No one likes feeling alone. Humans are social beings that need frequent communication for our mental health and physical health too. But, if you’re working from home how can you beat the feelings of loneliness when no one’s around?
Since March 2020 we’ve all had to completely adapt to new ways of living. Whether you’ve embraced remote work or not, the office landscape is different now for everyone. However, these changes came with new challenges. Research shows that 50.82% of us even experience burnout as a result of working from home, so we need better strategies in place to protect our mental health.
If you want some extra tips to beat the work-from-home loneliness or to improve your mental health when working remotely, we’ve got your back! We’ve researched some of the best strategies to help you boost your mental health from home.
Keep reading to learn the best ways to stop loneliness when working from home.
Do You Experience More Loneliness When Working At Home?
Before we get into the tips and tricks, it’s important to note that any increased feelings of loneliness are completely common. Though it isn’t nice to feel lonely, it can be good to know that isolation is one of the most common complaints from remote workers.
While it’s empowering to have more flexibility and freedom when working, it’s tough to be on your own all day every day. Loneliness during the initial lockdowns left many workers feeling depressed and anxious, so if you do notice yourself feeling down you must check in with yourself. Stop and examine what you can do to make yourself feel better! Work is important, but your physical and mental wellbeing will always be the most important factor in your life.
What Are The Other Impacts Of Remote Work?
Remote work and working from home have also had other impacts on us, some good and some bad. If you want to embrace the work-from-home life you must be able to navigate these impacts with healthy habits and good coping strategies too. As long as you look after your mental health the remote work life is very enjoyable!
Here are some additional impacts of working from home.
One of the perks of working from home for many was no longer having to make a long commute to the office every morning. This created a few extra hours for many workers, giving them more time in the mornings and evenings too.
While this should have had a positive impact, many found that their employers started to expect longer work hours and a larger work output due to this extra time. This increased workload only increased the day-to-day stresses and feelings of isolation when working from home.
Another issue that many remote workers experience was the last of boundaries they had with clients. Working from home means you’re always close to your laptop, though you shouldn’t be expected to answer emails all day – some clients do send emails after work hours.
Many workers reported that their employers and colleagues often expected them to reply to work emails in the evenings and on weekends too. Some even reported bosses asking them to work in their evenings on their days off, a complete lack of boundaries, and not a healthy way to work at all! Taking time off work is important for our mental health and productivity too.
It’s no secret that the pandemic and new way of working added stress to our lives, but some find remote work particularly stressful and isolating. When you’re not in an office it can be tough to communicate quickly and clearly, leaving many workers confused and alone when working. With uncertain projects and confusing deadlines, working from home was just plain stressful for many.
How To Boost Your Mental Health When Working From Home
Though working from home may sound awful, there are numerous benefits to this way of life too! As long as you protect your mental health and make sure you rest and take time off, working from home can be pleasant and even enjoyable too.
If you want to improve your working from home experience, try implementing some of these tips into your daily routine to reduce loneliness and improve your overall well-being
Make Time For Loved Ones
Taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with loved ones is very important when working from home. This tip is especially important if remote working has left you feeling isolated, as a quick chat with friends or family is proven to boost your mood.
If you can arrange a safe in-person meeting, make sure you do! While video calls and texting are great modern ways to communicate, nothing beats meeting loved ones in-person for a more meaningful connection. Whether you use your flexible work from home hours to go for coffee or you schedule a call after work, it’s so important to talk to others about non-work topics.
Try Out Self-Care
Self-care is a term that’s constantly talked about, but it’s a great tool to combat feeling low and isolated when working from home. When you take time to look after yourself, you’ll be more likely to thrive and feel positive during the workday. Self-care activities have been proven to boost your mood and improve your mental health too.
If you’re unsure what self-care means to you, try making a list of what activities make you happy or grounded. For some self-care includes basic hygiene and staying hydrated, whereas for others self-care includes more indulgent activities.
Some popular self-care activities include:
- Taking a relaxing bath
- Reading a book
- Going for a run
- Cooking a nutritious meal
- Watching your favorite film
- Talking to family
- Getting enough sleep
Another way to boost your mental health and lower feelings of loneliness is to add some sports or workouts into your work-from-home schedule. Remote working can leave us sitting in one place for hours on end. This isn’t good for our physical or mental health, so it’s important that we get up and moving.
