Marie Forleo introduction

Hi!

I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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Millions of people dream of no longer being chained to an office and yearn to experience the freedom that comes from working from home, or from anywhere they choose.

While the laptop lifestyle has tremendous benefits, one of the hidden dangers of remote jobs can be feelings of extreme loneliness, depression and isolation.

As the CEO of a virtual company and someone who has been successful at working from home since the early 2000s, I understand this predicament. I’ve been there and it can be tough. Let’s be honest, it can feel really lonely working from home.

Working from home might not demand much human interaction, but your soul does. Click To Tweet

Left unaddressed, feeling isolated and alone can produce serious negative consequences on your emotional health, your productivity and team performance.

That’s why I was excited when Megan, one of our readers and a newly-minted work-from-home professional, wrote in for help. This line in particular caught my attention. She shared,“There’s a reason isolation is an effective punishment in prisons.”

If you’re feeling isolated, depressed and lonely working from home, this MarieTV is for you.

You’ll learn 8 tips for fighting online loneliness while working from home  — which, increasingly, is becoming a real problem for modern creatives. For many, it’s a challenge they feel a sense of shame or embarrassment over.

I’m curious about your take on this topic.

Can you relate to the loneliness, depression and isolation that comes from working at home? How do you make sure to stay emotionally connected?

Specifically, what works for you and what doesn’t to overcome feeling lonely working from home?

Leave a comment below and let me know. Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and inspiration and your story may help someone else find the courage to keep going.

Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be deleted as they come across as spammy.

If you have friends, clients or colleagues who are having a hard time adjusting to working online, share this post. It could give them some actionable ideas to stay healthy and productive.

Thank you so much for reading, watching, sharing and being here. Your presence and voice matter more than you know!

XO

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313 comments

  1. Wow! I swear you’re in my head speaking to my soul! These are actionable steps to get me out of the funk and into the game! Online isolation drives me insane cause the battle is more thought oriented so I sniff an oil, switch up my routine or definitely sporadically make a live video! Mmmm I feel excited and confident because well – the world needs that special gift and who’s to say you have to stay shackled to the bed!

    • Fragrance, a great idea, thanks Bernard. I’m an artist )painter) and when I get up I have coffee, get in my car and go somewhere, anywhere pleasant or soothing in some way. I absorb the surroundings, or go for a walk for 45minutes. Then work. Then go out again later in the day. It’s so helpful to break up the day. It’s lonely working at home alone, but driving around and spending the morning in a crowd, or out and about where you live or the next town over is a huge help.
      Thank you Marie. And to those who shared in this “topic”.
      Faye

  2. Teresa

    Hehe awesome ! Marie is always bang on… At times working from home can become lone.. But its same with working from corporate office. Ppl can be so ruthless and bully you at work or fake friendship… So I would say every side has it con.. The best part is its in our hands to make a change..

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      So true, Teresa — there are always pros and cons to every side. These tips can totally work for working in an office too! 🙂

    • Alessandra

      Teresa I couldn’t agree more with you that we can feel as lonely working from office as working from home. YES… it can be VERY quiet in an office even with hundreds and hundreds of people in there! I experienced it myself. There were days that I was unsure if I could say good morning, guys or better stay quiet. Now I work from home.. for 3 years now. Sometimes I regret and consider going back to the office. So what I do is spend a day or two working from there. I hear all the stories, I see people being really rude..and then …I give up and come back to my own company LoL

  3. After working at home for over a decade, I began to battle the depression that was beginning to overwhelm me. I determined that this self imposed isolation was a deterrent to my growth and well being and tried different methods to overcome it. Walks in the beauty of nature, creative outlets-all to no avail till I realized my self help methodology was missing one of the most important components- interaction with other humans! I decided to take a part time job outside the home for 3 hours a day at a retail establishment managed by a dear friend and colleague. It wasn’t about extra money but a much more precious commodity. Serving the public and interacting with strangers from all walks of life-not just friends. These few hours a day provided a give and take that enriched my life beyond measure. I helped them with their needed services and in turn they gave of themselves with a smile and a grateful word of thanks. I’ve learned to be grateful for both my at-home pursuits and for this new-found camaraderie with the public. Oftentimes, the simplest exchanges between people are the most precious. A kind word and a smile can brighten someone’s day-especially your own.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      What a wonderful solution, Robyn! I absolutely agree sometimes even the smallest interactions can be amazing and fulfilling. Thank you for sharing!

      • Robyn

        Marie and her team, thank you for all you do for inspiring!

    • Barbara

      I loved your comments! After graduating from graduate school, I isolated myself to study for 4 national exams for licensing. I experienced depression due to this self imposed isolation, and then I reached out to friends, interest groups and became too involved to study properly. Now I am trying to find a balance. Am completely in agreement with what you said about interacting with people, especially if you are a people lover 🙂

      • Flor

        I love how you said you’re trying to find balance. I honestly think balance is key! Sometimes, isolation is nice, but only temporary. I am a natural introvert, so it’s hard for me to make time to socialize. Solitude and company are both equally necessary, and the key is to find that middle ground where we’re not too social that we forget our commitments, but not too isolated that we forget to enjoy life outside of our cubicle, work, or room.

    • Marisa Zappatore

      Such a lovely comment Robyn! thanks for sharing, I have been working on my business from home for more than 3 years part time and full time for the last 6 months and it has hit me, I feel lonely so your words really encourage me to do something similar! Marisa.

      • Thank you Marisa! Every day I spend with the public, for just a few hours, fills me with smiles and I realize how powerful kindness really is. You won’t regret it!

    • What a beautiful idea, Robyn, well done on you! Totally agree with Marie’s suggestions, particularly the first one: get your social fix outside of work and for goodness sake, get off Facebook! I know it’s not easy getting to know real human beings in a new town, I’ve moved around 3 continents in the past 15 years or so – but gym / networking groups / arts & crafts classes, all of these do help. Yes, I miss the interaction with colleagues in some way, but one thing I don’t miss: the alarm clock!! Thanks Marie for another great episode, all the best to you & your team.

    • Hi Robyn, Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂 I too decided to live my work life in two worlds. I used to think I had to choose one (and fast!), but then realized that neither alone would work for me. I love the autonomy that I have in my private practice, but I also cherish the socialization and camaraderie that I have in my other role.
      You are right! Often the simplest exchanges are the most precious – even when they come in the form of blog comments.
      Happy vibes to you from Texas!

    • Sara

      For me, There is nothing more comforting than knowing the connection between humans. it’s available to us and we miss it at every turn unless we intentionally look for it and offer it. I’ll be more intentional today with my smiles and gratitude toward others. Thanks for the reminder Robyn.

  4. Atie M.Y.

    Hi Marie,
    I feels so unmotivated and unproductive for quite sometime now, mainly because I have been working from home for almost 4 years. As what this email discussed, I truly feels lonely, isolated and not motivated. These few days, the feelings become more intense. And your email to suggest this video below pop-up in my mailbox. I feels soooo happy and feels like Allah (my God) send your video to me to answer my prayer. You are truly a bless sent from above.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Oh, that means so much to hear, Atie — thank you for your kind words. I hope that the tips we shared are helpful to you, and we’re sending so much love your way ♥

  5. UH

    I can absolutely relate!
    When I first started to work freelance I used to work from home, but I felt very isolated pretty soon so I found an office that I could share with others (not a co-working space, a real office with an actual door that I can close). My job requires a lot of concentration so I could not work in a public space but I do enjoy our little gatherings around the coffee maker or to go on my lunch break with the people from the office next door.
    I also enjoy regular phone calls with both my mentor and my mentee.

  6. Rebeca

    To get motivated I would always showet in the morning before starting and went out to get coffee, it lets the body now that you are awake and ready to start the day!
    I would also go for a walk after the day is done to be able to detach from all the work. Working from home will save you money and make you eat healthier!

    Working from home is definitely not for everyone. I found it the hard since I just moved to a new city (like Megan) and lived in a small apartment located downtown Toronto where people are super busy and creating relationships was difficult.

    After 6 months I returned to the office; I missed people too much! I would definitely recommend people to try it at least once in their life, like everything, it has it’s ups and downs, it all depends on what kind of person you are and how you deal with loneliness.

  7. This is SO me! I’ve been running my handmade business from home for a year now. Since a lot of my time is spent making, it’s difficult for me to schedule chunks of time to work outside the house with just my computer. I try to take a lunch break and also take my pup out for a walk every afternoon, which helps. I definitely need to try some meet ups too… but am a bit of an introvert so have been putting that one off! Anyone else have a tougher time with the isolated feeling in the winter time?

    • Tatum Leigh Robinson

      So similar to me! I crave company but struggle with my introversion, I feel lonely but a little (a lot!!) insecure about reaching out to others for meetups. Am going to work on that though. Like Marie said, our souls need it…

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      You’re SO not alone, Michelle. It’s definitely harder in the wintertime. There’s less happening, plus it’s so much easier sometimes to just curl up with hot chocolate on those dark and cold days.

      What’s helped me a lot is finding an activity that I can only do in the winter — for me it’s ice skating, but it could also be skiing or something along those lines. That gives me something to look forward to in the winter, and also is a way to get out and be around other people!

      • Sara Danner Dukic

        Caroline, I love your idea about finding something special to do in the winter. I’m totally going to try that – maybe even ice skating, or joining a different yoga studio or something.

    • Juliana

      Michele,
      Have you considered giving classes? I can’t know what kind of handmade work you do, but this could be interesting. Teaching os such a rewarding activity!
      All the best,

      • Awesome idea Juliana!!
        Whether free or charging it’s a great way to meet like minded people!!

        Be Blessed,

    • Kim

      So relate to this and so glad Marie chose this topic! After battling depression as well from the isolation (I worked remotely so I could follow my husband’s career around the country), I decided I needed to stay put, in a place I love, and fully develop a social and professional network, where I can contribute to my community. I joined my condo board, joined professional monthly meetings and dinners, and got re-acquainted with a group I used to be involved with in college, just in my new location. Made ALL the difference in the world to contribute, help solve problems… get out of my own head and world! BTW, I’m still married but my husband understood how isolated I was constantly moving around and working from home. In other words, I put myself first, otherwise I succumbed to depression. I’m thriving, feel fully connected, etc. I also work occasionally from Starbucks or Panera, and take regular “dance breaks” to upbeat, great music, and regularly hit the gym and dance classes.

      • Kim, I love what you wrote! It sparked thoughts in me in many ways. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. As always, you are hitting that nail on the head with this topic! Thank you. I not only work from home, but I’m my own fledgling boss, AND I live on a farm! So loneliness is a huge challenge. Especially as my husband doesn’t ever seem to struggle with the same feelings (he is in same boat as me but never seems bothered) so I end up feeling like a crazy over sensitive ninny when I get desperate for company. I mean DESPERATE!! The solutions that you present are AMAZING! And not difficult to do! I’m going to get busy with some of them immediately!! Xoxo

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Wonderful, Tatum! It is funny how some of us find the isolation more of a challenge than others, but it’s important to know that you’re not alone and not wrong for wanting to be around company. I hope the tips in this episode help, and we’re sending lots of love your way!

    • Hi Tatem:
      I fully understand! I’m a small scale farmer, but also work from home doing marketing consulting and graphic design as well. I was laid off in February from a marketing agency that I was with for 10 years – we were 100% virtual. I’m scared about being able to do this on my own without an agency backing me, but the thought of having to go back to a cubicle-land makes me sick to my stomach so much more that I’m not giving up the consulting gig. I find that my stress, worry and isolation level has been so much higher nowadays, and being alone compounds it.

      My boyfriend works out of the home, but he was home yesterday and it almost drove me crazy. 🙂 I guess the ‘right’ interaction during the day is key. (I love that guy, but dang, he’s more needy when he’s sick than my kid).

      I love the ideas that Marie brought forth, I’m going to get busy on a few too!

      Also… my middle name is “Leigh”, I always love when I see someone else with that spelling in their name. Hooray!

      Happy Tuesday, Everyone!
      Keri Austin

      • Sara Danner Dukic

        Haha Keri! Glad to know I’m not the only one who gets annoyed when the hubs is home, encroaching on my space 🙂

  9. I have run an online biz since 2003 so I understand what you mean. It’s a challenge to get out and meet others. I have joined clubs and we eat out quite often.
    But, I tend to be n introvert so I probably don’t need as much interaction as my extrovert colleagues. Thanks for the post, Marie.

  10. Wow! Great show today. I just started working from home a few months back and when I could not take the isolation anymore, I volunteered to teach some seniors in daughter’s school about starting a business and once a week, I don’t do anything work related and I just go out to wherever catches my attention.

  11. I have to say after working in corporate America 20+ years and now being able to work at home has really isolated my world …. but I wouldn’t change it. As Teresa mentioned there are cons but I couldn’t stand office politics. Working alone gives me the clear and quite head space I need to get work done. During the work week I can switch from work mode to home mode which balances a lot that needs to be done so my weekends are free. I do work with many other clients in different time zones so it helps me to arrange my day to day tasks and meetings. Let’s just say I have adjusted quite well working alone and that I focus more clearer now. Wouldn’t change it for the world :-)!

  12. Robert Cyr "Truckin Bob"

    Great tips! Recently terminated from a corporate merger being surrounded by hundreds of folks. The freedom at first was awesome, not having to answer to anyone but myself. Starting a Health Coaching business I was beginning to feel the loneliness, and a bit of depression for not having the office banter and sharing of daily events. I’ve taken similar advice tips you shared by getting involved with volunteering with a couple of organizations. Recently joined a local chapter of BNI and it has helped me both professional and to connect with others building upon new relationships. Love your video’s. Thanks for sharing!

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Thank you so much, Robert! We’re honored to have you tuning in with us, and so appreciate that you’re enjoying our videos. 🙂

  13. Thank you Marie. You really nailed it. I too realised that real in person connection was more important than anything else. Even dance and yoga classes weren’t enough, because people can rush off, increasing a sense of isolation.
    Then I discovered Nordic walking – which ticks three boxes at once – Nature, exercise and talking. Brilliant. And even though I love it so much, I still find excuses that my work is “more important”. So now the challenge is to put what feeds my body and soul first, so that I can do my work.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      That sounds amazing, Claire!

  14. Bridget

    I’m one of those people who doesn’t feel lonely if I’m not in an office (I actually feel more productive) but just in case I do try to do a couple of things …

    Firstly, I find that it’s important to get dressed in the mornings so that it gets you fresh and focused for the day (but yeah, sure, at the start of working from home, it’s a LOT of fun to realise you don’t *have* to 🙂

    I’ve been working for myself for a few years, and I find going to the coffee shop for a couple of hours every day or two, it really helps. The different noise level, seeing people interacting with each other, interacting with the barristas or even having a quick word with someone about the weather… it really helps.

