Let's Talk: Feeling Lonely & The Lonely Slump
The past few weeks there has been something hanging over me and I've not quite been able to put my finger on what it is. You know those days where you just feel really off? Usually, I'd put it down to a bad mood but something was different. Obviously, the absolute ridiculous heatwave month-long heatwave that is turning the UK into a beige baron wasteland isn't helping but something hasn't felt right at all. Typically, spending time alone is what makes me recharge and feel my best but lately, I've been spending an awful lot of time alone and for the first time in maybe years, I've felt really lonely. And it's had such a negative effect on my productivity and loneliness isn't spoken about enough in general, let alone it having a negative effect on your work when you're your own boss. So here's a little conversation about loneliness and how I'm trying to make it a little easier on my mental state.
BEING LONELY & BEING AN INTROVERT
I'm the textbook definition of an introvert and that is something that I'm still trying to understand about myself. When you don't get your energy from other people it can make you feel like you don't belong with the rest of the world but it's completely normal. We all get our energy in different ways and that's something that is really special, if we were all the same then it would make for a pretty boring world. I think where people often get introverts all wrong is that because we don't get our energy from social occasions that we don't need social interaction but that is something that every human needs. With my boyfriend working crazy long hours and us being like passing ships in the night for a good few weeks and being busy with work it's left me feeling seriously lonely and craving just a good chat with a human being.
it's not a dirty word
The topic of loneliness is something that I've written about before but even tapping out this post makes me feel slightly ashamed. Feeling lonely is something that we all feel at some point in our lives, it doesn't matter whether you're surrounded by a huge amount of people either as you can still feel lonely. The problem is that no-one likes to say that they're lonely, which then just makes the problem even worse because no-one should ever have to feel like they're alone in life. There are over seven billion people in the world so surely we can all connect to someone in some way? The most important thing is that we talk about being lonely and break down those barriers as society has made it into such a big monster and the bigger we let the monster get the harder it is to get away from it.
being a self starter when it comes to being productive
If there is one thing I know for sure it's that working from home doesn't work everyone and it's not worked for me lately. I've craved having workmates and somebody to natter about rubbish during lunch so much. Working for myself and working from home is something that really works for me and my life 85% of the time but it's not perfect. There are so many things that I miss about a more traditional work environment. And even though the dogs are absolutely wonderful to be around they are not humans and I can't have a two-way conversation with them, although rest assured we have plenty of one-sided conversations. Feeling lonely and having a lack of human interaction has had such a bad effect on my productivity, I've found myself in such a horrible slump and getting myself pumped for another day at my desk has been really difficult. After all, I'm the only one who can do that but I've been trying a few different things lately and they are;
- Talking to people online more: Although I don't know anybody in 'real life' who shares the same job as I do there are so many people online who do. And reaching out to others is scary, there is absolutely no denying that but there are so many people who feel the same way and understand the struggles of being self-employed. I don't get quite the same satisfaction from an online conversation as I do an IRL one but those connections are still so important.
- Not pretending the loneliness doesn't exist: The day that I turned and said to my boyfriend that I'd been feeling really lonely it felt like such a weight off my mind and as soon as I said that he told me that he'd been feeling lonely too. By not pretending it doesn't exist for either of us has helped us both tackle it head on and slowly but surely it's lifting.
- Setting myself different work assignments: I thrive from a solid routine and without it then I tend to procrastinate all too much but sometimes when I'm in too much of a routine and I don't find my mind is being challenged and that makes feeling lonely even worse. So, I've really thrown myself into my passion project with the dogs and even just spending a few hours on that has helped so much.
Weirdly, with the weather being so warm you'd expect everyone to be outside making the most of it. But, we're British and it's been too hot and it's been dangerous to let the dogs outside so it means I've been inside far more than I usually am and I can't help but wonder if that has been a contributing factor. I'm such a homebody but I also crave being outside as it's such a huge help for my mental health. Even just saying good morning and chatting to a complete stranger it can completely change how my day goes and sometimes those simple conversations can completely change someone else's day too which is why it's so important to simply say good morning. One of the reasons why I love residing in the countryside so much is that people nearly always say hello, it's such a rare thing in society now which is such a shame.