3 effective ways to overcome the loneliness of self-employment
I don’t know about you but for the last couple of months it has felt like I have been in a weird sci-fi movie. On the bright side, like all movies, I know that one will soon come to an end.
However, this doesn’t ignore the fact that it still feels bizarre not to wander carefree around the shops, meet with family and friends, or shake our booties on the dancefloor whilst sipping a beverage.
For now, this is our “new” normal, until another “new” normal comes along.
For us self-employed folk, it’s common for others to think that this unique situation doesn’t impact us as much as everyone else because we should be used to staying at home, but they’re wrong.
Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, ambivert, self-employed, employed or unemployed, as humans we all need a certain amount of human interaction in order to remain sane.
Regardless of the extraordinarily uncertain times we find ourselves in, those who are self-employed can and will experience loneliness. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You don’t have to be alone (if you don’t want to be).
I believe that we are all in control of the life we want and choose to live.
Loneliness is an emotionally unpleasant experience which can have an adverse effect on our health, wellbeing and contentment.
So, if you’re self-employed and experiencing loneliness during these uncertain times – I’ve got your back.
As a mother to a sassy ‘threenager’, peace and quiet is a luxury for me these days. However, no matter what your situation is, it’s important that you find that golden hour to focus on yourself.
Self-reflection is a vital approach to overcoming loneliness and as a self-confessed stationary addict I often find solitude in journaling my thoughts and feelings and taking moments to reflect on them.
Keeping a daily journal can be extremely therapeutic and it can decrease our levels of loneliness as we become more comfortable with our thoughts, thus becoming more comfortable with ourselves.
When journaling, it’s always great to keep a daily gratitude journal where we can train our brains to focus more on the positive elements of our lives and swish those feelings of loneliness to more empowering thoughts and emotions.
Other than journaling, there are a plethora of self-care activities we can choose from to continue boosting our happy hormones (endorphins and serotonin).
Guided meditations, yoga, listening to audiobooks, gardening, listening to music and dancing around your living pretending you are Beyoncé (ok, maybe the last one is just me, but you get the gist).
Whatever your favourite pastime is get something scheduled into your week so you have something to look forward to.
It doesn’t matter what you decide to get involved in. All that matters is that you are doing it for you and I can promise you’ll feel a lot less lonely and much happier.
3. Find your tribe
We are so fortunate that we have been gifted with access to the internet, which means it is a lot less complicated to stay connected with people and build relationships.
On various social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn there are a wealth of online communities which we can seek out to be part of.
Find communities which interest you and fulfil your needs and begin to connect with other members. Meeting and mingling online is a lot easier than people think it is, especially when you find the right community.
On the flip side, the internet can be an extremely noisy place which can become overwhelming. If you find yourself in this position, relook at the groups you are part of and silence those which you are not engaging in or receive the less value from.
One thing that our current situation has reminded me of is that time is extremely invaluable.
Unlike a pair of new heels, or an all-inclusive holiday – we can’t buy time. It’s completely free and only we have control over the time we have and how we utilise it.
So, take control, find pockets of “me” time to focus on you, meet and mingle online and reflect on the things you are grateful for in your life.
Loneliness can impact on our moods, thoughts and behaviours so it’s important that we focus on reducing that feeling of loneliness so we can live a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life.
Who’s with me?