    I also took an online course, for fun, which meant I had to do monthly tutorials by Skype with the rest of the people doing the course. Again, it added to the amount of time I was talking to different types of people rather than just my family via the phone.

    And I also made sure I held physical meetings with clients at the start of projects, so that we had a good connection with each other (even though projects didn’t always require me to). Again, it just helped to get me out there and connected.

    I love working from home 🙂

    • Flor

      I agree with the online classes! If you take one just for fun, you can connect with people via Skype or email! It’s kind of different, but it might work for some people!

  15. This is exactly what I’ve been wanting from you, you awesomeness. I simply love it. Megan couldn’t have asked a better question. I love the simplicity in which you handle this Marie. I am an extroverted person who thrives in an environment, where I can get to interact with people and have a good conversation, share ideas, especially face to face. When I started working from home and started consulting independently (no bosses, I am my own boss). I felt odd and felt I am losing my energy and zeal to work effectively and efficiently. I felt especially drained when I was facing rejections (when my pitches didn’t work, or I lost a project to a competitor). I took to working out and hitting the gym for at least 2.5 hours in my day (1 hour of workout and another hour of Hatha yoga)… that really helped me get out of the four walls of my work-space and interact with the world for a while. I also started working in cafeterias and surprisingly I’d always find people like me and we’d hit a good conversation for a short while. Thankfully I do find people I can go to during the day if I need to Work Out Loud. I love WOL. In this way, I’ve formed a personal learning network on whatsapp and even on twitter. Thank you for sharing your insights, somehow coming from you makes me feel, “yes, I am on the right track.” Thank you… because of you, I did take the plunge. It’s still a struggle but I will keep working on it, to make my business a success. Lots of love. P.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Love it, P.! We’re so glad to hear this episode really resonated, and it sounds like you’re doing some incredible things to stay connected while working from home. Thank you so much for sharing! xo

  16. Deborah Rogers

    Zoom is an awesome free app that enables you to have face time interaction/conferences with one or hundreds of people at the same time. I use it with my team who are spread from coast to coast. It keeps us connected and personal in ways that texts and emails never could. Use it, too, with family and friends!

  17. Hi Marie,

    I just joined your e-list. I’m the founder of a tech startup for designing technologies for self-awareness skills with young adults on the autism spectrum. I’m also in grad school for Occupational Therapy. Lately, I’ve been dreaming of building the company into more than just a research and design firm but also incorporating outdoors activities and programs for young adults. I wanted to do this because of the isolation and anxiety I was experiencing building my company behind my computer screen. Luckily, things got better after I found my co-founder – she finishes my sentences and was the missing link. But I still fear slipping back to that isolation state I experienced in college. Further, I fear actually going through the hurdle of streamlining my work schedule and creating that 1x week or 1x month routine face time with all our startup’s stakeholders that you told us to do in the video. With grad school, friends, and family, I am afraid my business would take off and throw off my work-life balance. Any ideas for how to overcome this fear, layout better time management strategies, and meet team goals more consistently? Should I wait to “hustle” on the startup until grad school is finished?
    Thanks!

    Danielle

  18. I love all those tips Marie. Working from the park or the library or the coffee shop sounds like so much more fun than working from home.

    This is dating me, but in the 80s I remember Richard Simmons saying get up girl, take a shower, get dressed! You’ll feel great.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Yes!! Love it, Kelly 😉

  19. Excellent advice! I focus on joining a group in the community which helps me – give back and meet new people which may be both professional and personal contacts – such as the local Women’s Club (501c3 organizations), or a group focused on your hobby / craft / profession – such as the Art Guild, or your professional organization. Commit to going to the monthly meetings and to be involved in at least one event / activity each year.

  20. Oh wow, you read my mind!! I’ve been struggling with this big time lately. I’m single and live alone and work from home 90% of the time. I’m someone who has a much higher aptitude for solitude than most others (only child and Aries!!) and love spending time with my self but I have reached critical-mass-solitude!! I love being around people as much as I love my own company and often end up spending too long talking to the woman at the post office counter out of desperation for communication!!!
    Things that have helped me in the past (which may be of use to others on here) are, as you mentioned, exercise classes. It’s worth asking your local yoga studio if they have a work-swap scheme as many here in London, UK do. I used to do the odd shift on reception at my local yoga studio in exchange for the same hours of classes. Great to get me out of the house and meeting loads of people and also good being a low-earning small business. The thing that has helped this month has been deactivating my personal Facebook account. I think many of us who work from home can use Facebook as our social life but it really isn’t the same. I deactivated a week ago and have already noticed that I am making more of an effort to call friends or make dates to see them. It’s also increased my productivity.
    Your suggestion for going on Meetup is a great idea, I need to get looking on there before I go stir crazy!! Thanks Marie xx

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      I love that idea of doing a work-swap, Marcia — what a great suggestion! And your point about substituting Facebook for a social life is SUCH an important one. Social media can be a great tool for connection, but it does run the risk of actually increasing our isolation too. Thanks so much for your comment and for watching this week!

  21. Danielle

    This is a real struggle! It just feels funky if you’re working all day and don’t actually talk out loud to anyone. I just signed up for group fitness classes for that exact reason. I also like the advice to schedule recurring group video chats. When I did that through a mastermind group, it helped so much! It’s definitely worth seeing if you have some business buddies who want to do a weekly check-in. One tip I would add is that it is helpful to look up local events about anything that interests you and check them out. Don’t be afraid to go solo because you’re more likely to strike up a conversation with a stranger and meet new people.

  22. Michele

    A good issue to cover Marie and not talked about enough. I’ve known people give up on homeworking because they just found it too isolating. I’ve worked at home for a few years now as do my co-workers and yes, we all have different levels of interaction needs. We skype and orgnaise occasional meet ups but it is nonetheless easy to get stuck infront of the screen. So everyday, irrespective of what I’m doing in the evening, I schedule to do small thing during the day – post a letter, go out and buy some milk, take a short stroll, collect the dry cleaning. I find it clears the head, you have a quick chat with whoever serves you in a store, and come back to your desk refreshed. Its free, doesn’t cut into the working day much and ensures you get those small domestic chores done. So lots of reasons to feel good. In one place I lived there was a monthly lunch out for homeworkers. Someone who found working from home a bit isolated suggested people met up once a month in a local cafe for lunch and chat with other people in the same situation. He advertised it in the local free community paper. It became a regular feature, word got round and people made useful work connections as well as having face time with real people. Thanks for your 7 tips Marie, good ones to do.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Wonderful tips, Michele!

  23. Margo

    I have been unemployed for a long time and would give anything for a decent position working at home, if they are really out there at all. If anyone has one for me let me know. The loneliness will be welcome.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Margo, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been unemployed for a long time — that’s really tough. There really are good jobs available that allow people to work from home, and it’s becoming more and more common too, so it’s absolutely something that is possible.

      Many people I know who work from home either started out working at their job traditionally and shifted to home work full or part time (at the same company), or they found their jobs by following online companies they love and saw a job posting.

      There are also companies out there that help connect people with work that you can do online, especially if you’re interested in working as a freelancer, like Upwork.com and HireMyMom.com. Those might be some good resources to look at too.

      I hope you find something that’s a great fit for you soon, and we’re sending so much love your way!

    • Raquel

      Margo, I’m sorry to hear that. But not all hope is lost!
      I don’t know what your profession is but there are many freelancer websites that you can post your profile, describe the services you do (be creative in this part! You can more than you know!) and get to work from home, and even build your business from that.
      I wish you all the best, and may 2017 be wonderful and full of amazing success,

      Raquel.

  24. Petra

    About to start working from home soon.
    What I found before about working from home was that I couldn’t really keep myself to my schedule and the tasks I wanted to get done, but I’m hoping to incorporate some of the things I’ve learned from working in a company to this new experience.

    Thanks for the video, Marie!

  25. This is so spot on. It’s been about 5 years since I started working from home and I found it a terribly hard transition as I’d been traditionally employed for decades. Plus, like your Q’er, I was in a relatively new place. A couple of things helped … 1) get up, get showered, be present in your own body; 2) as you suggested … occasionally work in a coffee shop … it’s not as distracting as you might think … the noise is not “your noise.” 3) embrace the idea that you can work at your peak. I don’t get up until 7:30 because I don’t have to and because my peak time is late afternoon. 4) many many communities have a “newcomers club” … here in Virginia it’s called “New Virginians” and it’s a group of people who schedule activities to help you meet people, figure out were the cool bars and restaurants are as well as the occasional party, game night etc. There is always someone to call for a lunch buddy or movie date. The only struggle I have is I get tired of being the ONLY one to make the plans!

  26. Thank you! This is completely the truth. Many people think that because I own my own business and work from home, I have it all. But, I don’t. I don’t have the human interaction that I so desperately need! As an artist, I don’t have the luxury of being too portable, so most of my work needs to occur at home/in my studio. Yes, I love having the quiet and ability to do what I want when I want. Not answering to someone else. Wearing yoga pants all day (I’m glad you do that too!) Yet, I find myself craving the weekends for the “social fix” you talked about. My husband travels a lot, so week nights don’t do much for me, either. I have hired someone as an assistant, and so, I do get a little interaction with an amazing assistant, but even they work out of their home…so not here. A dinner out on a Saturday is a highlight of the week!

  27. Start virtual teas and post about it in groups. I have connected with 2 ladies that I just love and like can relate to. Its a challenge to coordinate with them. Keep looking for other ways that make you feel good. I have done meet ups but if you don’t feel connected it and someone is selling to you its not much fun.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Yeah, I so hear you, Connie. Unfortunately not every single meet-up group is run well — and it definitely doesn’t sound like any fun if someone is selling to you at the same time! If there isn’t a good local group that is a great fit, you could always try starting one too — that way you could set the tone and hopefully bring in people who are more like-minded.

  28. I agree with everything in this video, thanks Marie!

    I’ve been a freelancer / entrepreneur / work from home person for 7+ years. I’ve never had a traditional 9 – 5 job. And I’m so happy that this is true! It’s taken plenty of trial and error to get clear on my non-negotiables (thanks for that language Marie) over the years, but here are some of the things I do that really help me on this path:

    – Have a solid morning routine. Make the bed, brush my teeth, put on a real outfit, meditate, eat breakfast, all before looking at anything work related including texts, emails, and other projects. No exceptions.

    – I don’t like working from my actual home. I find that feels lonely and isolating, just like the person who wrote in for this week’s Q. I found a cafe in my neighborhood where I’m welcome to stay for hours at a time. I chat with the baristas, say hi to the other regulars, and enjoy the walk to and from my apartment. I’ve also spent many hours working in beautiful free libraries.

    – I don’t work all of the time! I take advantage of my time freedom and go on adventures on random days of the week or hours of the day. Sometimes I will do work on a Sunday afternoon. And sometimes I’ll go on an impromptu beach trip on a Tuesday morning with another friend who has time freedom.

    – As was mentioned in Marie’s video, I have lots of scheduled social time. I get at least one planned social commitment, usually in the evening but sometimes at another time of day, with a friend outside of work land. This gives me something to look forward to, structure to the day, and life outside of my work.

    – When it’s not work time, it’s not work time. As a person without traditional office work day agreements, I need to make and stick to my own boundaries. I don’t respond to email outside of the traditional workday (I use Boomerang to send messages at normal times if I find myself feeling really fired up to work at irregular times) and I don’t use work to try and fill up my life / emotional well if I’m feeling lonely. Just as Marie said, it’s vital to build a social life and genuine connections that aren’t tied to work life. This takes time and intention, but it’s so worth the effort.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Terrific suggestions, Leah! xo

  29. J Allison

    I’ve been working from home 9 years and I love it! But I have absolutely suffered from isolation and the resulting sense of loneliness. At it’s worst, I get weepy and subject to over-indulging myself to compensate. It is so vital to be proactive about addressing this for ourselves and all of your strategies were spot on. I couldn’t really think of any thing else to add. I did want to reinforce the importance of something you said – PLANNING!
    It is critical that we make a clear, consistent plan for the interaction we need. Each morning I write in a special notebook I called Mise En Place (basically meaning “preparation”, I’m a culinary arts geek). First I write three things I’m grateful for, and then I write out the list of thing for the day in parts – work, home projects, evening/free time. The planning to make it happen is SO important. And building friendships as an adult also sometimes requires a dedicated “project” like approach… but it’s so worth it! Thanks for thinking about how we can support our souls while we support our bank account!

  30. This has been on my mind SO MUCH lately! Thanks for sharing this Marie.
    I’ve slacked off on hosting my in-person community events for female entrepreneurs and I can really feel the difference. Whenever I surround myself with other passionate people I feel better and less alone.
    Plus, my business is all about blending fitness and mindfulness, so I love your group exercise class suggestion. YES!!

  31. This is SO good, thank you Marie!!!
    As a photographer who seems to always be editing, like AlWayS.
    I started looking at taking walking breaks and exercise as actual production.
    It’s still hard for me, when I have a back-log of sessions that I need to get done, but I always feel better and have noticed that I am simply more efficient after I do.
    Now, I am going for a walk. 🙂

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Love it, Marie! Walking is my go-to also 🙂

  32. I had exactly the same issue as the topic – moved to a new area and work from home as a digital consultant. I found the things that worked the best was joining a networking group of like-minded women and then becoming very involved, not just attending meetings. I help with their branding and social media, and in return I’ve had a much richer local network who’ve actually even resulted in some additional clients. The other thing that has really boosted my social life has been volunteering. Because I work from home and set my own hours, I have the advantage of being able to volunteer at my local animal shelter during shifts that many 9 to 5ers can’t. I’ve met wonderful volunteers who have become friends and who even bring shelter dogs to my house for an afternoon kennel break (and desk break for me) on the days the shelter is closed. I have a 1 acre fenced yard that gives the dogs a chance to run and play. I get to take some photos for the shelter that help the dogs get adopted and I get some social time with my volunteer “co-workers” for a couple of hours during my work day. What could be better than a puppy break?

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Oh my gosh, this is amazing, Kim! Puppy break sounds perfect 🙂

  33. Hi Marie! It’s as if you have been listening to my thoughts for the past three months – this could not be more relevant to my current situation! I have been working remotely since July and experiencing a lot of social anxiety. There are weekends that I don’t have plans and I go days without any social interactions. It feels like I am living life vicariously through social media! One thing I’ve done recently to prevent this staying long-term has been planning experiences/trips with friends on weekends. I really make an effort to put the invitation out there for hikes, trips, museum visits, anything to keep me motivated during the weeks working alone. It’s helped a ton so far!! Thank you for the advice (I’m signing up for a group spin class as we speak) and keep tuning in to my thoughts 🙂

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      We’re so glad to hear this episode was so relevant for you, Angela! I hope you have a great time at your spin class and that it helps start to forge some wonderful connections for you ♥

  34. Kristin Wilson

    Yes – can certainly relate: I used to work from home with my roommates who did also, then my boyfriend for years but when we broke up, I realized that it’s a lot lonlier by yourself. At first I relished in the solitude, peace and quiet but eventually it got harder.

