© 2003 Vishal P. Rao
Operating a home-based business may let you set your own schedule, spend more time with your children, and earn more money but it does have its own set of challenges. One of those challenges can be a feeling of loneliness.
Many home-based business workers spend all their time trapped within confines of their house. They eat in their own kitchen, type email on their own computer, and socialize with their own family once they return from outside world. At first, this might seem like a welcome change from stressful interactions in average workplace, but when continued day after day, it can dramatically affect your mood and your productivity.
Luckily, you can combat those negative feelings and keep your home-based business. Here are a few suggestions:
1) Establish a Routine
Very often flexibility of working at home can deteriorate into disorder and chaos, which usually leads to longer hours and less socialization. A well-established routine allows you to get your work done and have time to mingle. For example, you could set office hours from 8 am to 5 pm. Once you finish working each evening, you'll be free to unwind and interact with people for rest of night without distraction of your business. Plus, you'll be forced to use those time management skills which were so essential when you working for someone else.
2) Take a walk with a spouse, friend, or dog
If you visit any workplace, you are bound to find people walking on their lunch breaks. They don't just do this for calorie-burning benefits, however. It's also a good way to release stress and to enjoy company of other people. You can do same thing, but you may need to schedule your outings so they are convenient for your “walking buddy.” Of course, if you opt to take your favorite canine companion along, he or she will be available whenever need to wander strikes.
3) Join a health club
Exercise is an excellent stress reliever, plus it fights against two other common work-at-home problems: over-indulgence in food and sedentary lifestyles. But exercising on a stationary bike or treadmill in your bedroom won't be enough to fight that feeling of isolation. A health club, on other hand, is a perfect answer because it provides lots of exercise opportunities and a chance to meet new people. Sure, club memberships can be pricey but your health and well-being are worth it.
4) Get a hobby
One of bad things about owning a home-based business is that you probably turned your hobby into your livelihood which often takes a lot of fun out of it, so now you need a new hobby. The best choice would be something that required you to get involved with other people, such as team sports. However, most solitary activities can also be used for socializing. For example, if you like to read, you could join a weekly book club.