I am a freelance writer and I also have a side hustle helping small companies with their social media. I am a remote worker. I don’t have to go into an office, I can work in my pajamas, and I don’t have a boss looking over my shoulder to make sure I’m not using my phone. Sounds super cool, doesn’t it? I mean really, what more could a girl ask for?
One morning while wearing a onesie and checking emails I realized I was depressed and I wasn’t quite sure why. The remote worker is glamorized as this person who is basically on vacation 24-7, they take cool Instagram pictures from home with the hashtag #workflow and we all feel jealous. People often talk about the hustle, the sacrifice, and the grind of the entrepreneur. But they always forget to mention the isolation, stress, and depression that can come from working at home.
I don’t have co-workers to discuss my day with. I can go for days without going outside, and I realized working in pajamas gets old quick. I was depressed because I didn’t have a work social life anymore. There were no office parties or boring meetings to attend. When I got mad at a client I couldn’t go to the break room and talk it out with my favorite co-worker. I felt alone, and this did not feel like the life I’d signed up for.
While I am still trying to find a good balance, I have been finding new ways to help me cope. If you are a Sistah Girl that works from home these tips can help if you have the pajama work couch blues.
Create or join a mastermind group
A mastermind group is an accountability group at the core, but it also serves as a safe space where you can talk to people who understand what you are going through. In my mastermind group, we talk about our wins and losses as it pertains to our jobs. We also talk about personal issues that only entrepreneurs and people who work from home can relate to.
Shout out to the Bad A$$ Creatives (the name of my mastermind group)
Create a workspace
One of the things I failed to do in the beginning was create one central location to work from. I worked everywhere and anywhere my laptop could fit and the wifi was the strongest. I worked from my living room couch, bed, and kitchen. This made me feel like I was always working even when I wasn’t. By creating a workspace, once I complete my assignments I’m able to step away from work. Even if you love your job you still feel happy when you clock out.
Walking around the house in sweats all day with uncombed hair did nothing to help alleviate my depression, it simply added to it. The old saying, “If you look good you feel good” rings true. To help brighten my mood I began to get fully dressed. Now I am not saying that you need to wake up and put on your interview suit, but I did see a difference in my mood once I dropped the sweat pants and combed my hair.
Create a schedule
One of the benefits of working from home is that you can create your ideal schedule. The thing people working from home fail to mention is that it’s way easier said than done. When you are in an office setting everything is timed even if you don’t realize it a schedule is created for you.
Once I left the office setting I left the schedule behind. Part of the reason I felt depressed was due to the fact that I failed to create a daily work flow. I eventually created a schedule that mimicked a typical work day and I do my best to stick with it daily. I don’t hit the mark every day so don’t beat yourself up if, in the beginning, you find yourself eating lunch at 5 pm.
Leave the house
I remember one time I didn’t leave my house for three days straight. Sistah Girls, you are not on punishment you can leave the house! Even if it’s a quick run to the store or a short walk to the mail box, go outside for some fresh air. Staying locked up inside the house made me feel like I was isolated from the world. I started going for walks in the middle of the day and it has helped me tremendously.
After a short walk, I can approach a project with a fresh set of eyes. I have more energy and I feel less frustrated.
Get a part-time job
Wait, what? Yes, I know you did a double take, but getting a part-time job can be beneficial. Last summer I took a short term part-time job. I learned new skills that I added to my own toolbox and met new people. The hours weren’t long and I gained a few extra coins, it was a win/win.
There was a moment when I thought that it was okay to feel depressed and frustrated. I would tell myself, “It’s supposed to feel this way…I’m hustling.” You can work hard and still lead a life filled with joy. Whether it’s treating yourself to a spa day or going to the nail salon, give yourself something to look forward to.
While you may no longer have the office party to attend, you can create something special for yourself that lifts your spirits. Let me know in the comments section what helps you when you get a case of the “Work from home blues.”