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You’re working at the computer – quite impressed by your fast fingers – when it suddenly strikes. Out of nowhere you start to feel the dreaded work-at-home blues. When you worked in the office, you may have had a co-worker who kept you company or who liked to count down to your after-work snack. When you work from home, you have neither, and that can be a real disappointment.
According to an survey 2021 conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), only 56% of homeworkers feel they can talk openly with their supervisors about their mental health. You or someone you know may be 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-at-home blues with no one to help you, here are some things I’ve done to make myself a lifesaver so I can keep my head above water, even though I’ve been on worked remotely for over a decade.
1. Join Online Communities
Some people choose to join general networking communities online. These can be beneficial for building connections and finding other people to do business with. But the way I like to do things is by taking courses and being part of the community within the course. This allows me to have a shared experience with the people I meet, and I can 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 proper headspace while learning and help others that way. Often we don’t think about the impact of working from home without so much human interaction, but it’s a big one.
I try to find online communities with a Facebook group where we can share ideas. It is a nice bonus if there is a webinar or Zoom meeting where everyone participates once a month. It works wonders for me when it comes to chasing the blues away.
Related: How to Beat the Work From Home Blues (60 Second Video)
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 to celebrate your victories with and someone to feel sorry for if one of you lets something less than ideal happen. You don’t even have to work for the same company, but it’s helpful if you do the same or have a good idea of what they do.
Depending on what works for both of you, you can choose to keep in touch via Slack or you can even choose to have weekly video meetings to compare notes. It’s really about what works for both of you. It can be invaluable in your life and it can do wonders for your mood.
3. Be mindful with lighting
The research on light therapy shows several benefits of consciously dealing with lighting. I didn’t know about these benefits for the longest time. I just knew I felt better opening the windows or going outside instead of ceasing to stay 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 are more alert during the day and sleep better at night with the help of light therapy. Better sleep helps your overall mood and can chase the blues away. The good news is that you can use the sun or use special lights to create 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-at-home blues, joining an online community, talking to a work friend, and/or participating in light therapy might be just what you need.
Related: Your self-care guide to working from home