on a Friday night. Knowing that you have something planned, to look forward to, where you’re going to talk to real live human beings, can be the thing that keeps you going through the day.
- Get Outside
Many of you will have horses to go and see, or like me, dogs to walk. Getting outside is one of the best ways to stop yourself feeling alienated from the rest of the world.
Go and chat to your friends at the yard, say hi to other dog walkers or simply pop to the shops and remind yourself that other people do still exist.
- Join Groups
I am part of some fabulous groups online. Small & Supercharged, Equine Photography and the Female Entrepreneur Association, to name a few of my favourites.
Honestly, when you’re working from home alone, these groups are a God send! If I need to bounce an idea off of somebody, if I need some advice or even if I just need some human interaction, these groups are where I go.
They are supportive, inspiring and there’s always somebody around to chat to.
- Recognise When You Have Nothing To Do
Sitting at your computer trying to think of things to do is a sure fire way to make the day feel long and lonely. If you have nothing to do, stop!
I’m not saying that you should put in minimum effort and just quit whenever you get a case of the can’t-be-bothereds. Of course, if you’re feeling inspired and want to write a ton of blog posts in advance, for example, then crack on. But if it’s just not working for you on a particular day and you don’t have anything specific on your to do list, then give yourself a break and do something enjoyable.
Read a book, visit friends or family, watch TV, go see your horse… Don’t force it!
- Get a Dog.
I’m totally serious. If it weren’t for my Cocker Spaniel, Barney, the hours would definitely feel so much longer and lonelier. There’s also a strong possibility that I’d have developed an unbreakable habit of talking to myself.
As it is, I can claim that I’m chatting to my dog and get away with it. He’s such a great companion and he really does make me feel like I have someone with me all the time. I honestly feel like Barney is the number one thing that stops me from feeling lonely.