I came across a tweet by the delightful Holly of abranchofholly and she asked “how do you cope with loneliness when you work from home?” and I replied the best I could in 140 characters. I replied work in a coffee shop, talk to other people and make connections. But it got me thinking, I bet she’s not alone in feeling this way because I’ve felt this way and still do sometimes and so have a bunch of other people who replied to Holly’s tweet.
The thing is though, my answer was pretty generic, lots of people replied they go to coffee shops and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that but what happens when you can’t get out of the house?
Because more often than not, that’s my situation.
To be honest, for 70% of the last two years I’ve been lucky when I’ve been able to drag myself downstairs to our living room never mind the nearest coffee shop.
I’m a massive advocate of having a support system, whether it’s for your business or for your chronic illness have a few people you can turn to that will listen. It doesn’t matter who it is, your partner, parents, friends, other business owners etc. So long as you have other people to talk to who will listen to you. I’m really lucky my support system includes my husband, my Mum and Step-Dad and three of my dearest friends. They are all my support system for my chronic illness but only my husband and two of my friends are my support system for my business but that’s what works for me. I speak to them nearly every day about my illness or my business and other not so amazing things and it helps keep me sane!
To stop the loneliness from being too overwhelming I love chatting with other business owners online. I mostly do this via Instagram stories now and Facebook groups but I used to do it on twitter too. Just reply to people’s comments and questions and start a conversation.
Staring at the same four walls can get to be a bit much sometimes and while you might not be well enough to work from a coffee shop working in a different room in your home can make it a bit less boring. When we lived in Hull and had a bigger kitchen I loved switching it up and working in there. I’ve pretty much worked in every room in our house. Bedroom, office, guest room, bathroom (yes I really have! I worked in the bath because it was the only thing that lessened the pain and I needed to get stuff done.) Trying working in different areas of your home and see if it helps.
You don’t want to be cut off from everyone when you’re not well but if you’re up to people visiting, then why not let them? Get them to come round when you’d take a break and have a cup of tea and cake to break up your day or have someone come round on your lunch break and have a carpet picnic in your living room. If your not a fan of people visiting during the day then get them round in an evening and order pizza and chat or on a weekend.
Like using social media, email people who inspire you or who you want to connect with and have an email conversation with them. You could simply reply to someone’s newsletter and start a great conversation, I’ve done this one a few times myself and greatly enjoy it.
I love this one, although I haven’t done it yet but plan too. It’s been really popular this year with plenty of business owners offering virtual coffee chats in their newsletters, blog posts and even in their sidebars and footers. Just let people know you offer them and then set time and dates in your scheduling software and let people book their selves into your calendar for a quick 30-40 minute chat.
Want to talk about things like this or maybe just how awesome your word of the year is? Click here and schedule a coffee chat, they’re open to everyone (and I’m not going to take you through a sales pitch, promise).