Get a Life! 7 Ways to Have a Social Life When Home is Your Office


There’s no doubt about it. Working from home can be a pretty sweet setup, with an array of privileges and perks.  So sweet, in fact, that it would take an act of God or near-death emergency to claw some of us from our comfy confines and our daily “uniform” of bunny slippers and lounging pajamas. True?

Still, getting out is good for us — like eating vegetables. Though many of us might argue that we do “socialize” via daily Twitter updates, Facebook entries and other online outlets, it’s not the same.

Occasional face to face activities help to preserve our social skills, enhance our conversational skills, gain support, relieve stress, improve the creative process, and maintain optimal fitness.

Here’s how some of these factors factor into the “quality of life” equation:

Support

No matter how much your family or partner listens to your work-related woes and issues with clients, or how much they serve as your official cheer leading squad, no one quite “gets it” like a fellow entrepreneur, writer, or work at home mom. Connect with these like-minded individuals whether it’s at your local coffeehouse, neighborhood park, or bookstore. These in person gatherings can help give you insight into your problems, laughter when it’s needed, and moral support on a different level. Embrace it.

Improve the Creative Process

Have you ever been engaged in a conversation or heated debate with a business colleague or friend that caused you to have a paradigm shift, or a greater understanding of a theory or social issue? Most of us have. It can be a “eureka” moment of sorts. Using this fuel can help to get those creative juices flowing to overcome writer’s block or brainstorm through a plaguing problem. There’s a grain of truth to the expression, “two heads are better than one.”

Maintain Fitness

If one of your goals for this year is to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle, getting out a few days a week for a brisk walk, a workout at the gym, or trip to the mall helps to counteract the sometimes negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

Relieve Stress

From eye strain, to backaches, to migraines, sometimes intense hours of focus day after day, with no downtime can be your downfall. Get out and stretch those limbs and breathe some fresh air.

Now that you have the “whys”, here are the 7 ways of getting a life and relinquishing your hermit status…

  1. Make an “official appointment” to do a meet and greet with a friend. It can be once a week or once a month to catch up and let your hair down. One of my former college buddies and I get together each month and have lunch at the 2-fer restaurants where we combine a good deal with good conversation. Remember to treat it with importance (like you would a meeting with a client).
  2. Change the way you think. Balance is a key ingredient to success in any professional endeavor or business lifestyle. As they say, “all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl.”
  3. Join a nearby book club. It can provide mental stimulation, connection with groovy people, and an escape through recreational reading.
  4. Commune with nature. Visit a botanical garden, go fishing, have a picnic in the park, sit by a lake and contemplate. Or take the little ones to a ball park. Try it, you might like it!
  5. Treat yourself to a deserved day of pampering at a day spa. Get in a manicure, pedicure, facial, or body massage. You’ll feel rewarded and less stressed. This advice applies to men as well.
  6. Those who make a living as writers would potentially do well to join a critique group. A few creatives that I know swear by them.
  7. If you’re single, recognize that Mr. or Mrs. Right will never find you behind closed doors. Hello?  And who knows what random Starbucks encounter or bookstore aisle-brush might end up being the beginning of something special. Remember the movie Serendipity? Get out to get involved.

Follow these seven sage tips and you’ll expand your horizons, increase your productivity, and enjoy a better quality of life.

Or to simply put it in the words of Madonna…get into the groove.

 


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Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, popular relationship columnist and Managing Editor at Coffeehouseforwriters.com. Formerly an "awesome" public relations professional, she now enjoys the spoils of the entrepreneurial life. Additionally, she is a columnist for Technorati.

Discussion

  1. Laura Dienzo on the 10th February

    Social networks are a great way to stay in “contact” during an otherwise lonely existence of working from home but nothing replaces real human interactions! Thanks for the tips!

  2. Jennifer Brown Banks on the 10th February

    Laura,

    How true. Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. Adam Lehman on the 10th February

    Get your work done during work and then play HARD!

    I think that – too often – people allow their social lives to flood their work time and then their work time ends up flooding into much of their social lives.

  4. angelee on the 11th February

    Sometimes we ran out of concepts, getting out is one good way of having sparks.

    • Jennifer Brown Banks on the 11th February

      angelee,

      Getting out definitely helps the creative process, and gets those sparks ignited! I appreciate your input.

  5. Jennifer Brown Banks on the 11th February

    Adam,

    How true. Proper balance is key. Thanks for weighing in.

  6. Bob Tabor on the 11th February

    Nice article! Timely … I was right in the middle of navel-gazing due to emptiness of my chosen path. (I’ve been on my own for 9 years now.) Any tips on where to find a meet-up with other small business owners in your area? OR even office space shared by entrepreneurs where you can go for the day to engage (but retreat when you need to get serious work done)?

  7. Jennifer Brown Banks on the 11th February

    Bob,

    Hmmm…interesting. Maybe Craigslist? Thanks for the feedback.

  8. Ella on the 12th February

    Great tips there! thanks.
    I have one more which has helped me get out more: get a dog. It’s not only a great companion to have while working at home (if you have the kind of dog that will snuggle at your feet) – it’ll also take you to a walk a few times a day and MAKE you take a break. I always loved starting my day with a long morning walk.
    Another advantage is that in a funny way it’ll get you in contact with other “dog people” out there, and I found a few other people that work from home in my area this way.

  9. Jennifer Brown Banks on the 13th February

    Ella,

    Great suggestions here! It also reminds me of one of my favorite movies, “Must Love Dogs”. Another added benefit is that dog walking can provide much-needed exercise as well. :-) Thanks for the input.

  10. Mike Vardy on the 15th February

    I’m pretty sure I need to get out more… :)

    Thanks to all for the comments — and for reading WorkAwesome?

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