After almost a decade of working online, here’s how I prevent working-from-home depression.
You wake up to another day of working from home. After rolling out of bed and throwing on a pair of sweatpants, you get straight to work. The day feels like a blur and before you know it you realize you haven’t talked to anyone outside of the screen all day. 🤦♀️
By the end of the week, you’re feeling disconnected and lonely. If this sounds familiar, it’s totally normal. When I first started freelancing full-time, I would get lonely working from home, too.
What you need are a few simple routines to keep you connected. These help you avoid loneliness so you can fully enjoy location independence.
Why Do You Feel Lonely Working From Home?
Before 2020, freelancers made up the majority of people who worked from home. But the pandemic changed that. Now, even as companies reopen their offices, remote work is an option for most employees.
When you start freelancing or take a remote job, you think it’s only going to be exciting. You imagine yourself traveling the world as a digital nomad, working from coffee shops, and having more freedom…
Don’t get me wrong, all of these benefits are totally possible!
But you know I like to keep it real with you – so I want to be honest about the fact that it can get lonely working from home.
In fact, it was interesting to see my friends and family move to remote work during lockdowns – so many of them were initially excited but quickly deflated. So, if you’re feeling bummed working from home, you’re not alone.
Many people experienced feeling lonely working from home last year, which led to…
- Depression. Increased feelings of isolation, along with a higher workload and hours led to more reported cases of depression in 2020.1
- Social Anxiety. Online interactions are harder to interpret without facial cues and tones. This can lead to misinterpreted messages and feeling more anxious about your actions.2
Anxiety and depression are valid feelings when you’re transitioning to working from home. But after the pandemic, many of us will now be working remotely full-time or part-time from now on. So I’m going to show you the healthy practices that make working from home sustainable and enjoyable.
7 Ways to Prevent Getting Lonely Working From Home
As humans, we deeply crave connection and socialization. So human connection is key to avoiding loneliness when you work entirely from home – but taking care of yourself and your mindset is equally as important.
These are 7 ways to help you not get lonely working from home:
- Spend time outside. Connecting with nature and the outdoors makes a huge impact on your mental health. If you start feeling irritated or antsy, it could be because you’ve been cooped up inside for too long!
Do a part of your workday outside or even just dedicate a specific time each day to go for a walk. The fresh air resets your system and leaves you feeling more connected to your surroundings.
- Create a morning routine. Instead of rolling out of bed and getting straight to work, take a moment to reset your brain each morning. Spend time connecting with yourself to remind you of your larger purpose beyond work.
I recommend a morning routine that includes meditation, affirmations, and value-aligned goals. This keeps you grounded throughout the day, and more equipped to handle stress when it arises.
- Get ready for the day. You may think wearing your pajamas all day is a perk of working from home, but not getting ready for the day can make you feel pretty foggy and less productive.
When you shower, get dressed, and even do your beauty routine – you may feel more confident in yourself. When I feel like myself, I’m more empowered to take on my day with confidence
- Exercise. Working out is undoubtedly good for your body, but it’s also beneficial for your brain and mindset. If you’re feeling lonely working from home or experiencing anxiety, trouble sleeping, or depression, exercise can be transformative.
You don’t need to start running 5 miles a day. Try to find a cardio practice that you enjoy – like swimming, biking, or a brisk walk. Exercise releases endorphins and renews your cells, which can make you feel more energized, positive, and clear.
- Separate your workday and personal day. When you commute to the office, there’s a clear separation between your work and personal time. But when you work from home, it’s easy for work to blend into your “off” hours.
When you finish work for the day, take a certain action that signals to your brain that the workday is over. This is a perfect time to take your walk around the neighborhood. Setting boundaries on your workday gives you proper time to recharge.
- Stay connected. It may seem like social media keeps us connected, but it can actually exacerbate loneliness, negative comparison, and feeling alone. Phone calls with friends can be much more connective than interactions online.
My brain usually needs a break around 3pm. Instead of trying to push through, I recognize my ideal work windows and work with my flows. I usually call a friend or loved one around 3pm to rejuvenate my brain.
- Consider moving. If your work has always tied you to a specific location, you may not have thought about moving before. Now that you have location independence, ask yourself if your environment supports the kind of lifestyle you want.
For me, I love the sunshine and getting a ton of outdoor adventuring. So I moved to the West Coast – and now, I’m happier than ever. Don’t be afraid to consider moving for yourself, too!
Being able to work remotely, travel, and live on your own terms provides so much fulfillment. But without healthy routines, you may find yourself feeling lonely working from home. Taking care of yourself and your mindset is vital to being a happy and fulfilled freelancer.
Master Your Mindset and Morning Routine
Negative self-talk, anxiety, or depression sometimes gets worse when you work from home. Without anyone around to pull you out of your thoughts, your brain can become a bit of an echo chamber.
In contrast, your mindset is one of your most powerful tools as a freelancer. When you take control of your thoughts, daily routines, and goals you can create the life of your dreams.
If you’re a freelancer, you’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of mindset. But how do you actually put healthy mindset practices in place? With my course, Master your Mindset.
Master Your Mindset guides you in overcoming the mindsets holding you back. You’ll learn how to transform your relationship with limiting beliefs, anxiety, and even loneliness.
Prevent feeling lonely working from home and flourish in your business.
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Watch me explain how to avoid loneliness when you work entirely from home. This topic is especially relevant now that remote jobs are so common! Subscribe for more applicable tips on mindset and thriving as a freelancer.