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How to work alone without feeling lonely…

especially during these long, cold winter months!

Sounds like an absolute dream doesn’t it?! Whenever I mention to someone that I work from home the reaction is always “oh aren’t you lucky?!” or “I wish I could do that!”. Most days I do feel lucky, the benefits of being able to work from home are endless…aren’t they?!

 

For me, the main reason for starting my business was to achieve the flexibility I needed to juggle looking after my children and being able to work. Now I work from home, I can do the school run every day and work during school hours, catching up in the evenings as and when required. I’ve always been an independent person so being in charge of where I work, when I work and what I wear to work suits me down to the ground!

 

There are lots of other reasons people say they love working from home. Some will say they love it because its their choice whether they work in their pyjamas all day! Fancy catching up on your favourite TV programme over your lunch break? Take time off on your birthday without booking an afternoon or day off? No problem! Even when I’m writing this I can’t believe there are even any negatives!! But working from home isn’t all a bed of roses….

It can be hard being alone, something that you might not even realise that you would struggle with, until you experience it.

Dr Rebecca Nowland who is a senior lecturer in psychology at Bolton University who has conducted research on the health impact of loneliness, says that if you work alone you need to make socialising a priority.

“Someone who works in an office could be just as lonely as someone who doesn’t. But if we choose to isolate ourselves we need to make time for social interaction with other people. I don’t think we generally realise how important it is for our psychological and physical health to have good quality, meaningful connections with other people.”

Connect in local groups

Networking is something we know we should all do, but these days the majority is done online. However, face to face networking is not only beneficial to your business, but also to our psychological health. You will be able to find many networking groups near you. I found one in the same village my daughter’s go to school and it was through Meetup. It’s a great supportive group with like-minded business women. There are lots of groups out there, choose the one you feel most comfortable with.

Connect online

As I’ve said, face to face networking is great, but we can’t spend every day doing it. Therefore, staying in touch with people online is the most practical way to touch base with people every day. I have built up some lovely relationships via social media, reading other people’s posts puts a smile on face. These are other people in exactly same position as you and are looking to build relationships, so go ahead and comment on those posts!

Co-working

There may be opportunities near you to rent a co-working space. There are many benefits from using a co-working space. It can be more effective as you may get more work done being in an office environment as you are away from all the distractions at home. There will be a diverse selection of businesses working from the same place so there is the opportunity to learn from each other too. It may also be a chance to network so it’s a win-win situation!

Take regular breaks

Spending the majority of our day at our desks, staring at our computer screens is not great for our minds, back, eyes or anything! Taking breaks, even if they are only 5 minutes long are the best thing you can do during your work day. Taking a break from your work has many benefits: boosting creativity, it helps refresh & sustain concentration, benefits memory function, and can help you keep on schedule.

Exercise

Personally, I make time for exercise 4-5 times a week. It helps to focus my mind and sets me up for the day. I then don’t feel too bad about the fact that I spend the majority of the remainder of the day sat at my desk. I do a mix of yoga, swimming, running and HIIT workouts. Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, lower feelings of anxiety & depression, boost self-esteem and improve sleep.

Background noise

 

Put the radio on! Research proves that this is beneficial, since music and background noise offer various cognitive benefits when it comes to factors such as productivity and creativity. The main benefits are improved cognitive performance, improved mood and improved ability to concentrate.

I absolutely love what I do and feel lucky I am able to do it. The work I do is varied and changes depending on which client I am working for. Keep your day varied by taking some of the steps above. Connect with me! I’m on most social media sites and I’d love you to say hello!

 

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