Despite the many joys and advantages of being your own boss, mental health rarely comes up in the conversation when it comes to being a solopreneur.
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That being said, loneliness and depression amongst remote workers is a very real phenomenon which can be attributed to a number of factors including:
Lack of face-to-face communication with others: when working from home, we rarely are afforded much in terms of human interaction
Health problems associated with being sedentary and not getting out of the house
The “lone wolf” mentality: this isolation eventually drains us as we become so focused on our businesses’ survival that we neglect our own well-being.
Don’t freak out if you find yourself feeling bouts of depression as a solopreneur: it’s totally normal.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to fend off freelance loneliness without going back to your nine-to-five.
So, where do you start?
Create a Happy Home Office
Considering that you likely spend a bulk of your time working from home, it flat out makes sense to establish a happy and productive work environment. If you haven’t given much thought about your daily routine in terms of working from home, consider the following tweaks you can make to your space:
Establish multiple work-stations throughout your house: beyond your central desk, consider moving around as means of not staring at the some walls day after day
Likewise, shading solutions such as blinds and cellular shades allow you to let light into your space which is proven to improve your mood
Keep some décor around the house that inspires you, such as pictures of family and friends
On overlooked aspect of battling loneliness is mindfulness of how you feel when you are alone. By properly fixing up your office, you set yourself up to be as happy and productive as possible.
Work Remote Work a Priority
Make it a point to leave the house at least a few times per week to work remotely. In fact, many people are flat out more productive when they aren’t cooped up at home.
While you shouldn’t expect to work remotely every single day (as this can become costly), you should make it a priority to interact with others on a semi-regular basis during work hours.
Society at large is friendly toward accommodating solopreneurs when you consider the emergence of coffee shops and co-working spaces that thrive on remote workers. Who knows, you might even run into some fellow freelancers who want to form a work group with you.
Even if you don’t talk to anyone beyond your barista, getting outside and seeing other friendly faces will remind you that you’re not alone.
Make Some Virtual Connections
Talking to others doesn’t have to always happen face-to-face, either. For example, you can connect to others within your industry through Facebook, Skype or Slack to chat with fellow freelancers throughout the day. Don’t mistake such activity as goofing off, but rather maintaining a conversation that you can look forward when you get to work.
Similarly, documenting your solopreneur journey via a blog or YouTube channel is a fantastic way to market you business and start a conversation with new followers.
Being a solopreneur doesn’t mean that you have to work alone. Instead, consider creative ways you improve your current workstation, get out of the house and make connections that’ll keep you smiling.
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