    How to stay emotionally connected? What works: Having a routine, having a mentor or coach, having set times to communicate with any providers, suppliers, contractors, etc. Working from a co-working space, WeWork or coffee shops.

    Going outside, taking breaks, enjoying the fresh air, taking a walk or working out also help. Also, going to the gym to meet people or to Meet Up groups (from the app) so that you can get out and join in happy hour and other things sometimes.

    What doesn’t: Spending too much time on social media will just make you feel worse and waste time unproductively

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      I TOTALLY relate to “what doesn’t,” Kristin! 😉

  35. Liz

    Great video! I recently discovered that my public library has meeting rooms that can be reserved for free to meet with clients (saweeet)!!! But the library is a great space to work. Plenty of people, yet quiet and private. Also, there’s the chamber of commerce, women’s business organizations, networking groups, etc. And these will keep you on recruiter’s radars as well. Fortunately for me, I crave solitude, but I’ve even worked for hours at places like IHOP or Panera. All the coffee you can drink. Just leave a really big tip if you have a waitress. They will literally fight for you to sit at their table next time you come in.

  36. Andrea

    Wifi is starting to be available in more and more different kinds of establishments, so every where I go the first thing I look for is “is there wifi here, can I come back later with my laptop” Even target has free wifi now (so dangerous!) but it just opens up the idea that you can pretty much go anywhere, you just have to keep your eyes open for that wifi sign!

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Oh no … Target has free wifi? Gah!! 😉

  37. Carol Rosdobutko

    Thanks for your tips. I walk for an hour a day and use this time to get recharged. Water has a calming effect on me so my walk takes me along the river. I bond with nature and clear my head at the same time. I’ve actually gained clarity about problems, come up with brilliant ideas, cleared the cobwebs from my head and got exercise! Feels fabulous.

  38. I left my corporate job in June and moved from NYC to Denver to launch my business so this episode was very helpful. I am slowly meeting people socially in new town, but I spend majority of my day with my laptop at the home office. As I watched the episode, I penciled in zumba class at pm today. I been meaning to go for a few months and I do need to take responsibility to show up. I’m experimenting with snapchat where I record my day as solo online entrepreneur. Would love to connect with others. Thanks again for great video as always!

  39. A few years ago I moved across the country where I knew no one AND started an online business. I was hoping my neighbors would introduce themselves but that did not happen. In fact, I really didn’t see any neighbors at all. So I did 2 things. First, I knocked on doors. Surprisingly I found that one neighbor (who was from my home state) also worked at home. Another neighbor was at home homeschooling her granddaughter. I became fast friends with both of these amazing women. The other thing I did was find a Welcome Club in my new town. They had activities almost every day of the week — coffees, luncheons, movie nights, and clubs for every interest you can imagine. I also found a Meetup group for bloggers. Now I can’t say that everyone will have as much luck as I did reaching out but I’m pretty sure you greatly increase the chances of finding like-minded people to connect with if you do.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      It’s so wonderful you were able to connect with so many awesome, like-minded people, Deane! Getting out there definitely does dramatically increase the chances of finding those amazing folks 🙂

  40. Gail

    I’m an introvert who loves working at home in my housecoat but… You are so right we NEED SOCIAL INTERACTION! So I do similar things to you, Marie, schedule lunch with a friend once a week and I teach Yoga and Fitness classes so that I’m committed and can’t talk myself into sitting around in my underwear all the time. I also have a group of friends who meet for FUN FRIDAY, a glass of wine at a local restoraunt (just one) where we wrap up the week and voice our concerns if we have them. While Jammie’s are the best I’m learning that friends are really awesome too… A work in progress.

  41. A great help for me, an extrovert, was to read the “Quiet” book (ironically). I realized that I needed a certain amount of social stimulation and it gave me reasons and permission to go work from a coffee shop multiple times a week. I felt guilty going and paying for coffee to work when I “should” be able to just work from home.

    I usually spend the first half of the day working from my home office, have lunch, then run errands and end up at a coffee shop and work for a few hours there. I now can put in full days of productivity instead of having afternoons of yawning and wasting time. It’s definitely worth the price of coffee a few days a week.

  42. I try to plan a lunch meeting each week. Gets me away from home and out with someone who may be in the same boat as me.

    Don’t always talk about work but it doesn’t matter. There is action in Intereaction!

    ~Alan

  43. Marie,
    Timely, timely advice. Though our company is in an innovation center (shared workspace) so we do get to interact with a few others, there are times as a small, lean/mean company, it feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. Love your comments about clear communication as well as your 8 suggestions. Ironically, several of these suggestions were put to use just before watching this video, and it really helped lift my spirits and have me feeling like I can make it happen.
    Thanks as always for your timely and spot on advice! Keep up the great work!
    Mary Jo

  44. Honestly, I love working alone and having space that is quiet and empty. I don’t want to be in that state every day all the time but having huge chunks of alone time is really productive for me. I can bang out tons of work when I’m not interrupted every hour. I think it is balance. I have a nice social network when I want it and when I don’t I can go into my cave and make some magic happen. Signs on the door really help a lot. It tells people you need your space. Then, when you want to be social you go out into to world and give your peeps some love.

  45. Hi Marie,

    To fight loneliness and isolation I joined a couple of local groups – a Businesswomen’s Network and Toastmasters. Both get me out of the house and connecting with likeminded people and helping me to improve my leadership and speaking skills. Loneliness is not a problem and I’m getting further along in my business; not to mention the valuable friendships that I have developed and cherish. Thanks for the topic.

  46. Sophie Coulthard

    As a home worker, I was excited when this email popped into my inbox!
    I’ve found establishing a routine has been the best thing for me, I make sure I get up early & spend the first hour of my day doing something for ME, either catching up with my friends with young children (who are often awake early) & just getting set up for the day so I’m not distracted.
    I always make my lunch break a gym class, it helps SO much. It means I take a break from the laptop, get some fresh air as I walk to the gym, interact with others at the class & gives me a “mind break” so when I get back in the afternoon I’m recharged instead of getting sleepy by 3pm.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Great suggestions, Sophie! Gyms are the best breaks 🙂

  47. I realy dont know what to say marie your words are soul touching, but working from home alone is as lonely as ever. Am trying my possible best to incline my self with a partner but a bit hard for me though just stated a networking job i do at home and getting people on the platform is just something else dont know how to go about it, i have tried every technique but not realy working yet, i just hope i have a breakthrough on it.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      I’m so sorry to hear that, Charles. It can definitely be really rough working from home and not seeing other people all day. I hope that some of the tips Marie shared are helpful to you and help you find some more connections. We’re sending so much love your way ♥

  48. Carolina

    #heymarie thank so much for all you do for the entrepreneurial community! I love you so much!
    My concern is simple yet overwhelming on a daily basis. Why do I feel old even though I shouldn’t? I feel my personality is different and that includes the way I dress or wear my hair. Sometimes I feel I need to dress to look older and more serious but that’s not me. On the other side I sometimes feel stupid:(
    I consider myself to be creative and have potential and I don’t know why this brings me down so often.
    Thanks so much Marie
    Xoxo
    Carolina

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Carolina, thank you so much for sharing your question with us. I’m not sure if this fully answers your question, but we did a MarieTV a little while back on being taken seriously, so I thought I might pass that along just in case it has some helpful tips:

      http://www.marieforleo.com/2015/07/taken-seriously/

      We’re sending so much love your way, and thanks so much for tuning in!

  49. Katie

    Woo! this was perfectly timed! I am about to start what’s seeming to be a dream job working from home while doing some really incredible work. I have set a calendar reminder for myself to watch this video again in a few months so I don’t get stuck and forget to interact with people!

  50. Debbie

    Excellent advice as always Marie. I work from home and need minimize my alone time to avoid being lonely. Your tips are great.

  51. Heidi

    Megan’s struggle is mine as well. I have been working from home for about 8 years now. My job is just a job, no way to move up in the company as remote worker, but requires quick thinking and decision making. So I always have to find ways to keep motivated. Initially I had a great balance between work, household, kids and social activities in terms of interest groups and group exercise. I love Jazzercise, because it is more than just a great workout. It is a social place to be. I worked there as customer service rep in exchange for classes. After a few years with kids getting older and needing me less and job still just being a job, I found myself feeling more isolated and not even wanting interaction, which I knew was not a good sign and out of character. In an effort to “force” myself to interact with others I joined a direct sales company. This was really great for a while, focusing on something new. Then we moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere….. and I am still trying to figure out if the time has come for a job change. But I dread office politics. My point is, as your surroundings and circumstances change, so will your needs change and different ideas will work at different times. I feel less isolated knowing so many have similar struggles than me.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Heidi, that’s such a great point that our needs can change. What works for us at one time in our life might not at another point, and that’s absolutely okay. Taking the time to experiment and try new or different things is so important, and I hope that some of the tips Marie shared are helpful for you. ♥

  52. Peggy

    Hi Marie,
    thanks for your inspiring tips. I like my dog, not only because he is around without disturbing too much, but also because he forces me to get out and have some fresh air and talk to people.

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Yes, Peggy! Dog walks are such a great way to get out, get some fresh air, and see some other people.

  53. Sherif

    You are the most charming beautiful woman i have ever seen from the bottom of my heart.greeting

  54. Jakub

    For me, just being able to be around people is helpful.

    There are times when I need to work undisturbed at home, but also times when I need to catch my breath. When feeling like this, I go to a cafe downtown, read a newspaper, sip a cup of americano, and observe the world around.

    It’s a little thing that I do a few times per week, but it gives me clarity to re-focus on what’s important. Being around others illuminates the path ahead of me, so that I can make something beautiful in the “darkness” of my solitude 🙂

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      So beautifully expressed, Jakub.

  55. Kathleen

    Boy could I relate. I love the money savings on gas, work clothes and saving the commute time but I found out I missed the work family. I’m in health care and i talk all day to mostly geriatric people who are also isolated.
    I few years ago I finally identified that I was lonely at work and once I could name it I started to do figure out how to get me fix. Prior to that I was miserable trying to figure out why I was not satisfied. I missed my work family. So I call a colleague 2 times a week and catch up to talk work, consult on a case and catch up on family life.
    We also try to have dinner every 6 months. I also reach out to other nurses in the group from time to time and always feel different after the call. It grounds me to the bigger picture and removes the jail cell image you showed. I also asked my boss if I can call her a few times a year vs only email. She agreed.
    Last January I started a lunch and learn meeting every month that has brought the group together (about 12 nurses). I choose a topic that has been sent to me and i present an overview and than open up for discussion. It has been a great group learning form each other that is missed when in isolation and has formed more of a team among the group.
    This segment ws a great inspiration and it validated my feelings about working from home.

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Kathleen, good for you for identifying what was going on, and doing something about it. It sounds like you’ve done a lovely job at finding ways to get your needs met. Thank you for tuning in!

  56. Loved the video Marie. Great tips for those experiencing the feeling of isolation. I personally relish my time with me. I love the quiet which increases my peace and aids me in tapping into my creativity and reviving my spirit. I’ve always loved quiet and solitude and I frequently converse with my Source to keep me on track. As a speaker, trainer and business navigator there is plenty of time spent interacting with other people. However, the time I spend on the computer also provides me the time to re-fuel, regroup, come up with new ideas (which I jot down before I forget). I must admit, I perform 99% of my client work virtually so I am still speaking and sometimes seeing my clients (if they are brave enough to turn on their camera or know how). Taking breaks is critical; especially for the body and here is where I fall short; especially if it’s strictly computer work; and I know better. I will work an entire day; without leaving the computer. Aaargh, getting up hurts, feet swell, painful joints; at least it reminds me to get to my group workouts (yoga, zumba, gym); I will definitely benefit from using the timer tip. I’ve only recently begun to reach out to people I’ve met online and later in person to check in to see how they are. However, that tip about planning and making it a regular occurrence hit me on the head – another tip I will incorporate. Thanks a bunch!

  57. Sonya

    This is a real issue for me. I initially thought I had the best life – my own start up and work from home. I used to go for walks every lunch and I organized coffee or lunches with friends and colleagues. However, my business has been a struggle and now I am tempted to go back to bed part way through the day. It is hard to keep motivated – housecleaning is not on the list! I have a habit of just sitting in front of the computer screen and waiting for the emails to pop up.
    Although I took a part time job – 3 hrs. a week and work for Weight Watchers where I thoroughly enjoy meeting the members, it is still not enough interaction. The other thing is that my college son and I have to share a car. I find it a pain to schedule the car – so I am also stuck at home.
    I really enjoy your shows Marie and they are real motivators when I need it! Thanks for talking about real life issues.
    Sonya

  58. mari

    Our company invested in a video conf call platform so we can see each other and that has been really helpful in feel connected to my team.

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Fantastic, Mari! Thanks for sharing that.

  59. K

    I appreciate this conversation. I’m a writer and I LOVE working from home because it enables me to be there for my family. If anyone can recommend any really worthwhile job boards for those of us who actually prefer to work off-site, please share! Thanks!!!

  60. Marisa Zappatore

    Thank you so much Marie for this, your email couldn’t have come in a better moment. After working part time in my business for 3 years and full time in the last 6 months, isolation has hit me. I realise that sometimes I only speak with the cat during the day until my partner arrives home but I am also finding it difficult to go out and socialise. I feel that the less I do it, the more difficult it becomes. I will definitely push myself and will start implementing 1 or 2 things as feeling lonely has impacted my mood and happiness. Thank you so much again and it is great to read that we are not alone on this one and that many people struggle with the same issue!

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      You’re so not alone, Marisa, and we’re grateful this episode helped you realize that. 🙂

  61. Sofia

    I think this is something that can even be true if you don’t work from home. I work for a pretty large organization (about 500) but my I’m essentially a team of 1. So when I came in I started looking for different ways to collaborate with people.

    Since there was a lot to learn when I first started, I spent a lot of ‘sad desk lunches’ trying to keep up and impress the boss. As soon as I decided that wasn’t the best, and started talking to people in the elevator or just randomly in the cafe and having lunch with my co-workers, I was MUCH happier.

  62. Love all of these and especially #6! OK…I do own a fitness company, but that’s not the only reason why I love it. I’m about to release my first book and it includes the stories of successful women who aren’t fitness professionals, but who swear by their fitness routines. For anyone who wants more energy, focus, and creativity moving more is a no brainer. Even 10 mins of walking will help. But our overall health isn’t just about our physical health. If you can combine fitness with friends, you get to improve your social health, too. One of the only times muli-tasking might actually be effective 😉 Thanks for sharing, Marie!

