The world of working for yourself is pretty strange and something that I don't find is spoken about all that honestly online. Of course, for the most part, we all want to show that we're doing our best and thriving in the world of self-employment but only sharing that has a downside. A hot topic amongst freelancers etc is the subject of loneliness as it something that we all face at some point and here are the best things that I've found to help combat that feeling that can plague us all.
As a kid, my parents used to drag me out for a walk kicking and screaming and now I'm an adult I make sure I get out for a walk every day. Not only because I have a little pupper who has to go out but because it's something that helps my mental state an incredible amount. And getting outside isn't a cure for mental health at all going for a walk isn't going to fix anything but for me, it just helps me keep on top of things. As well as of course helping loneliness, even if I don't see or talk to anybody else just being outside is something that helps me out so much. With A/W around the corner it's so easy to stay in more often than you would in the summer but with the right attire, it can still be enjoyable to get outside and get some fresh air [when it's not pouring it down with rain].
TRY AND SEEK OUT PEOPLE IN A SIMILAR POSITION
The internet is full of amazing things and there are some really incredible people online but the hardest thing is finding them. Instagram and Twitter are the two places that I find the easiest to connect with like minded people. Getting to know people who are also self employed whether they're in the same industry as you is something I've found to be incredibly helpful as even though they might not be doing exactly the same thing as you they will still know what it likes to feel alone or share some of the same frustrations as you do. When you're an introvert this is even more difficult but it is possible and when you find someone else who is also an introvert and they completely get it then it's a match made in heaven.
LEAVE THE HOUSE AT LEAST ONCE A DAY
Much like getting outside is important sometimes it's not always possible to fit in the time to go for a walk as much as we might like. And let's be honest when you live in the UK it's probably raining and unless you like getting soaked to the skin it's all too tempting to hide inside. And I like staying inside but something I'm really conscious of is leaving the house, when I tend to stay in a lot I find myself becoming incredibly anxious and then not wanting to get out. Even if it's just to Tesco to pick up coffee or cereal I try to make sure that I'm getting out. That little bit of interaction with somebody can work wonders and really start to break up the day as being inside all day by yourself is tough for anybody.
I know this probably sounds really strange as getting dressed isn't something that you would necessarily associate with being lonely but I always notice a huge difference if I don't get dressed for the day. And if you work for yourself sometimes you will know how tempting it is to stay in your sweats when you're really busy and plow through your to-do list. And sometimes it's great to do that and can allow you to have the most productive day ever but for the most part, I find getting dressed so important. Not only does it seem to flick a little switch in my brain and tells me I've got something to do but also it makes me feel like I'm at work. It's so easy not to bother with your appearance if you're not going to see somebody but putting on proper clothes and makeup can make such a big difference with how you feel.
WORK FROM A COFFEE SHOP/LIBRARY
For some working from a coffee shop is just part of their week but for some, it's a luxury and I definitely sit in that camp. Before we got Josie I always used to treat myself every a couple of week to working out of the house as it can become quite a costly habit to get into. But it does wonders for your mind and I'd usually save it for a day when I felt really rubbish to pick me back up. Not only does it break things up but being around other people just going about their day is something that I find super inspiring and usually gives me a boost of motivation. It's so strange how just being around people can make you feel not so alone, of course, human interaction at some point is necessary but being around other humans certainly, helps.
LITTLE THINGS THAT MIGHT HELP
- A lunch time phone call with a loved one.
- Podcasts, it's like being involved in a conversation.
- Revel in the fact that you work home, you're your own boss and you can structure your day how you want [it does have its downsides but so does any job].
- Keep somewhat of a balance between life and work.
- Be conscious of making meetings outside the house.
- See if there are other freelancers around or a co-working space to join.
Do you have any tips for not feeling so lonely when you work for yourself?