Offline and in Life
Working from home can make you crazy. Human beings require connection. Not just through Skype or text messages. But also through honest-to-goodness, real-life contact. It is the human touch that makes all the difference.
Apart from a brief stint in Corporate America, I have worked from home for most of my adult life. And there are certain tricks I have established to ensure I remain a part of the human race.
Being a writer is a lonely existence at times. We sit with our blank screens (and heaven forbid! our blank stares), alone with our thoughts — and deadlines. The crush of inner discipline is required to maintain momentum when all you’d rather do is eat chocolate in bed.
When you work from home, it is all too easy to shuffle from bed to bath to desk in your pajamas, but I have found that I cannot be on a conference call in my bathrobe. I am most effective when I am fully dressed, wearing makeup and even perfume. I suppose it is my way of preventing too much distance from myself and my fellow man. Besides, the postman knows I work from home so he rings my bell several times a week to drop off packages for others in my building. Virtually, every day I’ll venture outside mid-day for a nature walk and to see other people. I don’t have to interact with them, but just knowing I am not alone helps considerably.
It is ironic that I am in public relations, as private as I am within my four walls. That is the paradox of the at-home worker. We create quiet miracles from the edge of our seats with nary a colleague to high-five us when we score a win for our clients.
That is why meeting with friends on a regular basis is imperative. Remaining connected is essential for your mental health. Unplugging from the virtual world is good for you too.
Get offline and into life today. Hug someone you love. Twice. Nothing beats the warmth of another that you care for deeply. Embrace it for all it’s worth.