We understand that sports aren’t everyone’s favorite activity, however, you do need to add some movement into your routine. Good alternatives to intense gym sessions are home workouts, yoga sessions, morning runs, or jogging. If you don’t want to commit to one specific exercise, you can even take a 30-minute brisk walk in your lunch break – this is enough movement to get your blood pumping and improve your mental wellbeing too.
Embrace Healthy Eating
Similarly to exercise, you should also start including healthy and nutritious foods in your diet. There’s no judgment if you find yourself eating junk food or chips when working from home, this is quicker and easier than preparing a full meal. This shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence though, as eating meals with higher fat content can make you feel ill mentally and physically.
To boost your general wellbeing, try to eat a balanced meal every day. If you struggle to make time for meals you might benefit from a weekly meal plan or you can try batch cooking food on the weekend so you can quickly heat it in the week. Eating a varied diet can be a fun way to improve your mental health when working from home.
Improve Your Sleep Schedule
When you’re working from home, it’s often tempting to work into the evenings to get more done. While this is okay sometimes, working late can throw your sleep schedule off and leave you tired the next day. Many remote workers also complain that they find it tougher to fall asleep at home as they’re working there too.
Sleep is essential to our daily functioning, so we must make sure we have healthy sleep habits! This means you need to stick to a reliable bedtime and be disciplined about when you wake up. You should also avoid going on your phone or laptop for an hour before you sleep as this can also negatively impact your sleep.
You can also buy some helpful tools to improve your sleep schedule too. These include:
- Lavender oils
- A sleep mask
- A white noise machine
- Blackout curtains
- Silk bed sheets
These tips may sound too indulgent, but investing in your sleep space will improve your sleep quality! Indulge yourself and make sure you’re getting the best sleep you can.
Create A Work Plan
If you don’t already have a weekly plan, creating one will change the way you work for the better. A clear work plan will show you how much time you’re spending on each task and from this, you can work out a healthy balance between work tasks and personal life tasks. A reliable work plan will also help you schedule time with friends and family and this will help to reduce any loneliness you may be experiencing.
Set Boundaries For Work
Setting boundaries with your world life is one of the most important work from home tips. You don’t want to feel trapped by work in your own home, so make sure you don’t reply to any non-urgent emails outside of work hours. This will let colleagues know that they can’t reach you outside of work hours and your mental health will benefit from this.
If you work freelance, you should also set boundaries with clients when they ask for large projects in short amounts of time. Though it can be tempting, doing last-minute work and staying up late to get projects completed will only leave you feeling burnt out and alone.
Try A Change Of Scenery
If you’re feeling isolated when working from home, chances are you’re also feeling trapped too. Making sure you leave the house often is a good way to combat feelings of loneliness when working at home. This could be a quick walk, a trip to the grocery store, or to see a friend, as long as you escape the home office for a while you’ll feel much better.
It’s also recommended that remote workers try working from a cafe, library, or even a co-working space for at least one day a week. This change of scenery and break from your standard routine is great for your mental wellbeing and it will also help with any feelings of loneliness too.
Don’t Work From Your Bed
If you take any advice away from this article, let it be this tip! When you are working at home, avoid working from your bed. This causes your brain to associate your bedroom with the stresses of work, making it difficult to fall asleep at night because your brain is still subconsciously in work mode. Not only will this ruin your sleep quality, but you’ll also be left tired, frustrated, and lonely. Instead, work in a home office or at a table if you can!
Ask For Help
When it comes to remote work, you can’t function well and be productive unless your mental health is taken care of. If you’re experiencing prolonged feelings of isolation, anxiety, or depression, be sure to reach out for professional help. There’s never any shame in getting help and this will help you return to feeling great again!
Keep Checking In With Yourself
At the end of the day, you have to be your own advocate when working from home and make sure you’re proactive about your mental health. Whether you’re feeling lonely or anxious, there is a range of helpful tips you can try to improve your daily routine and boost your mental wellbeing. Always be mindful of how you feel and make sure you reach out to family and friends when you need to. We hope this article has been helpful, good luck with your working from home strategy!
What do you think about remote work? Do you have any tips for remote workers? Let us know in the comments!