How to Combat Loneliness When Working From Home
6 min read
When I quit my job, there was a clear notion that I’d get a little lonely as a solopreneur.
Of course, you’d think this would be obvious, but I don’t think I expected it to be as lonely as it turned out to be.
Wandering around the office talking with the employees was my job! Going from an office where I talked with almost everyone in the office every day to a quiet home was quite a change.
Despite my best efforts with my furry coworkers (they’re the best listeners!), there’s just not enough talking to satiate my human need of social interaction.
And for you, dear entrepreneur, you may be struggling with this as well. You know what it’s like to sit in the silence, maybe to get frustrated at what you’re doing and just – lay on the ground for a while. Perhaps with a puppy to snuggle you. Maybe you know what it’s like to wish you could turn to someone and be like, “hey, do you know about this?” or to ask for their opinion on what you’re working on, at least to see if you’re headed in the right direction.
We all know the entrepreneur road is one that’s full of hairpin turns and elevation changes. You don’t know where you’re going to end up, you don’t know if you’re on the right road, or going the right way.
The question isn’t about being successful with it, the question sometimes might be: can we survive it?
Loneliness is a part of that journey, and luckily, there are a few ways to combat the loneliness and to find support with other entrepreneurs!
First, let’s go over a few ways that you can prevent it from happening.
Of course, getting out and going to a coffee shop or library should be on the list. But everyone writes about it – probably because it works, but I won’t be including it.
I also don’t feel like spending money on coffee or snacks every couple of hours several times a week. And I want to work in my comfy yoga pants thankyouverymuch.
So, for those of us who are in the same situation, we’ll not include this on the list.
The option is there though!
Finally, here are my steps to combat loneliness as an entrepreneur:
Find a chat room with like-minded individuals
I just found this awesome concept by David Seah called “Virtual Coworking”. The idea behind this is to have a chat room so that you can chat with others that work alone. He even has live streaming Youtube videos so that you can feel like you’re working with someone next to you (also see option 4)!
He even has it set up to choose your own level of “distraction”. Some days you may want to chat with others, so you can choose the chattier chat room.
Find a Facebook or Reddit group of individuals who also work in your niche
You can keep it work related, which helps you:
- Build networking skills
- Find new friends
- Keep up with the latest trends and news
- Also, it’s a good excuse to hop on in the middle of your day if you need a break and have a bit of refreshing change in your routine. Just make sure that it doesn’t turn into a rabbit hole, which is easy to do!
Alternatively, join a group for a personal interest
You can also join a Facebook group of your favorite gardening hobby, maybe a home décor Facebook group if you’re into that, or OCD laundry folding or something, I dunno – anything that will let you utilize the conversation so that you can feel connected to others.
Post or reply to a thread, and then head back to work. When someone replies or you’re on another break, you can hop on and join in on the conversation!
MeetUp is a great app that you can use to find similar people and groups in your area. See if there’s one this week, and join!
You can also find a live Youtube stream or radio show that lets you listen in on action live. For me, listening to something live makes me feel much more connected to the world than a podcast or playlist that’s pre-recorded. I don’t know why that is, but there’s something about the fact that it’s live and it’s currently happening.
Here’s a link to Youtube’s Live section. You can find a lot of varying interests!
Create a group chat with your friends
My friends and I have a group chat on Google Hangouts. We send each other funny memes, share how our day is going, complain or vent if needed, and celebrate our wins! It’s a fantastic way to keep in touch with them, and since you’re talking to more than one person, there’s no pressure to reply when you don’t have time.
Sometimes you need to remember that the world hasn’t turned into the Wall-E scenario of floaty chairs and technology taking over peoples lives. Sometimes it feels like it might have, though. *spins in my spinny chair*
And sometimes I feel like the apocalypse happened and I’m the only one in the world. It’s easy to pretend that sometimes I’m in an I Am Legend setting, just – y’know, solving the apocalypse one blog post at a time O.o
Turn around and go outside, right after this post. For real!
Go take a walk, maybe listen to an audiobook, or podcast, but at least get outside and see that life is thriving. It’s hard to remember that sometimes, especially if you’re struggling. Seeing people and animals, hearing birds or cars – all signs that life is very much alive and continuing on, and you are a part of it.
So, the next time you find yourself wandering around the house with work to do but feeling blah about it all – hop into a chat room or join a Facebook group of like-minded people and see if it turns your day around.
I guarantee if you post something in your favorite Facebook group about being lonely, you’ll get a response fairly quickly with others who feel the same way!
Also, if you are one of those lonely entrepreneurs – please reach out.
We’re all doing this entrepreneur thing together, and we’re almost all lonely while doing it. I understand your pain – reach out and let’s chat! You might make a new friend 🙂
And don’t forget – go take a small walk, and get outside!