Dealing with isolation as a blogger or freelancer
Working from home as a blogger or freelancer has plenty of perks, with the main one perhaps being “flexibility.” But what happens when you start feeling isolated from the rest of the world?
Many of you had once worked in a corporate environment and enjoyed a healthy social circle, often having drinks after work and the occasional office party. Now you’re happily working from home, but perhaps you feel a nagging feeling of isolation that’s hard to shake off.
The good news is that you don’t have to feel this way, as there are many things you can implement to help cope with loneliness.
Whether you’re a blogger, a writer, or business owner, let’s look into coping with loneliness when working from home.
Find an Ideal Work Environment
You may naturally be inclined to work in your bedroom, as this is often a freelancer’s go-to place while working exclusively from home. But if you find yourself oddly out of place, experiment with a better work environment and see what works for you.
Are you a nature lover? Or maybe you thrive in social situations? The former may call for a nice, local park while the latter could lead to a popular library.
You may also have gotten used to an office lifestyle after years of working in a traditional environment, thus making a home office more than ideal. While you’ll still be working alone, the fact that you’re surrounded by comfort will generally put you at ease.
Join a Niche Social Group
Speaking of meeting others, have you ever considered Meetup.com? It’s a local community where you can find virtually any type of group within any city and state.
At one point I joined a group dedicated to WordPress blogging, as I wanted to be surrounded by others who shared my interests without necessarily befriending them.
You may also use the aforementioned Craigslist to find groups of people to connect with. Even if this ends up not being your cup of tea, I personally suggest you try at least once – considering there’s little to lose.
Find a Co-worker
Sometimes you might be alone, but not quite in the physical sense. Do you have a great idea but feel overwhelmed or lack some technical knowledge? In this case, pairing with a co-worker might be just what you need.
Use any given community to match with a suitable colleague – whether you find this person on sources like Reddit, niche forums, by contacting blog commentators, or even offline. This gives you a way to unleash everything you’ve got, let it out of your system and cope with emotional isolation.
Make a New, Relatable Friend
I started to work from home full-time in 2010, and by 2012 I was finally starting to feel the need to connect with like-minded individuals. Battling loneliness when working from home was something I never expected as an introvert, but I was simply dead wrong.
I decided to give Craigslist a shot and actually met a fellow marketer who also enjoys freelance writing. To this day, we still keep in touch and have become good friends due to our ability to speak the same lingo, which is something I was unable to do with my existing circle.
Connecting with like-minded folks can help you decompress and vent about whatever’s taking place in your field of work, plus you can brainstorm the occasional idea by mixing friendship with business.
Interact in Niche Communities
A lot of people log into Facebook, but only to chit chat with friends they’ve known for ages and to “Like” whatever they post. While there’s nothing wrong with this, you should also connect with others who share your passion as a means to fight loneliness when working from home as a blogger.
Perform a Facebook search for groups relating to your interests, whether they’re work-related or not. Another online community is Reddit, as it has thousands of sub-sections (known as subreddits) dedicated to every single topic under the sun.
Regardless of your interests (blogging, writing, or even Buffy the Vampire Slayer) joining in the fun can undoubtedly help cope with isolation every now and then. Who knows, you might even stumble upon someone who also lives nearby.
Stick to a Schedule
Here’s a common problem among freelancers and anyone who’s self-employed: We often fall behind because sticking to a schedule is a bit tricky at times. This leads us to avoid getting together with old friends or enjoying life in general, as we frantically try to catch up on work.
Sounds familiar? I used to deal with this pretty darn often.
It wasn’t until I created a very “anal” schedule that I finally became more successful. Using Todoist, I now start work at a specific time and make sure I am done by a certain time.
While life will still get in the way sometimes, a strict schedule is nevertheless insanely useful for creative people. This can gradually allow you to see your loved ones, cope with loneliness when working from home and stay in touch without ever feeling anxious.
Avoid obsessing Over New Ideas
I have a confession to make: Even after creating a “perfect” daily schedule, sometimes I would intentionally pass up an opportunity to hang out with friends. Why? Because I’d become obsessed with a new blogging idea and I was just itching to implement it.
Again, sounds familiar?
In my case, I would often regret my decision to miss those special occasions, which led to an odd feeling of loneliness after the fact. And considering we’re all busy adults, sometimes it’s hard to make the time to get together again.
Bloggers and freelancers are creative creatures, so we always want to write a new article or try a new way to make money online. This is totally okay, as long as you make your decisions with care.
Well, there you have it, but I’d love to hear how you personally deal with loneliness when working from home, whether it’s part-time or full-time. What tips can you share with the community?