Freelancing & Loneliness: How To Thwart Creative Isolation
I’ll be honest. There are days when I look down and realize I’m still wearing my pajamas. And it’s noon. Despite my questionable attire, however, I always admit to myself that I’ve gotten an incredible amount of work done.
If I’m still in my pajamas, that means one thing: I haven’t seen another human being all day. If my husband’s out of town, I might not have seen another human being all week. Not only is this bad for my health, but it’s bad for my soul. If your work requires you spend hours in solitude each day, here are a few things you can do to keep loneliness at bay.
Leave the House
It may sound simple, but the very act of forcing yourself to leave your house each day can make a difference. Even if you just run a few errands or pick up some groceries, you’ll speak to employees and fellow shoppers, giving you that socialization you need. If you simply have too many deadlines, take your laptop to a local café and work for a few hours. You’ll be surrounded by people while also accomplishing your goals.
Find a Group
If most of your friends and neighbors are working during the day, consider finding a networking group that meets on a regular basis. Meetup.com is a great resource for finding others who share your interests. You don’t even have to limit yourself to your occupation. If you’re a graphic designer with a love for fine wine, a night with fellow wine enthusiasts may be just what you need to return to work feeling refreshed.
Disconnect and Connect
It’s easy to feel as though Facebook messaging your best friend from high school counts as socializing. It doesn’t. The Internet is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. While you shouldn’t completely cut off your online friends, force yourself to occasionally log off and go out into the real world to talk to people the old-fashioned way. When you do leave the house, try to resist the temptation to check your email every ten seconds and instead interact with those around you.
Take a Part-Time Job
If your work keeps you so busy, you can’t financially afford fun time, consider cutting back on your at-home work and taking a part-time job doing something you enjoy. Substitute teach or work in a bookstore. You could even teach a night class at the local college on your area of expertise. You’ll find that the interaction with others fuels your creativity and you’ll have a little extra spending money.
If you’re working hard at your creative endeavors, you’ll likely at least occasionally feel lonely. Leaving the house on a regular basis will not only help reduce those feelings, but you’ll also find inspiration in the interactions you have with fellow shoppers, friends, and associates. If your work ties you to the house most of the day, schedule a short period of time each day to permit yourself to leave home and spend time in the world. It’s good for your health, as well as your work.
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