  63. So perfect, Marie! I fell into this same issue at different times. I got a part-time job at one point and now, I make sure to make time for social activities. AND I love the responses from everyone here. I got a few more tips to try 🙂
    Thanks ~E

  64. Hi all, I think it is very helpful to go out in nature and connect with all around as you know you are part of the whole, the universe, and maybe in this way you can find answers going within, and I think trying to create something new, a group, would be very helpful, what Marie said, and to the girl of the question, yes I know how it feels to do not know anybody in your town, I also moved to another town and some days I never meet anybody, but it makes me more to find a way to change this situation, you will definately come out of it, all love Claudia

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Completely agree with you Claudia about getting out into nature! Thank you for sharing.

  65. I was working from home as a CEO of a virtual company for 2 years. I actually don’t mind working independently from home. I had calls with clients and potential clients that kept it similar to my corporate work. However, there is no lunchtime “let’s go eat” at noon, no walk over to the next desk time and if you have a question, it was great to pop over to the next colleague and get some hints from them. My words of wisdom would be to schedule meetings with video meetings to keep that face-to-face contact. While you’re not standing next to them, it sure feels like there is some type of “office” connection that may drown out the loneliness. Take a break and have lunch with some other virtual folks or your best friend in town. Also, put on some music or a TV show on for a short time. I find that leaving it on all the time distracts you and that isn’t good. But a quick catch on the news, will provide some chatter. It’s all about the Chatter!!

  66. Miranda Murr

    This was so helpful! For me an extrovert in a new city, who does everything on the computer- including finishing up my degree. I have been struggling with this feeling of isolation immensely. I have realized that changing my scenery just so that I am around others is the best thing I can do. For me to sit at Starbucks, and simply be around others changes my mood almost instantly. It’s not practical for every day, especially on the budget, but once or twice a week makes all the difference. I have also found going outside for even 15 mins while I let the dog out helps!

    Thank you for your advice!

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Absolutely, Miranda!

  67. I recently moved to a new state, with few to no contacts to speak of, launching a new service business, and working from home. The BEST thing I can recommend is a national networking club called Club Corp. They have a beautiful location that is in place for this exact reason…it allows for business networking in a social space, where one can conduct meetings over a meal, or in a conference style room, attend events, like Ted Talks, etc. When you join, if you travel, you can go to any of the affiliate clubs nationwide. This gives you amazing social/business networking opportunities and gets you out of your home space. I also joined a local Chamber of Commerce…another outstanding way to get out for planned events, meet like-minded professionals, and make great connections.

  68. Rhonda

    Perfect timing on topic! Marie you are so intuitive to what we need and make it happen for us, you are amazing!
    Been working outside of corporate for a year and this isolation seems to cycle. One thing I have noticed is not having concrete goals contributes to the overwhelm of what to do alone and such. Plenty to do, but what to do……
    Recurring group meeting is a key idea that I am going to implement. It has been hard to leave the friends of corporate as they are so busy in their 9-5 space and there seems to be no time and the relationship dynamics change.
    Thanks for the concrete ideas to implement.

  69. This was exactly on my mind, how to get out of the isolation..
    If you are a one woman business taking on every aspect, you spend a lot of time behind the pc OMG.
    Nobody to ask for advice, an input…it is lonely.
    I already started taking walks in the parc for break-time but heading out to a coffeeshop is a great idea!

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Wonderful, glad we could share some helpful tips with you, Rana!

  70. Thank you Marie for this video. It does feel lonely working from home. Many days I’m not going outside and sitting a lot on front of that screen… But, what I do, still, I do Yoga every second day, I love cooking and baking, so I do that almost every day. And, whenever I can, I go outside for a walk, meet friends or invite them in for dinner. But, def. a good suggestion to go to a coffee shop to work at… I should be doing this more often, maybe once a week or so. Melanie

  71. I often use music to Break the monotony of working alone. I also joined the Poetry Foundation here. Talk about stimulus. I honestly believe we are all creative! Poetry is an easy outlet using Self as content. Opens beauty inside ourselves!

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      LOVE that idea, Vince. Good for you.

  72. Arti

    You totally nailed this one, Marie! I have been running my dance school from my home studio, for the past 10 years. Initially I loved the freedom and flexibility it offered, for eg zero commute on a super snowy day; and the savings from not renting an outside studio. But soon the isolation got to me.
    3 things saved the day for me – a) making the decision to spend some time per week at the public library, forcing me to read and mentally go to far away lands b) volunteering in different fields, meeting a whole host of new people and c) pro actively organizing lunch dates with my girl friends. The face to face human interaction is the first to go out the window for anyone opting to work from home. Hope this helps someone out there 🙂

  73. Jennifer scott

    I work from home and it is challenging at time but I agree, I make an effort to volunteer at my niece and newphews school for a hour each week on a set day and at church every week. Both this opportunites help me feel connected, purposeful and have lead to me meeting some really nice people. I also make a point of going to the library or a coffee shop a couple of times a week and I also know another girl who works from home and we connect every couple of weeks and work together, she does her thing and I do mine! It is hard when you moved to a new place, but making the effort to do this things is critical! It takes a few months to pay off but its well worth it 🙂

  74. Sara Danner Dukic

    Gah! Thank you for this! I’ve really been struggling with my hermit tendencies and needed a kick in the pants.

    My biggest struggle, I think, has come from balancing being a mom with all of this (I’m sure there are others…right? Right???)

    I’m doing the whole exercise daily/morning routine thing, but I think some tweaks as to what is happening when will help

    As it stands, I’m taking care of other people as soon as my eyes open. My own morning routine really starts around 9:30, after I’ve gotten the kids off to preschool and the sitter. At that point, I eat breakfast in peace, and figure out what’s on the agenda. If I could do this earlier, I’d feel better, I think. And have more space in the day for some social activities, along with some time to be more, uhh…*judicious* about what I’m “wearing.” Or more accurately, placing fabric on my body so as to not be nude. Part of my being a bit of a sad sack definitively comes from not being nearly as glam as I used to be.

    I’m going to have to watch less TV (sad face) so that I can get to bed at a better hour, and get up early to get myself organized – put my oxygen mask on first, basically. I heart TV really hard, so maybe I can watch a show in the early morning while I make lunches or eat breakfast.

    Wondering how other mom entrepreneurs out there are making it work?

    • Niusha H.

      Sara,

      I love how you start your own morning routine once all the kiddos are out of the house. I can relate to a lot of your post, too. One thing that’s helped me (when I make time to do it) is to choose my outfits for the week, etc., when I put away my laundry. That way when I do put on a piece of fabric so I’m clothed when walking around outside my home, it looks put together even though I don’t have the brain space / energy in the morning to pay attention to what I’m actually wearing!

      Also, I recruit the kids to help “remind” me that we all need to drink a glass of water first thing when we wake up. This and a morning stretching or short (5-15 minutes) workout routine can truly change the entire day!

      Hope this helps! And, if not, be sure to be more compassionate to yourself throughout the day… that helps on days when the oxygen mask doesn’t come on first so to speak.

      • Sara Danner Dukic

        “Putting away laundry.” Hahahaha!

        This is embarrassing, but half the time I’m digging undies out of the clean clothes basket. My own laundry always seems to take a back seat to the kids’ never-ending mountain of inside-out socks and underwear inside pants. One thing I have been doing is just getting rid of all the stuff in my closet that I don’t like or wear. It makes it way easier to chose and know what’s available when I don’t have to first sift through the “last resort” items. I think part of my clothing issue also has to do with the pendulum of *always* having to be completely put together because of working with the press and high profile events/people, etc., to being alone and wanting to be comfy now that I can. Trying to find the happy medium between my previous life and my current one.

        I like your idea about the water and quickie workout. I’m going to try that – I think getting up earlier, a glass of water, and a few sun salutations are going to make a big difference! Thanks for the tips. And the commiseration.

  75. I have my team using the Marco Polo app to keep us connected throughout the week , we use the Zoom app for virtual team gatherings and Panera Bread is my office away from home! <3 #tonyatallulah

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Love it, Tonya!

  76. Tanya B.

    Hi Marie,
    These were amazing tips as usual. I go insane at times while working from home. Additionally, do you have any tips for staying focused while working from home? I seem to get distracted by social media, a messy house, shiny things, etc. Help!

  77. Jo

    Hi Marie, thank you for an inspiring video ! I could really identify with this as someone who frequently works from home, and resorts to talking to my dog!
    Your tips are really useful and I am going to apply them. What makes a difference for me is to schedule an early morning meeting, or take my laptop to a coffeeen shop. When the day starts positively, it is more productive.

  78. As I sit at my computer in my undies, coffee stained tee shirt, hair in a messy bun, with yesterday’s half eaten salad on the corner of my desk, I stare wistfully out at the cloudy, grey, rainy day whilst my two dogs blissfully snore and fart away providing background ambiance, I am beyond thrilled with the timing of your video!
    Holly doodle Bat Woman! On point or what!
    I am in the 2nd year of my own business and work from home and while I ADORE being the boss, making the calls and calling the shots………the depression, loneliness and lack of motivation have often left me in a puddle of tears wondering how do I get back on track working my 18 hour days day in and day out while establishing and growing my business.
    My ways to encourage human interaction have been:
    – Meet clients at coffee shops instead of my office.
    – If I’m going to take a TV/Video/Netflix kinda break I have to be on my treadmill.
    – Staying in constant communication whether phone, messaging, in person with my clients on a daily basis helps all in growing careers.
    -Arranging social activities with friends, family and clients
    -Look into grants/funding for entrepreneurial business start ups in your area to be able to hire human beings to grow your business
    -Be kind to yourself and know that you are not alone.
    Thank you Marie and Team! This made my day and reading the comments I realize even more that I am NOT alone, well…..sort of…lol
    Much Love xo

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Julie, your initial description of your current state is amazing. Absolutely priceless (and familiar of course). Sending you lots of work-from-home love from us, and so glad you’ve found some tricks too!

  79. Stephanie

    Such good strategies. We need this encouragement and reminder that it takes action to get out there and stay social, happy and connected. My home office has definitely been sucking me in. Thanks Marie. love. love. xo

  80. I mean ” WHAT A GREAT TIMING !!! ”
    its been almost 7 days i didn’t go out , except my regular works , didn’t met with any of friends and it almost got me killed in my own house, i was worried and thinking what had gone wrong , i have just started my new work from home business , and i wad already feeling loosing it. but Today is the day i decided to pause my work and go meet my bros. and i reach and got this Wonderfull Email from Marie 🙂

    Thank you so much , for such a great video at this Perfect timing .
    Love from INDIA

  81. Six years ago I left the a 20-legal career for one that I love: coaching women on leadership, career and transitions. I do work for home and appreciate your suggestions. One thing that I do to manage the isolation is to Skype (sometimes) daily with a fellow coach (now friend) who I met through an online class in 2013. We weren’t friends when we started, but we created a virtue office space in late 2014 to minimize the isolation and keep us in action and productuve. Typically, we mute ourselves so that each of us can go about our business uninterrupted and we schedule time to speak if we want to connect. It’s understood that we each need to take care of ourselves and we ongoingly make sure that this approach serves us, and check in with each other. We feel connected but not constrained by the arrangement. I live in NYC and she lives outside of Portland, Oregon so we have never actually met in person — but one of these days!

  82. Victoria

    Hi Marie and team!
    I have worked from home for 7 years now, but two years ago we moved across the country. I thought, no problem! Since I work from home I can live anywhere! But, I did not take in to account the lifestyle I had set up for myself in my old town–namely regularly scheduled, lunch time walks with my friends. New place: I still haven’t found friends interested in regular walks. I keep telling myself I’ll start my own routine, but without that accountability, it doesn’t happen. The one trick I have managed to carry over? I always shower and dress, even jewelry! Then, I’m ready to walk down the hall to my office. Since watching this just-in-time-before-I-get-really-depressed video, I have new motivation to get out the door and walk again. I also like the idea in the comments of going out for coffee. I could walk to the coffee shop in the morning and then come back and start my day. Thanks all!

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Sounds like the perfect plan, Victoria. Let us know how it goes.

  83. Couldn’t be more true. Been feeling this more in the past year than I used to with a new business startup and my kids leaving home! I have been planning to convert my now mostly empty home into a local Co-Working space so you know what, after this video I am so going to do it!

  84. Great tips, Marie! I’ve worked at home for 12 years (I direct a low-residency graduate program) and have incorporated many of the tips you offer: I work in the local library and/or cafe. I take regular phone-free and computer-free breaks, and I take group fitness classes. As I am relatively new in town, having moved from a place where I lived for 20+ years, I make it a conscious practice to get my social fix outside of work and to have face to face interactions with people in the nearby area. It hasn’t been easy trying to get to know people in a new town, but social activities are important to my emotional health and my creativity.
    Ruth

  85. Jackie Wilson

    I’ve worked from home for a year now. I think what bothers me is the lack of feedback. I want to rant about my work or share what I did on the weekend, but there is nobody around to tell me “it’s ok – that person is a jerk – you’ll get more work!” I’m still looking for that interaction, even though I do get out to fitness classes everyday.
    What works for me is volunteering. I go to a school once a week to read to some kids. I also volunteer at a music venue/concert hall. I’m looking into more volunteer opportunities that I can do during the day.
    Thanks, Marie, for the suggestions!
    Jackie

  86. I am alone most of the time. My kids are grown and I’m single and don’t date, so I’m very alone. However, I’m not lonely. I teach belly dance classes which is how I meet new people. I also started a couple of women’s groups that meet once a month. These are life-savers. One group is for spirituality and the other is for local women writers. I also create small retreats for women 2-4 times a year at a local church camp. These are just a few things I do. Marie is right when she said you are a leader. Sometimes we just need to create our own opportunities for what we need.
    Love and Light,
    Mezdulene

  87. Monica G

    You hit it right on. I have been going emotionally down due to remote work. I went to the extreme of flying back home and work from my mom’s home overseas.
    I have come out with ideas , like the ones you point out. But guiltiness of not being available when work calls makes me feel in prison. Winter or darker days do not help either.

