Is it because you live alone or work at a home business all day? Over 4 million people worked from home according to the 2000 census, and the numbers have steadily risen since then. With commuter costs rising as well, even more people will turn to home offices as an economical option. Unfortunately, working from home can present other challenges. One of the most common complaints among people who work at home is the loneliness.
Working in the public and being with co-workers all day brings a sense of comradery and companionship that is missing once you work at home. While it’s nice to work in your pj’s at times, the loneliness can become a challenge for many.
How do you cope? What steps can you take to overcome it?
Here are some simple steps you can take:
- Find a local coffee shop to hang out once or twice a week, bring your laptop, have a cup of coffee, knit, etc. It helps you feel like you are spending time with others.
- Join a local group for networking, knitting, book club, etc.
- Take up a new hobby, fly fishing, knitting, quilting, boxing, etc. and then join others in the endeavor. Remember, to be interesting, you need to be interested.
- Call friends and invite them to lunch out with you- set a regular schedule for once or twice a month – don’t wait for them to call you.
- Volunteer at the local library, hospital or school. Participating and helping others is a great way to beat loneliness.
- Join an online discussion group or forum- chatting with others can relieve that sense of aloneness too.
- Get a gym membership- working out with others is fun.
- Take a class- learn something new and meet new people.
- Check the local paper for free concerts, events, etc, to participate in or attend.
- Get out of your routine by going for a walk in the middle of the day when the loneliness is apt to set in. Exercise will increase the oxygen you take into your body, helping you feel more energized and better about yourself.
- Get a pet.
It’s important to have something to look forward to each day that is not just part of your to-do list. Above all else, make it a priority to get out of the house at least once every day. Write it in your day planner or appointment book. You’ll find yourself coming back to the office feeling refreshed and invigorated, ready to go on with your day because you know you’re not alone.
© 2006 Jodie Foster