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You are sitting in front of the computer working, quite impressed with your quick fingers, when suddenly it touches. Out of nowhere, you start to feel the dreaded blues of work from home. When you worked in an office, you might have a co-worker to keep you company or enjoy counting down for your snack after work. When you work from home, you don’t have any of them, and that can be a real disappointment.
According to a 2021 survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), only 56% of remote workers feel they can talk openly with their supervisors about their mental health. You or someone you know may be part of the 46% who are not comfortable talking to your supervisors about these issues. If you feel like you’re drowning in the ocean of work blues from home with no one to help you, here are some things I’ve done to save me and keep me afloat even though I’ve worked remotely. for more than a decade.
1. Join online communities
Some people choose to join general online networking communities. These can be helpful in making connections and finding other people to do business with. However, the way I like to approach things is by taking courses and being part of the community within the course. This allows me to live a shared experience with people I know and learn something.
I can often connect and find great opportunities this way, but that’s not my main goal. My main goal is to stay in the right space while I learn and help others in this way. We often don’t think about the impact of working from home without so much human interaction, but it’s great.
I’m trying to find online communities with a Facebook group where I can share ideas. It’s a plus if there’s a webinar or a Zoom meeting where everyone gets together once a month. It amazes me when it comes to chasing the blues.
Related: How to get over 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 with whom you can celebrate your victories and someone with whom you can check when one of you has something less than ideal. You don’t even have to work with the same company, but it’s useful if you do the same thing or have a good idea of what they do.
Depending on how it works for any of you, you can choose to stay in touch through Slack, or you can even choose to have weekly video meetings to compare notes. This is really what works for both of us. It can be an invaluable part of your life and it can do wonders for your mood.
3. Be intentional about lighting
Research into light therapy shows multiple benefits for being intentional with lighting. I hadn’t known these benefits for a long time. I just knew I felt better when I opened the windows or went outside instead of staying in my room with the lights dimmed.
According to research, light therapy helps your circadian rhythm, among other things. The results showed that you can be more alert during the day and that you can sleep better at night with the use of light therapy. Sleeping better helps your overall mood and can keep the blues away. The good news is that you can use the sun or use special lights to make the effects. That’s great for those long days when I get carried away writing and I don’t see the sun.
So if you’re struggling to beat the blues of work from home, joining an online community, talking to a friend at work, and / or participating in light therapy may be all you need.
Related: Your self-care guide for working from home