  88. Pros – NO MORE cube life from Corporate. Cons – NO MORE face to face interaction. As a new solo-peneur, I was feeling pretty anxious after one month on my lonely island.Nix the electronic interaction – I needed to ‘reach out and touch someone’ if you know what I mean. My go to formula is as follows
    1. Weekly – SCHEDULE time to explore new community orgs/groups – I volunteered for a local org and ended up making friends with some wonderful women
    2. LinkedIn Group for other career strategy coaches like myself
    3. Chamber monthly meetings to stay in touch

  89. Love the tip on coordinating a company meetup to pull all the remote workers together.
    Megan needs my ebook! I’m a digital nomad, currently based in Sweden after moving from the Czech Republic, and before that Toronto. It’s tough to not only meet people, but people you actually want to spend time with. I cover how to stay connected with your old network (online) and cultivate new friendships (offline) in a new city or country. Look up ‘How To Make Big Moves: Relocate Without Losing Your Mind’ on Amazon Kindle or iBooks or Kobo 🙂

  90. CRAZY how timely this is for me!! I am a health coach with my own business and after getting married in August, my husband and I moved from Boston to the suburbs. Because I worked “from home” in the city for a year before we moved, I didn’t think doing it in the burbs would be that different but I have noticed a HUGE shift in how isolated I feel. In the city I always worked from coffee shops, constantly running into people that kept me feeling connected. And even though we moved back to the town I grew up in, so I have tons of ties here, it just feels different. Being in a house alone – as opposed to a large apartment building – for one is inherently more lonely. Because my husband is now commuting into the city, we see less of each other all week. And, of course, the city has a vibrancy which is hard to replace.
    I LOVE being back home and being able to create our first real house together but its a good reminder of how necessary daily human connection is for more than just the early morning and evening.
    Workout classes and working out of the house are big ones for me and I’m going to be adding some local networking opportunities to my calendar.
    It’s funny – I’ve been going through so much transition lately. Thanks again for covering this topic today of all days, Marie!!

  91. Kathy Booker

    Professional organizations are a great way to get involved. As an interior designer, I work mostly from my home office and have found that joining my profession’s group (ASID) connects me with wonderful people with the same interests and provides a great social outlet. I have even ended up on the local board of directors, resulting in a ton of invites to industry events.

  92. I can totally relate to this issue! I guess many of us can…When I first completely left my part time teaching job to pursue my freelancer content marketing career, one of my first goals was to find other places, out of works, to socialize. I knew it will be tough to be all by myself and skip on the lunch out with the office girls. So I joined a few activities that I thought might be fun and interesting for me–some classes, some social clubs…Most of them didn’t resonate but I’ve been a part of my book club for 3 years now and the yoga class I dared myself to go has completely turned my life around. So, my best advice is, once you’re out of the office, look for places to socilalize which aren’t work related.

    As I answer to people who ask me if I ever get lonely or anti-social working alone: I socialize for fun only now 🙂

  93. It is indeed a challenge. I am already not naturally outgoing and can easily not get out of the apartment for 48h.
    Luckily I have a major obligation: I teach in a great martial art school three times a week so I have to get out and meet people. that is not negotiable.

    I also take breaks to stretch and do 3 minute yoga sessions. We make appointments with my wife to have coffee and play backgammon otherwise it would never happen.

    Meals are sacred, though. We always take time to eat together her marvelous jhome cooking.

    But yeah, isolation is a real depressant. Thank you for bringing that topic. Working at home is not always that leisurely life people depict or imagine.

  94. Your suggestions are right on! I’ve used several of these myself over the years and will try the others this winter, when it is so easy to stay tucked indoors when you work from home. Thanks, Marie!

  95. When I moved from Brooklyn to Santa Barbara to work on my jewelry business full time, it was a new town with new people and I looked at it as an adventure since I knew absolutely no one. I immediately decided to get involved in the local art scene so I got a membership at a local museum where they host monthly socials for new members and I made fast friends with someone who then introduced me to meetup. I joined lots of meetup socials and even hosted a few of my own including wine picnics and ice cream socials to meet other people in my age group. I also joined a local art team and got heavily involved in it which lead to getting interviewed by the local paper about my jewelry business. I then became friends with the interviewer who introduced me to her already large circle of friends. I also took a few continuing education classes just for fun and met some great folks who I would occasionally have lunch dates with or just talk about art with. Years later and I am still great friends with many of these people even though I have now moved to North Carolina. In this video Marie mentioned some other great tips that I will definitely try now that I’m in a new town again.

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      That’s awesome, Aziza — love how you dove right in and reached out all around the art community in Santa Barbara. We have no doubt you’ll make lots of new friends where you are now too.

  96. Danielle

    Ah, this is SO great!! I recently started a new position working from home and I found myself getting in my head. A lot. It’s been a learning experience as there’s a natural tendency already to live in my head, so on top of that now, I’m working from home.
    I feel it’s such a practice of awareness. Each day I show up. Recognize what’s priority, I see what tasks have been set for the day, and I try to work through my list. Being mindful and present to each experience. Having something planned each day in the evenings, whether a class or get together with friends definitely helps.
    Thanks for such a great post! xo

  97. I just launched my business a year ago and started working from home. It’s been an AMAZING change for my life and I feel like I gained myself back. But, I’m super social as a person so I have started to feel a little lonely and disconnected. Working from a local cafe totally helps. Listening to music, talking to my dog (yes I do that). I’m definitely going to start a co-working group once a week so I can connect and get that feedback from others.

  98. Thank you so much Marie for addressing this topic on Q & A Tuesday. I imagine so many of us have dealt with this or currently dealing it. I have definitely experienced this myself and what works for me is to visit a new cafe or new part of town every second or third day to switch up my environment. By changing your environment and being exposed to different people, it keeps things fresh. Also, it’s cool when the cashiers or baristas get to know you by your order and you get a little conversation going. Barnes & Noble is a fantastic place to do your work from as it’s consistently busy with people coming and going. Hope this may help inspire others 🙂

  99. #3 is my go to. I’ve worked from home for over a decade (in corporate and now for many years in my own business). And, I like my quiet time:) While, I don’t exactly get depressed or feel isolated, my productivity and connectedness does wane sometimes. That’s when I know it’s time to change environments and do something different – a coffee shop in a different neighborhood where they’re sure to be a lot of foot traffic followed by doing something local where I can meet and talk to others normally does the trick. The key, for the way I work though, goes back to environment change. How can I switch it up? This helps with new ideas, getting things done and feeling fully aligned with what’s next.

  100. This is a more and more common problem. There are a few things I now do as standard operating procedure that help me:
    (1) I let my team members know that yes/no questions can be asked in email but if something needs discussion…they call it the “phone”, people. Use it. [saves on my rsi, too].
    (2) Lunches — each week I schedule at least 1 lunch with a co-worker and at least one with a friend/mentor/connection. It keeps me in the loop and exposes me to humans outside my job.
    (3) I use Skype a lot. Being able to see a person or a whiteboard or whatever keeps me informed and connected. It also helps *them* remember *me*. Comb my hair, put on lipstick and a clean t-shirt and I’m a professional!
    (4) I do use Facebook. I’ve moved a lot in my lifetime and made friends in a dozen states and a couple foreign countries. Time differences can kill you. Sometimes I’ll bounce ideas off them, but for the most part it remains my most frequent way of staying in touch with my dearest friends. It does not form my entire social circle. I usually restrict my usage to “after work” (“I’m the boss. I says when it’s quittin’ time”).
    (5) I talk to *everyone*: the lady in the nice shirt in the store, the deli worker, the bus driver, the men who come to fix my stove, the guy in the doctor’s waiting room…everyone. Since I wouldn’t talk to anyone I didn’t already know until I was 12, and it still terrifies me to do so, this is quite a step up for me.
    Mostly, I try to remember we are beings who need connection to form the edges, if not the center, of who we are. In my experience, all humans want to be seen and acknowledged, so I see staying in the world in some way as a privilege, a duty, and a chance to grow.

  101. My local drive-through barista has saved my life more than once. Often she is the only adult I speak with directly in a day. I’ve worked from home for 15 years as a freelancer. I’m darn good at what I do, and I have to continually remind myself to take pride in that to avoid tumbling into despair at the invisibility of the work. The nature of my work requires confidentiality, headphones, a foot pedal, and an ergonomic keyboard, so I don’t have the luxury of a mobile laptop at the local coffee shop. My written communication is friendly, but I know I would benefit from an actual in-person friendship. One reason I removed myself from Facebook and social media is because I felt uncomfortable relying on such a “virtual reality network” of folks I’d never met as my foundation for friendship. I wanted some deeper connection. The end result is I am very alone.

    I found photos of myself from my 20s and can’t really understand how I went from someone with a large network of authentic friendships (before the internet and Google were mainstream) to someone 20 years later who can’t think of a single close friend and feels I don’t know where I fit anywhere outside my home.

    I continue to work from home because:
    1) It has allowed me to be most available as a single parent.
    2) No commute is better for environment and paycheck.
    3) My severe allergies to animal dander (no doctor has been able to help) actually made me chronically mildly ill while working in group settings because of exposure to people’s clothing. I didn’t realize this was a daily struggle until I left the office. Same reason I can’t volunteer at my local thrift store or do public exercise classes.
    4) I’ve never met a Calgon man that’s going to allow me to soak in a tub all day, so I do the best I can by working 7 days a week.

    What helps me:
    1) Walk outside even if only for 15-minute breaks.
    2) Have lunch at a cafe.
    3) Go to a large public space like Costco or public library in a large city near my small town just to remind myself of the beautiful diversity of humanity.
    4) Set a timer like a mindfulness bell app to take 3-minute deep breath and “I love you” to self breaks.
    5) Bring reminders of the natural world back to my desk. Connecting to my place in Nature always makes me feel not alone. I just haven’t found that truly “not alone” space in human culture in years.
    6) Join a crafting group in the few public in my local community that don’t allow dogs. (Moving to a part of the country with fewer dogs would be a boon for me!)
    7) Host a monthly singing group with me at the piano to do something with other people in a pet-free zone.

  102. I belong to a coworking space and alternate between coworking and working solo at home, but I also work one day each week at my friend’s home office. We keep a similar schedule and can work quietly together. We enjoy talking over lunch and breaks, and at the end of the work day we sometimes head out for a run together. It totally changes the way I feel in the best way – my soul is filled with meaningful, personal connection.

  103. Don Theiss

    I’ve spent my life in a solitary way, ashrams, meditation, yoga, with intermittent excursions into the world of business so I am on the edge of coming out of my self imposed prison and into the world. I am ready. Can you teach me?

    I loved this insight into the experience of working for ourselves and having our primary relationship be with our computer and cell.

    Getting out, being with people socially, having fun, talking, laughing and connecting with other people is incredibly enlivening.

    I’m just now envisioning what I want to create so I need guidance in how to start.
    Do I make a video, like you do?
    How do I create a business out of what I know?
    How do be as alive and energetically as you are.
    How do I present me and my product as alive and positive as you do?

  104. Awesome video – thank you Megan for asking this important question and Marie for answering! One habit that I’ve picked up lately is to go on a morning commute. This means that I wake up and do my thing: brush my teeth, do some yoga, have breakfast and get dressed, then I head out for a commuter walk, which includes taking the same streets as people going to work (so nice to see others and feel like I’m moving towards something!) and make my way back to my apartment. When I get home, I’m ready to work! Later on in the day, I take a more leisurely walk through the woods near my house but that morning walk is brisk and stays on the neighbourhood streets to synthesize, as much as possible, the feeling of having a destination and a timeframe!

  105. Yaaass Marie yaaaaasss!! I’m a remote worker as well, and this past year I’ve travelled the world while working. It SOUNDS amazing, but the reality is that a lot of the points that you touched on were realities for me. Loneliness is a real thing, whether you’re in a tropical paradise, or you’re in your room back in your home town.

    Pretty much every point you made were strategies I undertook to keep my sanity while working anti-social hours (night shifts in Asia to be on EST timezone). Hell, even today my client and I were joking around that our jail guards (husbands/bfs) bring food to us while we’re working! Too funny!!

    I’ll be sharing this video with the rest of my distributed team and network of remote workers (shout out to the Digital Nomad community!) as I know these are issues that are ever present and not something new remote workers realize is a challenge. Thanks for writing and speaking on this topic!

    Love your videos and content,
    Carolina

  106. I am just the opposite working from home I never felt alone, it was evident that I more productive, I scheduled my day in segments which help , I make sure that I was always open to constructive criticism, I learned a lot about myself and how to manage my time and desk. I went into office twice a week Tuesdays and Friday. Oh well too bad that’s over now back into the office everyday of the week and that bores me to no end.

  107. I have been working from home since 2004 and boy, it really can get lonely! I have found that I have weekly or biweekly lunch dates with a friend that’s in the same industry and that has helped a lot. I am not much of an exercise person but I have found Bikram yoga and fell in love. It really does help to get out. Thank you for all of your advice!!

  108. Literally in the past week and after a discussion with my hubby, I’ve decided to shut down the online portion of my coaching practice. DRAMATIC, I know:) Marie + Team, I’ve been a fan for years and this is my first comment, because this topic is one that is so real to me in this very moment.
    After years of practicing all of those tips you mentioned (going to the gym for classes, working from cafes, joining coworking spaces in NYC, even taking a part-time job to help get me around people), I’ve decided online biz simply isn’t my thing. I’ve created a beautiful website, beautiful programs, and have definitely helped people, but the “ME” that started this journey is no longer the “ME” that both my husband and I love. I let myself get beat down by isolation. As they say, isolation is the quickest way to depression. I’ve changed, and not for the better, which my husband so accurately and gently pointed out to me. I think there comes a time in our entrepreneurial journeys when we have to realize what works for US as individuals–because we simply can’t be like everyone else. Human (in-person) interaction helps me thrive, so I’ve decided to get back to my roots and kickstart my nutrition practice in my local community. And honestly, just making the decision to shut down my website (I’ll be blogging from a different one) and transform how I now approach my biz has been life-changing.
    So just wanted to share that in case anyone else is feeling these feelings…even after years and all of the efforts. It’s simply not for everyone, and it doesn’t make you a bad person if your business isn’t 100% online. Took me some time to learn that, but here I am! xox

    • So many awesome comments… Thank you, Marie + MTV Team + MTV Community… I agree with all of the suggestions in the show, and I am very interested in getting to know such an amazing diversity of points of view… I think that working from home is not for everyone, and that our laptop/mobile lifestyle could lead to bad stress and mental health issues for some… Without the right renewal habits, of course… Let me just add that silence is the greatest environment for spirit to be creative, so I actually thrive in the loneliness by choice… And then I get to go out with whomever I want, whenever we decide… It is a priceless freedom for me… And since we are all one, may we all find our best way to work, produce and thrive! Love, Monica Fit

  109. I can totally relate! Not only do I work from home, I live with an introvert – so he wants to stay in at night. I’ve had to become very proactive at scheduling social interactions with friends. I’ve also instituted twice-weekly calls with my team where we talk about our lives as well as business. Finally, the apps WhatsApp and Marco Polo are great tools for social interaction. They allow you to create ongoing voice or video chats with friends. They record what’s said so you don’t have to be on at the same time and can reply whenever is easiest. Best of luck to you!

