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:
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.”
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.
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…
- 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).
- 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.”
- Join a nearby book club. It can provide mental stimulation, connection with groovy people, and an escape through recreational reading.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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