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You’re sitting at the computer working away — quite impressed with your quick fingers — when all of a sudden, it hits. Out of nowhere, you start feeling the dreaded work-from-home blues. When you worked in an office, you might have had a co-worker who kept you company or enjoyed counting down to your after-work snack. When you work from home, you don’t have either of those, and that can be a true letdown.
According to a 2021 survey done by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), only 56% of remote workers feel they can talk openly with their supervisors about their mental health. You or someone you know may be a part of the 46% who don’t feel comfortable talking to your supervisors about these issues. If you feel like you’re drowning in the ocean of work-from-home blues with no one to help you, here are some things I’ve done to throw myself a lifesaver so I could keep afloat even though I’ve worked remotely for over a decade.
1. Join online communities
Some people opt to join general networking communities online. These can be beneficial for building connections and finding other people with which to do business. However, the way I like to approach things is by taking courses and becoming a part of the community within the course. This allows me to have a shared experience with the people I meet, and I get to learn something.
I can often network and find great opportunities this way, but that’s not my main goal. My main goal is to keep myself in the right headspace while learning and to help others in that way. Oftentimes, we don’t think about the impact working from home without as much human interaction has, but it’s a big one.
I try to look for online communities with a Facebook group where we can share ideas. It’s a bonus if there is a webinar or Zoom meeting where everyone joins once a month. It does wonders for me when it comes to chasing the blues away.
2. Have a work friend
I always do my best work when I have a work friend with whom I can share my goals and progress. It’s great for accountability, and you have someone with whom you can celebrate your wins and someone to commiserate with when either of you has something less than ideal take place. You don’t even need to work with the same company, but it is helpful if you do the same thing or have a good idea of what they do.
Depending on what works for either of you, you could choose to keep in touch over Slack or you might even opt to have weekly video meetups to compare notes. It’s really about what works for both of you. It can be an invaluable part of your life, and it can do wonders for your mood.
3. Be intentional with lighting
The research on light therapy shows multiple benefits to being intentional with lighting. I didn’t know about these benefits for the longest time. I just knew that I felt better when I opened the windows or got outside instead of staying held up in my room with the lights dimmed.
According to the research, light therapy helps your circadian rhythm among other things. The findings showed that you’re able to be more alert in the day, and you can sleep better at night with the use of light therapy. Sleeping better helps your overall mood and can chase away the blues. The good news is that you can use the sun or use special lights to manufacture the effects. This is great for those long days when I get carried away writing and don’t see the sun.
So, if you’re struggling to beat the work-from-home blues, joining an online community, talking to a work friend and/or engaging in light therapy may be just what you need.
Related: Your Work-From-Home Self-Care Guide
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