  110. Marj

    Worked from home for years, before it was really popular. Now retired,
    but two places that I connected with others was volunteering in the
    community and finding a church. Both brought new friendships and
    less loneliness.

  111. Working in an office doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be lonely or feel isolated either. One place I was at had such a dismal atmosphere that people rarely if ever had lunch together. More and more people either left or just went to work at home. I would say it was probably lonelier there than I ever felt working at home. So Marie’s guidelines should really apply no matter where you work. I am so glad I am no longer there as it was just so toxic to the soul. Now that I am home, I make sure I have a routine. The dog gets walks and playtime. A good friend and I have a standing weekly lunch. If I really feel like just people watching I go to the casino and play a few games and talk to fellow gamblers and commiserate about the skewed odds, lol. There’s a whole world outside my basement that needs me to be out there interacting with it. But when I don’t want to – like when the weather is nasty or I am just plain unsociable then I don’t have to….. and that is what I truly love about working from home.

  112. Love this topic! I’ve been working from home for 6.5 years and can totally relate. I have to go outside and see my friends at least twice a week, to fulfill that much needed healthy human interaction.
    Thanks so much!
    and PS, you’re also super hot!

  113. These are all great tips! Many of the suggestions are things that I do now even though I still have a job in an office. Sometimes working in an office can be lonely when you work in a non-diverse environment with people who you don’t have much in common with. So to keep myself happy and at peace I try to get to one group fitness dance class a week, meet a friend for a fun event or dinner once a week, and I try to get out and go to industry events or workshops for the business I’m building on the side, when I can. I even make it a point to take breaks and walk to a variety of local coffee shops for breaks to get a change of scenery during the day.

    Personally, I prefer working from home because you can be selective about who you talk to and you’re not forced to have small talk conversations with co-workers who you don’t even vibe with like that (introvert thoughts LOL).

    Keshia

  114. Great advice and input. I’ve been working from home since 1996 – an early adopter, right? 🙂 – and have been self-employed/consultant for the past 3 years. It helped that my children were very young when this started and had a lot of running around to do, plus traveling for work. Now that they are both in college, there is more “time” to feel lonelier. To counter this, I take regular breaks and go outside (we live on a lake), go to meet-ups and schedule face-to-face client meetings. Thanks for making this video.

  115. Jessica Johnsen

    This was such a great video for me! I am an extrovert, and while I love working from home, it is HARD sometimes. There are days and weeks that I feel like a puppy waiting for my boyfriend to get home from work. I have to make cognoscente decisions to leave my house.
    I do travel often for my work – so that helps tremendously. I will definitely be implementing some of Marie’s suggestions. I will say though being in a VERY small town, without a coffee shop does pose it’s limitations. I will have to start thinking outside of the box to get out more in my little town.
    A couple things I do that may help others:
    – Volunteer at my local humane society. While I love walking my own dog and get to enjoy that benefit while working from home, this forces me to get out of the house and help others.
    -Go to conferences and find “accountability buddies.” If someone buys the same product or course as you, offer to keep each other accountable.
    -Started a Direct Marketing side business – I do in-home wine tastings and sell wine. 🙂

    Another suggestion is to get dressed and get ready early in the day – this helps me actually get out of the house in the afternoon or evening. If I stay in my yoga pants or pajama clothes all day without doing hair/makeup, I am less likely to leave in the evening.

  116. JN

    I’m quite comfortable working by myself. But as you said, even with us lone wolves, “the soul” needs friends. Fortunately, I go to church twice a week, but I am adding in networking and walks to get out and meet people. I’m looking into co-working also. It can be a source of great exchange and inspiration.

  117. I’m about 6 months into working from home full-time and was a little surprised when that feeling of isolation crept in recently. I love your suggestions and do a couple of those. Also, similar to a meet up, I joined a networking group that meets weekly where I get to connect with people and promote my business and I volunteer at an elementary school working with struggling readers once a week. Those 2 things get me dressed and out of the house. Thank you for addressing this issue!

  118. Ivan Šestak

    Usamljen čovijek mnogo puta je i epresivan no na svu reču ja se krečem među mnogo ljudi svakodnevno ,mnogo radim, pomažem drugim ljudima i na največe daljine posebno onima koji su u mojoj blizini jer nemočnih starijih gladnih,depresivnih ima jako mnogo. Kao i u ijelom svijetu pohlepa čovijeka koji nezna šta radi drugim ljudima stavljajuči ih u neimaštinu i depresuju je veliki znak da veliki bogataši misle samo na svoje bogatstvo slavu a da ih nije briga za živote drugih ljudi koji umiru od gladi i neimaštine. No za to če jako odgovarati a da to i neznaju žele pomjeniti prirudu uzimaju sva prirodna bogatstva samo za svoju slavu i bogatstvo dok je to bogatstvo namjenje no svakom čovijeku. Več i priroda za sada samo upozorava svojim nezaustavivim silama za čovijeka da čovijek jako griješi i da nejde u pravom smijeru. Amen.

    • Udo, ADHD entrepreneur

      You said it, Ivan!

  119. This is exactly what I’m going through and why I’m obsessed with co-working!!

  120. Samira

    Thank you Marie! always!

    I am struggling with self-imposed isolation too but not because of job because of my desire of finding people who share similar interests. Just few days ago I realized that I do not need friends who are my mirror. I need connection with real people who might or might not have similar interests as me. That is OK. Every human is an opportunity to learn something new. Their different personality, interests, background can open doors for me to marvel at the life as a whole.

  121. This blog post couldn’t come at a more poiniant time. My background has always been working in busy offices and making lots of friends through work. However the job I have been doing for the last 7 months has been working from home. At first I thought ‘great I can work in my gym gear!’ This is all true and there are so many benefits like not having the hellish commute into London. However, the more I got into the job, the more islotaed I felt and my confidence massively dropped. I became not used to socal interaction and quite depressed. The conference calls and talking in the phone helped a little but not to the level I needed, it was still affecting my mental health. I took a part time 2nd job this month in an office and it has been the best thing for me. I now have the best of both worlds. My confidence has increased and feel so much more positive. It has made me realise that lonliness is a real killer , your mental health affects your overall health. We live in a didgital age where social media, emails, texts, whats app, conference calls are taking over. It is not the same as human interaction. So I urge anyone who feels like this to either take a 2nd part time job or a volunteering job even if its for a couple of hours a day. It does so much for your mental health. Think of all the elderly people isolated – you could volunteer to help them as after all you are both in the same situation

  122. I joined a hiking group through my church. I no longer attend that church but 14 years later, I am still hiking with the “Joyful Hikers” here in Tucson AZ. The fresh air, sunshine, amazing scenery and pledge not to discuss politics is just what I need for total renewal of the mind, body & spirit.

  123. Stephen

    Hi Marie
    Thanks for your insights, much appreciated.
    Having been in a difficult relationship for years, and having had so little positive encouragement and feedback about being an entrepreneur/inventor/experimenter/thinker/etc, I probably now have the habit of living and working alone most days. I’ve probably become much more of an observer of others, and reluctant to tell them ideas and plans because once bitten, twice shy: I can do without negativity, so I do.
    I’m comfortable with my own company, but you’re right, I do need people, so I appreciate your encouragement. I’ll make an effort.
    God bless
    Stephen
    New Zealand

  124. I sell dollhouses locally and then offer assembly of them…then you gotta go out and put them together

    Great video

  125. This is making me feel bad a bit…as I don’t feel this need, but it’s possible to feel it soon. This situation reminds me of the interview with Marianne Williamson, when she said she felt grief only after somebody told asked her if she’s sad after losing an election, she wasn’t…but was after she received the question. I really like to work by myself, even days in a row. When I work, I’m 100% into it. If there’s somebody near I’m gonna act in a not really friendly way, as I can only be focused on one thing. (I know, I am am girl, and I don’t multi task). If there are people around, it’s either I’m 100% with them, or 100% without them. I wouldn’t want to have relationships in my life right now, as I won’t be able to connect with people and build a true relationship, as there’s too much going on with my studies, and my job. I don’t know how time flies when I work, and I don’t even notice I’m alone. As there’s so much to do with my work, I’m always running out of time. Every time I encounter a possibility of doing something else…I try to avoid it, as I don’t think it’s worth it if it doesn’t relate to work, or something more profound.
    It’s maybe because I’m too young…don’t know.

  126. Excellent video and perfect timing for the way I’ve been feeling off and on for the last year. I started my business 3 yrs ago and have gone back and forth between home office and executive suites (Which wasn’t much better since you’re still sitting in a room by yourself, big difference is you’re paying quite a bit to do so). What I’ve found works best is a morning bike ride and going out to the coffee shop and working a couple mornings as well.

  127. I’m still struggling with this but here’s what I’ve found is helpful in my 2+ years working from home.
    1. Implement a morning routine
    2. Don’t pull your laptop into bed with you
    3. Run one errand and/or work out of a coffee shop. When out make eye contact and talk to someone you interact with
    4. Don’t eat sugar – kills your mood and energy
    5. Established face-to-face client meetings (I run a marketing/branding biz so we do our creative meetings in person)
    6. Plan your weekly fun (when you work from home you are less inclined to “live for the weekend” but sometimes that means you forget to plan your fun, social plans
    7. If your a huge extrovert (like me) take some part-time work or offer to go “in-house” with a client a few days a week
    8. Video conference with remote teams (we have marketing vendors from across the country who help us run national campaigns so it’s nice to see each other)
    9. Take a 15 minute nature break
    10. Plan lunch dates with friends or people you want to network with

  128. Yes working online and being a solopreneut can be lonely. I think that is why I love hosting my online health summits as it interaction with health practitioners. Great suggestions Marie

  129. It’s true though; i’ve been working from home for about six years or so ~ i’m naturally introverted and i’m not very good with people so it totally suits me; my sister, on the other hand, is a very social creature and she says that she couldn’t possible work from home because she likes being around other people. So I guess working from home isn’t really for everyone; if you miss being around other people then maybe maybe maybe you might wanna rethink it. On the other hand, working from home is good for say moms who want to be able to work and keep an eye on the kids and the house at the same time (although it’s still a real juggling act because work demands just as much focus).

    it’s also true that even for someone like me it can get lonely ~ behind my boss’ back(lol) i discovered online games that involve talking to other players, and I’ve made online friends, a very few of which have become -real- friends. My current boss knows that my co-workers like to “poke” me during the day for a quick chat, not just about work but about you know, LIFE (lol) ~ and I like to poke my co-workers who I’m closer to during the day about stuff, too. In fact we have like a private group chat (NO bosses lol) where we just pop in during the day and say random stuff like “i’m hungry” or “are we getting paid yet” or “i’m sneaking off to buy a coke at the 7-11” or “have you seen so and so the movie?” (not sure my boss knows about that private group chat but he knows we do talk about stuff during the day)

    We are re-instating tracking software that takes screenshots of what we’re doing every few minutes or so so much for the online gaming (LOL) and private group chat though, so… but it is true what Marie said about having lunch AWAY from the computer (i do this x make it a point to) and to get out there and at least exercise after work. And to get up every few minutes to stretch. My house is full of people so it’s tough being entirely alone to work from home (lol) so I guess i’m lucky in the sense that if things get lonely all i have to do is go downstairs or even just to the next room and hang out there for a few minutes. But yes it is true, feeling a little isolated can get very real when working from home so yes it’s GREAT working in your underwear and not having to do the daily commute and such but yeah there is that. The thing I guess is to figure out whether it suits your personality or something ^_^;

  130. Yes it’s a great topic, and so lovely to hear what others are doing about the lonliness thing. I find that working from home is wonderful, but I do definitely go through times of lack of motivation and putting things off until the next day. I also tend to crave human connection, so much, that I can ‘overdo’ it on the weekends, socializing, then come Monday, I’m tired and drained. Having a dog, going out for coffee, chatting on the phone to a friend and going to a yoga class all help in a big way. It’s just got be done consistently… constant upkeep is the key 🙂
    Thanks so much, this made my day Marie x

  131. Oliver

    Prior to opening Marie’s Q&A Tuesday e-mail I was in a state of loneliness, isolation and depression. When this happens I ask myself what is the cause of this? Is it because I am alone or is it the reason I am alone? Then I ask is this a legitimate reason to be alone or is it bogus. Sometimes my isolation is self-induced, but many times it is just a sum of past experiences, many dating back to childhood, which lead to loneliness.
    I try to remember that the positive side of this situation is that I am conscious of it and at least I can work to remedy it through interacting in all of Marie’s scenarios.

    If you have all work done, your family issues resolved, and your will drawn up in case you unexpectedly die then, yes, attacking the world by participating in different organizations and visiting different places is a portal to relief from single living. My preference is to get involved with the community thru a neighborhood organization. Just keep in mind that as you negotiate new territory in meeting others they may not understand your loneliness and its cause. So in some instances the sad truth is that unless you connect with someone you’ll have to acknowledge that life may be viewed thru a periscope owned and valued by only you. If this happens just remember this may not always be true, it just may be an inescapable truth if you don’t redefine what brings you inner peace, salvation, and inner happiness.

  132. Echoing Marie’s sentiments here with some examples from my own life. Here are some of my favorite ways to engage with real, live humans as a remote worker. First and foremost, I have a rule that I have to leave the house once a day. A few winters ago, I realized I hadn’t left the house in three days. No more! Even if it’s a quick trip to a local coffee shop or a walk around the block, I make sure I see the sky. Stepping away from technology during my lunchtime is huge for me. I make sure I’m doing something unrelated to technology such as cooking my lunch (one of the benefits of working from home) or going for a walk. I also make sure I have a standing commitment to a group activity in my area completely unrelated to my work. That takes the form of choir and quilting since my days are spent implementing databases. I also have a standing monthly virtual date with two industry friends who live elsewhere so we can catch up about life and work. One more thing. My remote work is interspersed with travel to client sites. I take advantage of that face time by catching up with friends in that city or exploring an area I might not have visited on my own. And when the depths of winter hit northern Michigan and the snow is up to my waist, I hop on a plane and go somewhere sunny for a week or two and remember how lucky I am that I’m able to do that. Best of luck sorting out the ways that help you feel connected!

  133. Gerardo Marcelo Jr

    Hi ,Marie good day!
    Now i know “Working from home might not demand human interaction,But your soul does.” Wonderful suggestion about 8 strategies.
    How do you make sure to stay emotionally connected? I think as long as you provide a tips or suggestion or give first a solution or the benefit to his problem.
    and this is my weakness how can be a solution provider .
    Thank you,

  134. Amy

    I can relate! Having a young kid, daycare age, is also part of this isolation, and makes it worse. Because your time with your little one, special as they are, just leaves you even MORE in need of human adult connection, and then by the time they’re in bed and you have “me” time, you’re home twiddling your thumbs because you can’t leave the house.

