Loneliness is a real thing, especially if you're an entrepreneur...
Especially if you're an entrepreneur that works from home..
Annnnddd especially if you're an entrepreneur that works from home during a pandemic!
In fact, many people are feeling the effects of loneliness and isolation during these times. Self-reported loneliness is skyrocketing and entrepreneurs could be taking the brunt of these feelings.
The loneliness doesn't even have to be a manifested feeling (ie, you're physically alone). But also mentally! Ie, you're the only one in your family or friend group who is pursuing a self-employed situation.
Sometimes, it's even almost inevitable.
It's not talked about a lot. Mostly with entrepreneurs in the news you see the success and glam that comes with reaching a certain level. The behind the scenes of how they got there..and what mental effects they felt along the way..are often shrouded in mystery.
In fact, I'm sure most of the most successful have felt this. They might've been truly 'lonely at the top'.
But here are my 'top' 5 ways to counteract this loneliness, and hack your mental health as an entrepreneur.
When I say 'hack' no, I don't mean "uppers" or narcotics of any kind. In fact, I'm actually very opposed to this and if you feel to this level with your loneliness, I'd consult a professional.
1 - Find Your Tribe: This doesn't have to be in person. Now more than ever, people are finding the importance of online communities. Whether you find a virtual meetup, infiltrate a paid online community, or simply join a Facebook group of likeminded individuals, pop in there, be active, and even invite some similar ladies to join you in a Zoom networking hour or something.
2 - Schedule Social Time: Whether this is time for you to interact with your new online group or simply to socialize with some family or friends, make sure you schedule it in. As entrepreneurs, we have a tendency to always be 'on'. That could even mean that you forget to stop working for any 'you-time'... no matter what your mental state. If you have an actually written down plan (or alarm) set you're more likely to stick to it. Shut down the laptop and jump on a group Facetime :)
3 - Adhere to A Journaling Routine: Maybe online or in person groups aren't in the equation for you. I found, that writing about it helps. It allows me to escape my thoughts, think about something other than being lonely. Another bonus, is to journal about what you're grateful for as well as what your goals are. Focusing on my goals help me understand that even if I'm not currently surrounded by a large group of people working towards the same end, I'm working for something that when successful, will be worth all of the hard times.
4 - Try Nootropics: These aren't 'loneliness eliminating pills'. No, they're brain and cognitive enhancers. I use them to help me focus on the tasks at hand. But remember, this is just a temporary fix. It helps me focus, charge forward, and put my mental 'all' into what I'm working on so I feel great about my performance. They won't take the place of social interaction, only help your productivity when you are working from home. That's why the other steps are so crucial. One of my all time favorites right now is Qualia by Neurohacker Collective.
5 - Bonus...Adopt a Good Boy!: Ahhh okay it's not really a bonus BUT having something else to talk to and take care of always mitigates the feelings of loneliness. Especially if it's something that loves you back even more than you love it! When I felt lonely I always played with my dog. They're such fluffy bundles of joy, I always felt better. What's your pet of choice?
'Til next time..remember what you're working towards!