How To Handle Working Alone as an Introvert
I'm an introvert. I love my alone time, feel fully recharged on my couch, and am often choosing "A Handmaid's Tale" over happy hour. So when I started my own business and began working from home, I thought it would be the perfect gig! No one to interrupt my flow, or long, dull meetings to cramp my creativity. Just me and my mind.
And at first, it was as dreamy as I'd imagined. But after two years, I found myself slipping into a funk. I felt unbearably lonely. When my husband kissed me goodbye at 9:00 a.m., I felt irrationally sad knowing that I had a full 10 hours alone before he'd be back. I kept the TV on constantly, hoping Kathie Lee and Hoda would keep me company, at least for a little while.
It all came to a head one Sunday night when I started crying and couldn't stop. I sobbed to my husband "I just can't do another Monday all alone!" It was then that I realized I had to make a change. Just as I had created this once-dreamy work life for myself, I could also rearrange what that looked like now.
I started scheduling video calls with some boss besties who live in other states at least once a week. Talking to other women in the same mindset helped tremendously with reminding me I'm not the only work-from-home boss who feels this way. I also started volunteering, which got me out of the home office twice a week. This commitment helped me stay motivated to take a break from the work since someone else was depending on me. I also started having lunch with my husband at least once a week. I set my own schedule after all, so why not take advantage!
I tried several other things like working at coffee shops, spin classes, and I even considered adopting a pet! After several months of these tactics, I realized I was feeling a little lighter and a lot less lonely. I still have days (and weeks) where I'm just so busy that I these techniques slip, and I find myself feeling anxious and alone again, but at least now I know what I need to do.
If you find yourself in the same boat, try some of the methods I mentioned above! You could also look into co-working spaces, if you feel like having a little more human interaction. And even more importantly, know that you really aren't alone, no matter how much it feels like it. Reach out to friends and family, ask for advice or help, and if you want, you can even reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Don't forget that people are here to help, and reaching out only makes you stronger.