    My advice: connect with other MOMS. They can relate to the loneliness. All moms of little ones experience this. Play dates at a park or other place where the kids can play–some libraries are great for this, is the usual ticket here. Then you get relief from the child’s constant need of your attention, and you get adult companionship.

    The friends you make while raising your kids, I’m told, are the friendships that will last your lifetime and be the strongest. So those are good ones to focus on!

    Exercise was also a great tip. Invite a mom friend from daycare to go for a walk with the kids in a stroller.

    Not the business angle, just the mom angle… hope it helps! Also, be aware that it gets easier every year! Your social connections through your kid will grow, and as they get busier and more social, your life gets easier and more social. Pre-3 years old is the hardest. After that they are more socially interested and it’s not ALL about mommy.

    • Kristin - Team Forleo

      Great tips, Amy! Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

  135. Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! And Yes!

  136. It can feel really ungrateful to complain about being able to be at home, working flexible hours, having complete autonomy, but it’s not always as much a dream as one might imagine! I have worked for a company from home, and I now work in my own online business from home. Back when I was working for a company and had my son at home it was near impossible, and in the end I hated it and just wanted to get back in the office amongst people who spoke in full sentences on my work days. Now I find in my business a few things have changed that really help me: 1. My son is at school, so I have peace and quiet… 2. …But not TOO much, as I have two little dogs now, who sit under my chair and follow me around the house and shower me with love at regular intervals! 3. I am on the phone a LOT. I love having real conversations with people, and I think it’s great for my business to have that human interaction. Ways I know I could improve and have been meaning to… 1. I could get out more. I do take in-person meetings, but not frequently enough. 2. There are a number of Share Space offices in my area, and I really need to book a hot desk soon! I think it would be a fabulous way to connect with people and feed off their energy while I work. 3. Walk my puppies at lunchtime – this would be so beneficial to all of us, and I don’t do it enough.

  137. Oh! And for awhile I was meeting up with two other ladies in the same situation with businesses different to mine, but who I have worked with on projects. We called it our breakfast club, and what we would do is meet up once a fortnight or once a month, depending on our schedules, and we would focus on one of us for a couple of hours. The person whose turn it was would talk about what’s been happening in their business, and we’d workshop with them – it might be a particular tricky situation with a difficult client, or a creative project they are wanting to get going, even a social media overhaul or a new product/service idea. We would each bring our own perspectives and knowledge to the task/issue at hand. One of us is a graphic designer, another a stylist/social media guru, and I’m a blogger/makeup artist. So sometimes we would plan little projects to assist each other in our businesses – maybe a photo shoot or something. Anyway, it worked well to assist each other with having a sounding board, practical help (saving money on each other’s services as we would do service swaps!), and just having other people going through similar things in business to feel like we weren’t each in it alone. The small group of just us three really worked well, but sometimes we would also invite a guest! Now one of us (not me) has had a baby, so we are on a break from breakfast club, but I can’t wait to get back to it!

  138. This has so much to do with our personalities. I’m energized and refreshed by solitude. I do my best work in long, focused, uninterrupted blocks of time. I schedule lunch meetings twice a week, have group calls three times a week, speak at conferences 5-6 times a year – but primarily because I know those things are necessary connection points to fuel my business. But I always look forward to getting back to my private office in a converted barn on our property – to feel my best and do my best work.

  139. Crystal

    This was such a close-to-home topic! I’m curious that I didn’t read any comments pertaining to my issue – maybe someone out there has an experience similar to mine, or has comments/suggestions! 😀

    I started working from home when I moved out of state. My employer (thankfully) didn’t want to lose me, so they let me take my job out of state to work from home! I thought it was the best opportunity of my LIFE. YES, I work in my PJs, YES I can forget the long commute, YES I love those parts of working from home….But my job is so demanding, SOMETIMES I THINK TAKING MY SUPER STRESSFUL JOB INTO MY HOME IS THE WORST DECISION I’VE MADE IN MY LIFE. I’ve brought the most stressful job I’ve ever had – RIGHT INTO MY PERSONAL HOME. I’ve been at this for almost two years now, and I don’t sleep well most nights, I have nightmares about my work, I constantly have (what feels like) stress-attacks with the tight chest and even difficulty taking easy deep breaths…I work really early mornings and really late evenings frequently, can’t put my work phone away on weekends, am always feeling stuck and dragged into my work because it’s so accessible…There are always problems and issues to solve for people who are leaving me frantic, worried, urgent messages…It never ends, and the feelings follow me around the whole house. They don’t just stay in my office! They follow me to the bathroom, the kitchen, the living room, the garage, the bedroom…. I think the effects take a negative toll on my health and “emotional wellness,” I guess you could say (sorry, I know that sounds cheesy!).

    Before I left my job at the office, I was actually HAPPY to leave this crazy job behind and find something new – it was stressful enough just at the office! BUT – who would say NO to working from home?? I thought being at home would eliminate some of the stress, but I couldn’t have been more wrong!

    With the benefit of hindsight, I now realize that the job itself is VERY IMPORTANT when considering whether or not it can be compatible with your home life. In so many of the comments, it shocks me that people feel so isolated. My job requires frequent phone contact with people (and yes, tons of emails daily as well). So much that I NEVER feel like I’m isolated or alone – I wish! Does ANYONE else have a high-contact / high-touch job like this at home? My husband is always telling me to stop working, and I wish I never brought this job into my home because now I can never get away from it mentally.

    I think if anyone has the opportunity to work from home, they should consider if they like their job enough to keep it in the office. I washappy to leave my job before I knew I could take it home with me (and I was wanting to NOT work in the same environment), so now it’s clear I should have just packed up and made the change back then. Now, I don’t want to give up working from home, and it’s hard to imagine going back to an office now.

    The only motivation is finding something less stressful, which is proving a difficult task! I’ve searched, and I feel that employers second guess my intentions to seek a new job when I get the “luxury” of working from home and have a higher salary than jobs I’m applying for, in order to enter a new environment. I feel they don’t trust my willingness to take a pay cut to do something new. I don’t know where I’m going wrong – I’m trying to be as honest and candid as possible in interviews, but it doesn’t seem to be getting me anywhere. (Any suggestions here?)

    It’s a frustrating emotional tug of war when it comes to new employment back on the “outside” again… I’d love to hear if anyone else has this type of job at home, what your struggles and personal solutions are, and how you deal with it all… Thank you for reading this!!!!!!! It was helpful just to write this and get it out!!! 🙂

    Thanks Marie and team for creating these shows and answering questions like this. It’s so nice to know there are others out there dealing with the same struggles, and hopefully finding solutions, too!! 🙂

    • Kristin - Team Forleo

      That sounds so tough, Crystal! Yes, it CAN be hard to turn off work when you’re doing it from home and it’s there all the time, but it’s hugely beneficial to have some boundaries around it so you don’t feel like it’s taking over every part of your life. If you have coworkers still working together in a physical office, but you’re working remotely, it may be easier for them to turn work off when they leave the office, whereas you feel responsible for being available every moment of the day. This is a recipe for burnout!

      I don’t think you’re alone in this situation, but I’m not sure I have an answer that will magically solve the problem for you, either. Aside from seeking another job, could you talk to your boss about how you’ve been feeling? Would it be possible to set up some boundaries, like firm working hours that you stick to, so everyone knows when you’re available and when you’re not? It sounds like this is taking a toll on you in a number of ways – it might be time to express how you’re feeling to your company so they can help you out!

  140. T Diaz

    I feel SO lucky that I actually do have neighbors that bring me cookies, pizzelle, even!

    • Kristin - Team Forleo

      Ooooh, very lucky!!

  141. Danielle

    These are great tips and actually use most of these already. I find waking up with the purpose of going out somewhere like a coffee shop is much more encouraging, and a fitness class is a great change of tempo.

  142. I work alone but I’m an introvert so I LOVE it.

    I run a private practice so I do have chat with clients every day so I cherish my alone time.

    I love what you said about your soul needs connection. Because I think this is something very important to me. I need to work on this relationships because work can take all the focus.

  143. Almaz Tefera

    Wow Marie !!! this is awesome .As a chance i have one way and repetition work through out. I was a teacher for more than 30 years and now am working at office. I don have much time on house work except weekend time. Am passing or wasting time by writing or reading on computer the whole day , which is real boring. Now i should have to give time to refresh my self after your lesson. Thanks Marie the eight lessons are important.

  144. Hello from Norway!
    Thank you for a great and very important post! I started my business as VA in communictrion and digital marketing november 2015. Beeing very aware of the difference between ordinary office work and homeoffice work I decided to make a plan for this too – and stick to it.
    The plan:
    1) At least once a week plan a live lunch with someone (friend, customer)
    2) Work from a coffeshop/Library alone or with friends every week
    3) Look for a Co-workingspace I could afford and be happy with, and plan to join
    4) Dress up every day

    These written goals made me wanna go even further. So I made up a virtual Lunchclub, called Lunchbuddy inviting other entrepreneurs to be my Lunchbuddies and join. These virtual lunchmeetings once a week became the highlight of the week for me and others. All the Lunchbuddies live all across Norway and we even have a Lunchbuddy in Barcelona, Spain. This new fellowship is good for me and my business, and we even made our own IRL business Summerparty this summer. When You work alone you don´t get invited to a summerparty or Seasonal company come-together. You are the company and it is no fun alone.

    And now, in just a few weeks, I am about to launch a beta of my new service here in Norway called Småprat which means “Smalltalk” – and it is virtual Lunch and Coffebreaks with video for everyone tired of eating lunch alone. I hope this service can make the homeoffice-life a little brigther and perhaps prevent depression and instead give the Lunchbuddies motivation and a “place to go to”! Feeling vey excited at the moment! 🙂 Great to read all the comments. I feel I hav hit a nerve.
    Best regards Monica – happiness officer at Småprat

  145. My best advice: take a dog!
    I don’t know if someone already mentionned this great solution. You get your best friend in the house (who sleeps most of the day next to your desk), and are obliged to go out! Every day!
    Also pedagogical a wise decision if you have kids.

    I can recommend it.

    (a tip from a viewer from the Netherlands)

    • Kristin - Team Forleo

      Yes, Saskia!! Having a dog is such a great suggestion. I take my pup out daily for walks that I otherwise might not take, get some fresh air and exercise, AND she keeps me company working from home 🙂

  146. Ula

    This is such a valid episode to me. Thank you team Marie! Working from home was always my dream. When it finally came true I was confronted with exactly the same issue. Now I have a perfect solution. During the day, when my brain is most efficient and productive I work in front of my computer. After 16:00 though, I work for a company of my dear friend who runs small airbnb (short stay apartments rental), business, here in Amsterdam. My job is about jumping on my bike and going to one of the apartments in order to welcome tourists that just have arrived. I get to meet people from around the world and share my enthusiasm and tips about this lovely dutch city with them. Not only I satisfy my need of human connection, I also get my dose of fresh air, exercise and on top of that, I make extra money! I also meet once a week with the lovely team of my friend/boss to discuss all the tourists related matters.
    Because I love Amsterdam, meeting new people and biking, and most of all my team of colleagues, this hardly feels like a job!
    Thank you Marie and the team for all your work. You keep on making an amazing impact on my life – both professional and personal. I love you guys!

  147. Hi there Marie!
    I can’t relate more with this question. I’m an immigrant, living in the Uk, trying to grow my online bussiness around dance which is the thing that brigs happiness to my life. Even though English is not my native language, I’m working on my business in both languages, English and Spanish and believe me, not knowing anyone around here is a bit sh*t.
    Here you’ve got my strategies to cope with loneliness and build my net-friend -as opposed as net-work:
    – I go to dance classes every week. I try to do it twice a week, but is not always possible.
    – I joined a choir!. This helped me a lot to start socializing when I first arrive in London and now two of my best friends in this city are choir members.
    – I go and buy in local shops and speak with the people around about anything.
    – I go to dance related events and try to dance and sing here and there. After gigs there is always someone who approaches you to have a chat.
    Have a nice week everyone.

  148. Jacque

    This is so encouraging Marie.
    I worked from home for about one and half years and I often found myself applying and even taking up jobs that din’t match up to what I wished, to beat the loneliness. I often became unproductive working from home and I now understand why. I still wish I have the freedom working and pushing for my dreams, which I soon will be back to. These techniques will definitely be a great takeaway towards my success.

  149. I’m an introvert so working from home has allowed me to maintain more energy throughout my day, compared to corporate life. But I must say, I do feel more removed from my social life now more so than ever. These tips are super helpful ! I plan yo implement a few more this week. I think also knowing how you work best, is something to be mindful of. I agree that working out is so beneficial to your productivity. I find that it can replace a cup of coffee so I work out around 230 pm when I normally experience that afternoon slump. Thanks Marie, you rock !

  150. Jen

    Sometimes I put on a network shopping channel to have human background chatter like an office. There are no commercials and it’s kind of soothing. I believe there are office ambient sounds on YouTube too.

    • Kristin - Team Forleo

      Ambient background noise is a great suggestion, Jen! I find it easier to focus if there’s some kind of white noise. Silence can sometimes be more distracting than sound 🙂

  151. lamson songthiang

    Thank you Marie

  152. Yep, you are speaking my language. As someone who has worked on her own for more than 20 years now, I’ve adopted most of your strategies.

    And, I joined a local business club, and work from there usually once a week. Much nicer than working from a coffee shop. They also have some great social gatherings.

    In addition, I have a circle of other entrepreneurs I stay in touch with via Skype, message and phone.

  153. Hi, does anyone else deal with a weird ADD-like deal where you get distracted by the need to: vacuum the carpet, dust the desk, clean the cat dish, sweep the front porch? I don’t mean as an attempt to avoid working, just that working at an office, I just get up, go to work, focus, and then go home. Working at home, I feel pushed to do it ALL because I SEE all the things that need to be done. Yow!
    Loneliness is such an important topic these days. Lord, we need to connect SO much.

    • Kristin - Team Forleo

      Elizabeth, I think that’s probably more common than you think! One thing I would suggest is designating time for chores so you don’t feel as compelled to do them the moment you realize they need to be done. For me, I save most housework/laundry/errand type tasks for particular days of the week so I can otherwise ignore them while I’m working!

    • Evonne

      That was my struggle too! My method is I make my workspace completely dedicated to work to keep me in work mode – no personal “task” reminders in sight! I keep my work to-do lists in front of me and personal lists away. I make a rule I am to only look at that personal list and care of those items during personal time. The only exception is for personal items that are “time sensitive” like putting laundry in so they are clean for going out at end of day, or set up crock-pot for dinner that night. For those I literally time myself as if I was on a 15-minute break so as to not allow myself to wander then to wiping down countertops I see dirty or tidying up the living room – if I do that suddenly an hour will be gone and I am stuck working late to make up time, effectively sabotaging my evening! So I put on my house ‘blinders’, go set up the crock-pot and get back to work! – Best of luck to you Elizabeth!

