29 Easy Ways That Freelancers Can Feel Less Lonely (All New)
Since many freelancers work from home, it’s not uncommon for a freelancer to feel lonely.
Without the daily face-to-face interaction with colleagues and clients that traditional employment provides, a freelancer can naturally start to feel isolated. The problem is worse when the freelancer also lives alone.
Fortunately, no freelancer needs to feel lonely. It takes a little extra work, but there are some steps that freelancers can take to feel more connected. If you like this post, you may also like Overcoming Loneliness: How To Develop a Flesh-And-Blood Support Group.
How to Fight Loneliness
Most of us are surrounded by people. Sure, they might not be in your home office and you might not interact with them, but chances are good that you live close by others. The trick to fighting loneliness is to get connected.
Here are 29 tips for connecting with others:
- Use Google+ Hangout to interact with one or more people. You’ll interact in real-time through Google+ and your web cam.
- Participate in an online forum. It can be therapeutic to interact with others who have a similar interest. Be sure to leave comments and respond to others.
- Send an email to a friend, client, or colleague. Reach out to someone else with a friendly, newsy email. Chances are good that they’ll appreciate hearing from you.
- Phone a friend or family member. Unless you call them all the time, most people are happy to take a few minutes to chat with others by phone.
- Write an old-fashioned letter. If email is not your thing, that’s okay. You can send an old-fashioned letter to friends and family members.
- Go to the store. Most stores are filled with other people, to say nothing of the store employees. You’ll feel less lonely just being around others, even if you don’t strike up a conversation.
- Work from the local coffee shop. Coffee shops are notorious for being freelancer hangouts. Plus, most of them offer free Wi-Fi.
- Use Meetup.com to find others in your area with similar interests. This tool lets you find groups near you. If you’re really adventurous, schedule your own meetup.
- Take a class. Classes provide a great opportunity to connect with others since you’ll automatically have something in common. Check with your local community college.
- Join a professional organization (and attend the meetings). Joining a professional organization can help you meet others. It may even benefit your freelancing business since many professional organizations offer discounts and other benefits.
- Go to the library. You may think of the library as a place to be quiet, but many also offer classes and community meetings.
- Join a book club. If you struggle with finding something to talk about, a book club could be the answer. The book that you read for the club provides instant fodder for conversations.
- Volunteer with your favorite cause. Are you passionate about a particular cause? Consider volunteering. You’ll meet others who care about the same thing.
- Re-connect with a former colleague or old friend. You may think that too many years have passed to reconnect with someone, but if you got along well once they’ll probably enjoy hearing from you now.
- Invite someone to lunch. Lunch meetings are a great way to shake off feelings of isolation. Ask a friend, colleague, or even a client if they’ll join you for lunch.
- Introduce yourself to your next-door neighbor. Most of us don’t know our neighbors, and that’s a shame. Be the exception.
- Walk around in your local mall. Sometimes just being around others is enough. Malls are typically crowded and can be a great place for people watching.
- Adopt a rescue animal. Being needed can go a long way towards alleviating loneliness. Visit your local shelter and find the companion animal that needs you.
- Keep a journal (online or otherwise). You may not get a chance to talk to someone, but you can “share” your thoughts in your journal. Most people report fewer feelings of loneliness after writing a journal entry.
- Go to the gym. Not only are you likely to have a chance to interact with others, but a regular workout will help you to maintain your own health.
- Help someone else. Do you know anyone who could use a helping hand? Perhaps a sick neighbor needs help with their yard work or a shut-in needs you to run errands.
- Take up a hobby. Staying busy can help you to feel less isolated. A hobby is a great way to fill up your spare time.
- Be a mentor. If you’ve been freelancing for a while, you can offer to mentor a less experienced freelancer. Many communities also have programs where adults mentor disadvantaged youth.
- Visit your local park. The fresh air and exercise will do you good. You may even meet other park-goers.
- Be the first one to say “hello.” One of the biggest obstacles to connecting with others is the fear of the initial action. If you make the first move, others will likely reciprocate.
- Don’t neglect yourself. Your health, your rest, and your hygiene are important–even if you spend most of your time alone.
- Connect through social media. There is some evidence that staying in touch with friends through social media can help you to feel less lonely.
- Frequent a small business. Unlike big box stores, most small business owners really get to know their customers.
- Get a roommate. You can save money and alleviate loneliness by sharing your home with a roommate. Be sure to check carefully to make sure that they have compatible habits.
As you can see, there are more ways to connect with others than most people realize. One of them is probably right for you.
However, if you’ve tried everything you can think of to overcome your feelings of loneliness and isolation and nothing seems to work, something more serious than working alone may be the problem. Be sure to check with a mental health professional.
How do you overcome loneliness?
Share your answers in the comments.
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