Beat The Work-At-Home Blues

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work at homeAccording to many 1 in 5 Americans work from home at least once a week. But while working from home has it many advantages, it can be, well, lonely. Here are 10 tips on how to beat loneliness when working alone at home.
   
Let the light in! Working in a dark environment can be depressing. “Create your work space where there is a lot of natural light flowing in, preferably where there are large windows. Being in a nicely lit room and peaking into the outside world can increase productivity and happiness so you don’t feel constrained or stuck,” suggests Amanda Thomas of Liaison Technologies.
   
Take a break. Just because you are home, it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a break. “Do not ignore breaks, lunch, and quitting time.  Getting away at scheduled intervals helps to keep things in proper perspective. Set an alarm, if you have to, and step away from the work area.  The temptation will be to push right past the point of diminishing returns, which benefits nobody.  While research supports higher efficiency of telecommuters, this should not be because you are stressing over work as opposed to taking care of yourself.  During these breaks, take a walk or call a friend,” explains Certified Professional Life Coach Linda F. Williams, author of  “Whose Apple is it, Anyway: Empowering Purpose to Achieve Your God-Ordained Destiny.”
   
Let the music play. “Play music that relaxes you at a moderate volume. The sound of music can take away the feeling of being alone,” says Thomas.
   
Divide and conquer. “Create psychological separation from work and home by creating a dedicated space for your home office. There should be privacy and this area should not be located in high traffic areas such as the kitchen or family room. At the end of the day, leave that area and walk back into your personal life. Mixing the two will lead to burnout and undue stress, which exacerbates the discouragement  you might be experiencing,” offers Williams
   
Go out. “Get out of the house once a day!  Take a walk, be in nature, smile at people.  Getting out and creating connection with the natural world will help you reshift and reframe your energy into the next part of the day,” says Money Coach Lisa Chastain.
   
Talk to people on the phone. “Schedule personal calls a couple of times/week.  It may not make sense to drive to coffee but utilize Facetime on the phone or just call someone that is not associated with your business to connect!,” notes Chastain.
   
Take time to mingle. “Build time in your schedule where you are physically in proximity to other people. A regular trip to the coffee shop can be energizing for reasons beyond caffeine,” explains certified professional coach Stacey Staaterman,  founding coach and consultant at Staaterman Coaching. “As human beings, we are responsive the physical presence of other human beings. Make a point of putting your phone away while waiting in line for coffee, so you can lock eyes with the barista, chat and smile. Engage those around you in small talk too. Giving these small encounters your full attention will build positive energy and bolster your mood.”
   
Go on a virtual lunch date. “Consider forming a ‘lunch bunch’ in your area with other work at home professionals. Working at home is growing across many industries. Once you start talking about the loneliness you are experiencing, odds are you will find others experiencing the same,” advises Staaterman. “Schedule weekly lunches, start a FB chat or virtual lunch on Zoom to mimic that water cooler found in traditional work environments.”
  
 Move your body. “Exercise during the middle of the work day. Rigorous exercise several times a week increases serotonin, a chemical in our brain that works to elevate our mood and helps prevent depression and feeling lonely when working at home,” says Jon Lee, CEO/Founder of video chat service Rabbut.
   
Find a tribe. “I belong to a lot of Facebook ‘mom’ groups and found that my local group had a few teleworkers. Now a group of 4 of us chat during the day and once a month or so meet up for lunch or coffee. We even created a private FB group where we chit chat during the day. They are becoming some of my closest friends, shares Jackie Weisman, at-home blogger and creator of muddlingmomma .com.