If I had a nickel for every person who croons over the awesomeness of working from home, I wouldn’t need to type another paid word, ever.
Writers work from wherever their keyboard or notepad takes them. But honestly, I usually stay home. I have limitless snacks, cute dog co-workers and I get to pick the channel on the radio. It’s a pretty sweet situation.
I can’t complain about working in my yellow ducky slippers or taking a lunch break in the backyard with my pups. But, working from home has challenges.
I’m prone to writer’s butt and hermit habits.
The other day the lifeguard at my gym asked about my schedule and shook his head in disbelief. He couldn’t understand why I’d ever leave the house. He said he could never work from home because he’d never see daylight.
I’ve heard this concern before from freelancers of all types.
You want to invest every ounce of creativity and energy into your work, and you forget to have a life. That leads to an ever-expanding rear (fat, you get fat people!) and your interpersonal social skills go out the window.
Yes, I’ve forgotten to brush my hair a few times and I’ve worn the same outfit two days in a row. It happens when inspiration strikes and I need to hide in my cocoon–also known as a home office.
But that’s not healthy.
For those of you who read my writing, aside from this blog, you know I’m all about living a healthy lifestyle. Food. Exercise. Socializing. All that jazz.
So, I’m here to tell you you’re not alone if you’ve noticed a few extra pounds creep up and a few less friends calling since you’ve chosen to become an entrepreneur.
So, how do you juggle working from home and maintaining a life? Get out of the house! Add an activity to your to do list that requires you to put on real clothes (don’t groan) and lock the door behind you.
Here’s 9 ways to balance work and life
1. Volunteer in your community. Meet people, make friends and do some good. I love spending time helping a few local animal rescue groups.
2. Schedule lunch dates. You can’t eat leftovers nuked in the microwave daily. Treat yourself to a meal out with a buddy a few times each month.
3. Go shopping. No, don’t spend every cent you’ve earned. Take up the art of browsing!
4. Sign up for a gym membership. I swim three to four times a week to keep my rear in check and retain my ability to speak to real people in complete sentences.
5. Visit a family member. If you have aging parents or grandparents, make it a point to spend time with them. After work, pack up the kiddos and a casserole and enjoy the evening together.
6. Take a walk. My two dogs expect exercise during my lunch break. If you don’t have a dog, think about adopting one. They’re great co-workers who work for belly rubs and treats.
7. Play a game. If you have mobility issues, or limited transportation, stay home and exercise. Try using the Wii Fit or play the Just Dance games. Do as much or as little as you want. Just move!
8. Schedule a friend’s night out. Get a group together for a fancy dinner or concert. Catch up on all the news you’ve missed during your periods of solitude.
9. Take a class. Sign up for a 6-week art class or a 2-hour seminar on photography at the local community college to open your mind, get you out of the house and spark a few writing topics, too!
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What are you waiting for? Ready. Set. Go!
Note: This blog post was updated on April 12. 2017.