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Coping With Isolation When Working From Home - RD105: Do you worry about isolation while working from home? Isolation is one of the major concerns when running a home-based design business. Spending day after day, week after week having minimal contact with other people can take its toll on...

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Do you worry about isolation while working from home? Isolation is one of the major concerns when running a home-based design business. Spending day after day, week after week having minimal contact with other people can take its toll on some people. That's why working from home is not for everyone. When asked about working from home most people will give one of two responses. I wish I could do that. Be my own boss, work my own hours with nobody looking over your shoulder. I don't think I could do that. It would drive me crazy being by myself all the time. The type of person you are will determine if isolating yourself to run a home-based design business is right for you. After all, to live a healthy and fulfilling life you need to have close, interpersonal relationships. Which isn't always easy for home-based designers. Before I go any further, let me just state that I am not a qualified therapist or health professional. If you are feeling the effects of isolation to the point where you are feeling lonely or depressed, please seek professional help. Ways to cope with isolation when working from home. Create a happy work environment A key factor to a pleasant work at home experience is working in a space you enjoy. If at all possible, have a dedicated room in your home for your workspace. If your living arrangements don't allow for this try dedicating a corner of a room with a desk and other things you need to run your business. Liven up your workspace with artwork and mementoes that make you feel good. Work with music if that's something you like, or if you find music too distracting you can try soothing sounds of nature. And make sure you have good lighting. Natural light from a window is best, but a good daylight lamp will suffice if need be. If you like your working environment, chances are you will feel less isolated when you spend time in it. Get out for a bit Whenever you start to feel isolated, it may be a good time to take a break and get out. Go for a walk in a park or spend some time at a mall. Just being around other people, even if you don't interact with them will help alleviate some of your feelings of isolation. Move your workspace If you work on a laptop or tablet why not take it to a coffee shop or some other place with wifi. You could also try a shared workspace. Many cities now offer short-term office space rentals. Think about renting a space for a couple of hours once per week. Shared office paces give you the opportunity to work on your business while still being around others. Simply being around other people can have a therapeutic effect when you're struggling with isolation. Become part of a community Try joining groups or clubs in your area. Joining a group or club is a great way to meet new people and give you a chance to interact outside of a work environment. Check your local community centre for recreational sports leagues or other social gatherings. For a quick fix from feeling isolated don't discount the power of social media. Being part of an online community can help take the stress out of your busy work life. Mastermind and networking groups are another great way to interact with like-minded people. See if there are any in your area you could join. Sometimes, all it takes to get over that feeling of isolation is to share your thoughts and experiences with other people. Get a pet This might not be for everyone, but having a pet in your house can help you feel less alone. Pets are very therapeutic and have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Dogs are great listeners and give you their undivided attention when you need it, and cats have a way of knowing when you need a little affection. If cats or dogs are not an option, perhaps you may want to try a fish or some other less demanding animal. Simply having another living being in your house can help curb that feeling of isolation. Talk to yourself I know, it sounds crazy. But when you're in a pinch talking to yourself can be a way of fee

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