Sunday Feb 05, 2023

Staying Sane When Working from Home

Lots and lots of people romanticize the idea of working from home. You sit around in your pajamas. You do what you want, when you want. You take all this time off. You and your family are so happy happy happy that if yall smiled any harder, your faces would break. It’s a nice notion…but it’s not true.

Sure you can work from home while wearing your pajamas. And I think everyone of us go through that phase at least for a week because it’s so novel. Eventually, though, because we’re not taking care of ourselves, depression hits. And it affects our entire lives. Our work might get sloppy. We might miss deadlines. We might lose clients. Science shows that when we get dressed, we feel better.

If you have children or if you have a spouse / significant other / insert title of your choice here and don’t tell me how “offensive” it is that I didn’t use YOUR term of choice, be an adult because you clearly understand the point I am making, you’re gonna have a lot of face time particularly if you do not have a separate work space. And if your kids are school age and your spouse / significant other works out side of the home, you’re gonna have a whole lot peace and quiet.

But Isolation Is Real for Many People

I am extremely introverted. I love quiet. It doesn’t bother me to be alone for really long periods of time. I don’t require a lot of social interaction to survive. Lunch out sometimes is fun, but I really don’t need it. With that being said, many people lose their goddamn minds if they’re alone too much. And that is normal.

Isolation, aside from not having enough paying gigs.

You need a plan on how you’re going to get your required amount of interaction. Most of us who work from home don’t have a lot of local people who do the same, at least not here in the Midwest. And even if we did, we’d still have to work around all the varying schedules. The onus is on YOU to find ways to get in your social activities. Pick a day or two every week to work from the library or another location with Internet. Make sure you sign up for a yoga class or an art class or something. Put forth the effort to create extra things you enjoy.

Learn How to Deal with the Distractions at Home

Working from home doesn’t automatically mean that you enjoy your sweet little angels and your sweet little sugar muffin of a spouse / significant other anymore than when you worked outside of the home or didn’t work. Actually, it can create an added layer of stress. You might feel overwhelmed because not only do you need to meet deadlines to make money, you also have to (insert the household chores here). And on top of that, you’ll have at least one (likely more) friends and family members who think that because you’re not working in a traditional environment, that you really don’t work. Always a good time.

Here is one of my newer posts about handling distractions when you’re working from home.

Another significant item is to create an ideal schedule. Understand that your ideal schedule may not be the same every single day, especially if you have a family. However, figuring out when you’re most productive and how you can utilize that can make work from home life less crazy-making and more peaceful.

Here are some of my most popular posts about scheduling:

Mastering a Work from Home Routine without Breaking a Sweat

How to Take the Headache Out of Work/Life Balance

Scheduling Strategies for Freelance / Work from Home Beginners

Working from Home Isn’t for Everyone

Just because you feel a little sad, anxious, unhappy, or depressed doesn’t necessarily mean that working from home isn’t for you. There is an adjustment period for everyone. You have to find your flow. And that’s okay. With that said, if you decide working from home isn’t for you for any reason, that doesn’t make you a failure. It just means you tried something new and didn’t like it. And that’s okay!

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