As creative entrepreneurs, many of us work from home completely alone. However, this doesn’t have to be a lonely business. Here are 5 ways to overcome loneliness as a solopreneur:
1. Turn Off Screens and Connect in Real Life
I know this is something my own soul has been deeply craving this year. Because I operate online, most of my business is in my head and it seems to never shut down! Digital breaks are extremely necessary for creatives, especially when your business starts to creep into the personal areas where it simply does not belong.
I’ve found that when I don’t take much needed digital breaks, such as turning off the computer screens or making a point to get outside, then I start to “check-out” every chance I get with more compulsive activities, such as drinking alcohol in the evening, or overindulging in poor food choices just to relax and shut down for the day.
To keep the business inside the hours where it belongs, create a routine that signals to your mind and body that it’s break- or quitting time. For example, you could:
- Take a 15-minute walk outside for your mid-morning break
- Eat lunch sitting down with a book or magazine (no screens)
- End your work day at least one hour before you’ll see family or friends to reset and refocus your attention
- Create better work/life balanced habits: i.e. no personal calls before 2PM, no internet after 6PM, etc.
2. Take a Day Off
If you had a traditional job, you’d have lunch out every once and a while, meet co-workers at the water cooler for a chat and run errands around your office hours. In creative business, we must insert these same activities into our week!
If you’re anything like me, you can go several days in a row without leaving the house, while your family comes and goes. That’s not what normal people do.
Take for example, the winter season, when there’s really not much reason for me to leave the house. There are behaviors that I know to watch for that signal I’m not getting out enough, such as feeling anxiety about an errand and my safety on the wintery roads. Fear of driving in winter weather is ludicrous for me because I’m from Pennsylvania. Only a blizzard could get us a snow day!
Just because we don’t have to go out doesn’t mean we don’t have to go out. If you’re having a season that’s leaving you at home a lot, take a day off to run errands and meet a friend for lunch. Get out of your head and out of the house!
3. Write your feelings down and find a place to share
A creative career is demanding, and we face the brunt of it on our own. It’s important to get your frustrations and feelings out of your head and onto paper. This is yet another reason I love blogging. I can share a post like this and your feedback will reassure me that I am not alone. You feel me; you experience a lot of the same challenges and obstacles that I do.
The ability to connect and relate to other creative entrepreneurs is priceless.
4. Play hooky with a loved one
Every year, each of my four children take one day off school to play hooky with me. We get manicures (the girls), play video games (the boys), go to Chuck-e-Cheese (it’s empty!) and eat at their favorite restaurants. My husband also takes off work, at least once per quarter, so that we can have an all-day date.
The memories I create with my family on hooky days are unmatched. It fills my need for connection like nothing else.
5. Join a club
I join clubs both online and off. I’ve found that the best way to fit in and feel like you belong somewhere is to get involved, and clubs are the easiest way to do just that.
I am a member of two local, in-person clubs that meet monthly, and I love the familiarity and friendships that have grown out of my membership. I also host The Luminaries Club online. It offers me a safe space to go when I’m unsure in business or up against an obstacle that has me stumped. I love my fellow Luminaries; they’re honest and real, and they mean business.
Here’s to taking that lonely feeling out of your amazing solopreneurship. Until next time and all the best,