So many people believe that working from home is the greatest, easiest thing in the world to do. Frankie and I sit around all day on the couch. We turn on the television, put on a favorite show, call each other up on our pink princess phones, eat bon bons and talk about whatever we feel like.
If that’s what actually happened, we’d probably be a lot less stressed, and a lot more plump! Working from home can be extremely difficult, trying and exhausting. You’re there all the time. Most of the time alone. And you can only talk to the family pet so much before he runs off and hides.
Here are five ways to stay sane when you work from home.
Honestly, sometimes I stop for a moment and think, I haven’t left the house in two days! You have to get out of the house. When you work in an office, you leave. You go to lunch. You run errands. You go into other rooms in the building. You do not stay trapped in one little area for nine hours. You have to do the same thing when working from home. Frankie goes for walks every morning. I work from Starbucks on Wednesdays. Make it a point to get out and remember that the rest of the world is still out there.
Talk to People
Sometimes you’re lucky enough to have a work from home job that has you interacting with people every day. But sometimes, not. For Your Gal Friday, I have only one client that I speak with regularly. There are some clients I’ve never actually had a conversation with. Only email.
Pick up the phone and talk to other people each day. You need that personal interaction. You need to be able to have regular, adult conversations. And they shouldn’t all be about work. Call up a family member to see what’s going on. Attend a free presentation somewhere and talk with other people about travel, education, your town. Anything. Just keep that interaction level up.
It is so easy to find yourself stuck in one spot. You look at the clock - it’s 9am. You look again and it’s 12:30pm. Force yourself to move. I like to schedule my day so that I take a break from work and climb some stairs to do some light cleaning. Or stroll to the mailbox. Or even just do some step walking while I watch a little TV. If you can’t remember to move, set an alarm on your phone to ring every 30 minutes. Anything to keep you moving.
This may not seem like a very productive work from home tip, but everyone needs some goof off time. Put the work away and have some fun. I love playing games on my iPad. Maybe you like to play a musical instrument. Or maybe you like to hop on your bike and ride around the neighborhood looking at garage sales. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s not work. Don’t do dishes. Don’t do laundry. Don’t just “get this one thing done.” Goof off. Take a nap! Anything to reset your brain and make you feel refreshed.
Get Some Sunshine
Sometimes just sitting in the sun for a few minutes will refresh your whole day. I like to occasionally take my laptop out to the back porch and work there. I get sunshine, birds chirping, squirrels and chipmunks running about, and the occasional groundhog strolling through. Even when I worked in an office I’d find a place to sit in the sun for a bit (especially when working in buildings where you had no windows).
So don’t go crazy. Go play in the sunshine. Relax. Have fun. Chat with people. It’ll make working from home each day a great experience.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.