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Working at Home Doesn't Have to Mean Feeling Alone


By 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 the 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 the
outside world. At first, this might seem like a welcome
change from the stressful interactions in the 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 the 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 the rest of the night
without the 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
the calorie-burning benefits, however. It's also a good way
to release stress and to enjoy the company of other people.
You can do the 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 the 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 the 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 the bad things about owning a home-based business is
that you probably turned your hobby into your livelihood
which often takes a lot of the 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.

5) Go to the movies

Chances are those people you love who spend 8-10 hours a day
in the outside world probably want to rent a DVD, microwave
some popcorn, and watch a film in the comfort of their
living rooms instead of venturing out into the dark,
crowded, and sticky-floored world of theaters. You, however,
should resist the urge. Watching a movie in public with a
group of people around is the ultimate socialization
experience. Even though you don't know everyone in the
theater, you are connected for those two hours (or however
long the movie runs). Of course, if you can take your
spouse, your friends, your children, or even your parents
along, you definitely should. But if they'd rather stay home
and vegetate on the couch, you can always go alone.

6) Buy a laptop computer

Owning a home-based business doesn't mean you are never
allowed to leave your house. Of course, you don't want to
miss out on valuable work, but you also don't want to a
prisoner in your home office. If you buy a laptop, you can
have the best of both worlds. You'll stay connected to your
work and you can actually go out into the world. You can
work while you sip coffee, relax at the park, or sit on your
front porch. All of which will give you a much-needed chance
to reconnect with the rest of the world.

7) Get a part-time job

You probably started your own home-based business to escape
the rat race so you might be hesitant about getting back out
there. Even ten hours a week is enough to keep you sane, but
should not be enough to drive you crazy. One freelance
writer I know who works out of her home also teaches a five
hour weekly writing course to college students in order to
rejuvenate after hours of isolation. The class lets her be
social, do something she enjoys, and earn a reliable stream
of additional income. The effects of a part-time could be
equally beneficial for you.

As you may have noticed, all of these ideas have one thing
in common: they force you to leave your home. The reason is
that the only way to feel like you're not isolated, is to
not isolate yourself. Taking a few minutes each day to talk
to your working friends on the phone, to stroll through
nature, or to spend quality time with your family is all it
really takes to keep your productive and happy.

About the Author
Vishal P. Rao is the editor of Home Based Business
Opportunities - A website dedicated to opportunities, ideas
and resources to help you start and run a home based
business. Visit him at:


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