      • Mandy - Team Forleo

        That’s fantastic, Evonne! It sounds like you’ve got a really good system in place. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  154. Lola Killey

    Great suggestions! Liked them all! I am doing several of them to eliminate the isolation. Thanks!

  155. Prabhu Elumalai

    It’s challenging to keep mood upbeat all the time. Sometimes, it’s boring on checking e-mail all the day even exceeding working hours. Fortunately, i do business trips many places that would be refreshing and doing chat with strangers that ranges from chauffeur’s, hotel boys, street vendor’s the list is endless. Finally, i feel relieved from ‘isolation’ stress.. By the way, I have added your suggestions. Thanks

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      It’s so good that you get to travel with your job, Prabhu! I can definitely see how that keeps the isolation at bay. Thanks so much for tuning in—I’m so glad you enjoyed this episode!

  156. I just watched this episode after 4 hours, uninterrupted laptop time – in my PJ’s. LOL
    I consider myself lucky. For my laptop work, this business-y side of my business, I love working on my own and making my own schedule and priorities. And I never feel lonely. But that’s because I don’t do it every day!
    I also teach 9 yoga classes a week, juggle a schedule of Skype meetings with my coaching clients, I host a virtual Yoga Teacher Circle once a week where I connect with other Yoga Teachers, and once every two weeks I meet in person with my colleagues at the non-profit I work with, daana. (www.globaldaana.org)
    I know others who make a point of getting out of the house and working from a cafe once or twice a week.
    Our situation and how we feel within it is all in what we make it. I am extremely social, but also really really love to be on my own for long periods of time. I’m so blessed that I have managed to make both of those parts of myself exist in my business!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Right on, Christine! It sounds like you’ve got a really good routine and support system in place to keep loneliness at bay. Thanks for sharing this tips with us! 🙂

  157. I have been working from home for 10 years now. I also had open heart surgery 3 years ago. I love and enjoy working from from home, but there have been days or times in my life when I have struggle with being alone and depression. Now, that I have been cleared my physicians, I have started doing Cross-Fit this year. I adapt the exercises to fit my physical constraints. And the people I work out with are so encouraging. I make sure that I eat well and adding exercise has done wonders for my mental outlook. I find that I am more positive and creative. I schedule my workouts, making sure they are on my calendar as appointments. I also diffuse oils in my office.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Awesome, Julie! I’m so glad you’re feeling good and have been cleared to exercise. It sounds like you’ve got a great CrossFit community supporting you, too, which is wonderful.

  158. Here are a few things that have worked for me:
    – Meetup.com. I started my own, didn’t like running my own group, but found a couple others that I love attending.
    – Finding people in your city via Facebook groups you’re in & suggesting dinner & coworking.
    – Research coworking groups to find other remote employees or freelancers looking for productive company.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      These are all such good tips, Rikki! I’ve met some great people through Meetup myself, so I’m always encouraging people to check it out. Thanks for sharing these!

  159. Charly

    I have been working from home for over two years, and I have no idea how I ever did it any differently. I love my life. Every morning I get up early, take a shower, get dressed and drive out to get a coffee with a group of friends before they head ou to their offices. I could sleep in, but I find that this is so important not only to get a daily banter and chit chat about last night’s episode of something, but to give me a routine and a daily schedule.
    I also go to a small exercise class 2x a week, which like Marie said is not only a way to get out and be with people I might not otherwise know or hang out with but is great for the body and the soul.
    Also, because I get both my work and most of my chores done during the week, I have real weekends and I use them to get out and be with friends and family, even on days that I might have to force myself a little sometimes.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s so smart, Charly! I love that you don’t sleep in even though you could. I find that it’s so rewarding to get up early because you *want* to, not because you have to. It sounds like you’ve got a great routine!

  160. Meegan Thomas

    Wow! Thanks Marie so much for acknowledging this never-talked-about topic!!!

    THIS video NEEDS to be inside B-School as a MUST-WATCH ‘Start Here’ video. So obvious yet so overlooked with all the online goodness.

    I’ve been working from home now for over two years and yes, there were early days that felt so isolating. I felt something was wrong but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. My soul craved interaction so much with like-minded peeps I’d drive up to 1.5 hours away to connect. Crazy but helped so much.

    My biggest tip is to find a balance. Find something locally that is fun that gets you involved with your community (dance, art, singing, karate, book club…) and then find a group or two that really fits within your business vision. Having friends in all spaces to connect to in person and then follow up online is a win-win.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s definitely a good tip, Meegan! Thanks so much for sharing it. I’m so glad this video struck a chord with you and speaks to your experience.

  161. Great topic and great advice. I love the idea of having regular meetings with my entire team weekly. I will implement this right away.
    And for someone that works part time on the road and the rest of the time at my home office, I often crave human conversation about almost anything. I always have to catch myself from dropping too much casual conversation on my work related calls.
    I also tend to go to local coffee shops or markets to work when I need to be around humanity but not necessarily talking.

    As always thanks for another great Marie TV

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      So glad you enjoyed this episode, William! I totally hear you about the coffee shops—sometimes it just helps to be in the presence of other humans, even if you’re not talking to them. I think it’s great you’re going to start having regular meetings with your team! Speaking as someone who’s a part of a team that does that, I look forward to it every week. It’s always a really good time to get clear on goals and connect with my fellow team members. It definitely makes working together more fun and rewarding!

  162. Megan, thanks for asking this question. It’s coming at a perfect time for me. As a person about to leave her full-time job to be a solo entrepreneur, I’ve been concerned about becoming isolated, which is totally bad for my brain. Pre-emptively I’ve decided to join a food pantry that meets once a week to sort through perishables donated from local grocery stores, and then another day to divide it up and hand it out. I’ve also joined an MMA class and soon will be participating in a comic book book club! Maybe joining some sort of give-back program in your area will help you to meet new people; usually those sorts of places have room for more volunteers. The other two ideas, the class and the club, Marie covered with fitness and “meet ups,” and I think those are great because they’re different groups of people, broadening your circle, and they don’t have to do with work, so you don’t get stuck with “work brain.” I wish you the best of luck, and I’ll report out on my own experience!

  163. Tina

    Hi Marie & team,
    Your video, tips & all comments here are really help me, that i’m not alone in the world of Working From Home. It’s really tough for me, because i’m extrovert, love meeting & talking with others, get bored easily, my project always changing so i have much idle time, and i’m still find what is my “calling”, while doing the project that’s not really me. But i love Working From Home idea minus feeling lonely. I don’t have to sit in front of computer all day anymore, dealing with toxic colleagues, traffic jam, routine job and work overtime.

    It’s really challenging to keep being happy on my decision to Working From Home. Even though back to office pop up came to my mind or regret living my office work. But i must move on and have made this decision.

    So this is my ritual to keep me happy & grateful everyday. Every morning, i get up early at the same time, making a breakfast & walking with my dog for 15 minutes, take a shower and then do my work. At lunch time, i’m cooking my healthy lunch. I try to keep connected to people, minimum talking with my husband by phone at noon. And take a break to kitchen area for snack time, drink some water, or read a book. Sometimes i’m working at coffee shop, if i get bored. I make a plan meeting with friends once or twice a week, minimum once a month. And i also have routine gathering with my neighbourhood in monthly.

    After seeing your video, i will try find a new classes of yoga at my neighbourhood area. Try to meet others who same interest with me.

    Hope you can sharing more about Working From Home. It’s very important for us, how we deal with ourselves to do differently than others who working at office.

    Thank you very much Marie & team for all your insights . Gbu always.

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Tina, you’re absolutely not alone! It sounds like you’ve got some good ideas going now, and we’re excited for you to try them.

  164. Mavis

    Hey Team Forleo,
    I work at home often. I love it and do not feel isolated at all. My work is very interactive through phone and email, and I need blocks of time to write. I am comfortable with establishing and maintaining work relationships remotely. My colleagues know that they can reach me easily, and we have excellent rapport. I have my own sweet spot for balance, which includes occasional outings with friends and family, regular check-ins by phone or text, but honestly I am very comfortable solo. I love living alone, tooling around and exploring (moseying about, my term) and working in my own way. I think that is why working remotely works so well for me. Even when I am in the office, I work mostly on my own. I like it that way. To each her own!

    I do think the tips are great for people who are struggling. Many of my colleagues say they would not want to work home more than once a week because they feel cut off.

  165. Marie,

    This December makes 20 years of working from home as an entrepreneur. I was 24 when I took the leap.

    I have remote and local team members that work with me as part time and full time employees. As far as staying connected… I’ve coined a phrase: “A lot of people use their friendships to grow their business. I’ve leaned I can use my business to grow my friendships.”

    Thanks for your work! Always great to hear your take on things.

    Chad

  166. You are spot on – again!! I have been toying with the idea of getting a part time job for 1) to bring in some extra income but 2) mostly to engage with other people. I live by myself (with my 11 year old son but he is not much of a conversationalist :)) and work by myself and find sitting behind a computer all day a slow form of mental death. I have joined a few networking groups, and they definitely help, but need to implement a few more of these strategies, like taking my work elsewhere – a co-space, starbucks, anywhere! I am a planner also and realized while listening to your video it is because I need to know I am getting out of my house, out of my work, and seeing and being around other people. Thanks for reminding me that this is a normal part of working from home!

  167. Thanks, Marie! I thought I was losing my mind! Working at home all day is lonely, and it’s hard to describe to those who think you have it so good by not having to “go in” to work. Maintaining relationships with those on the “outside” takes continual, deliberate effort, but is worth it. Plus, it relieves a lot of the pressure on my dog. He’s sweet, but doesn’t say much.

  168. Lol i was thinking about the same thing yesterday. You want freedom, and then you end up feeling like a prisoner in a prison built by yourself lol. Working in an office can also feel like a prison, so in the end its about finding balance and not betraying ourselves. I think I would add the following to the list:

    1. Start your day with a Gift of Self-Love : this can be a hot candle bath, with affirmations playing in the background or meditation/soothing music. Meditate and give love and empowerment to yourself first, before you do anything else. Fill your cup. Rise strong, start strong.

    2. Work in time blocks, say blocks of 3 or 4 hours then take a break and go out – to the gym, for coffee, for lunch outdoors, etc. Second time block break, recharge with another meditation or something that matters to you.

    3. The secret to not feel a prisoner at home (or in the office too) is to always do things YOU love and that are in line with your goals – so when we are out of balance (ie just work all day – i´m guilty too! workaholicsanonymous!) we need to start doing things from other buckets. E.g. commit to do 1 thing a day for your BODY, 1 thing for your WORK/finances and say 1 thing for your family&SOCIAL 1 thing for your SPIRIT then you start to experience balance – just make sure they are buckets that are important to You personally. Filled within and without : -)

    Thanks Marie for sharing this, great topic!

    Love & Light,

    Nara xoxo

    • Chelsea - Team Forleo

      Thank you for sharing these lovely tips, Nara. xoxo

  169. Amy

    When I get into a slump working from home, sometimes it helps me to get dressed and do my makeup just like I would if I were going into the office. This boosts my self-esteem and I’m more likely to take a walk or go out for lunch!

  170. Deanna

    LOL my biggest problem when I first started working from home was how not to eat all the food! Having access to all my cupboards and fridge? Oh yeah it was graze nation for about 2 weeks at Chez Deanna.

  171. Rachel Bishop

    I work from home and I fear becoming too isolated. I find that keeping connections is the key. I have recently read Four Seasons of Loneliness by JW Freiberg. It’s good for me to see the signs that I may be isolating too much and I need to get out. It’s a fine line between being alone and being lonely.

  172. Another gem from the Forleo Team and a heartfelt situation that was daicussed. 2.5 years ago I left corporate for freedom (independent) biz. Moved to a new town, bought a house and began working from home. With My Guy. That shine wore off in no time and I realized how much I cherished and needed (like air to breathe) other human interaction. It was initially difficult to create and carve out time for me – it was a whole new world I was in and my needs were different than previous. Many of the 8 tips and tricks I have since embraced,bit by bit, as well as personal golden rules with my guy that don’t involve work. Revenue is not the end all be all. High five to all these amazing entrepreneurs here and out there !

  173. This is great! Maybe some of you can relate to this. I like the feeling of building something, of working on your own time, of doing things like writing and creating and earning some income from home or on my own but I my isolation doesnt feel linked to not seeing friends, I dislike not having anyone to work with who is working towards the same project or same goal as you are. Its the team environment that I crave and feel isolated from. For example, if I’m working on a project or doing a contract and my time is spent at home, I really crave someone to bounce ideas off of, to offer another opinion (basically like having a co-worker/team). I am too often without this and it is isolating.

    Most of these suggestions were about spending time around people. I want people that I can talk to, brainstorm with and others who are working towards a related goal. I feel like I want my cake and to eat it too. Am I unrealistic? Does this exist?

    • Kristin - Team Forleo

      That’s not unrealistic at all, Alicia. You’ve basically described Team Forleo 😉 We’re 100% remote, so we work independently from our separate locations, however there’s plenty of collaboration and connection that happens on a daily basis to move us towards a common goal.

      If you’re in a more freelance type job, though, maybe you can connect with other freelancers online or in your area to bounce ideas off of when you’re working on certain projects and need another perspective? Good luck to you!

    • Lucky Keshia

      same here!

  174. Trina Rowell

    Hey Marie~ I’ve been learning the hard way this is true. If only I’d seen your video earlier before moving to a foreign country alone in a small town….haha…I could have avoided my own imprisonment. I’m lucky to realize the importance of connecting with others~I’m more motivated than ever after seeing this video to follow through with start-up group ideas. Thank you from the absolute bottom of my ♥

  175. Trina Rowell

    Hey Marie~ I’ve been learning the hard way this is true. If only I’d seen your video earlier before moving to a foreign country alone in a small town….haha…I could have avoided my own imprisonment. I’m lucky to realize the importance of connecting with others~I’m more motivated than ever after seeing this video to follow through with start-up group ideas. Thank you from the absolute bottom of my ♥ btw want to add I think this can apply to people in foreign countries and living/working with foreign languages..can feel very isolated if not proactive^

  176. Hi Marie. Those are some fantastic ideas.
    I love how you verbalize the importance of taking responsibility and finding solutions, not just problems. And, as always, your animation is adorable.

    P.S. You look beautiful. I swear I had to look twice because you look even younger than you did when I first started following you.

    Stay who you are.
    Yael

  177. Tsai, Pei-Chun

    I join a club when I go to a new city. The club can be a jogging club or service club etc. Those I mentioned above are what I am interested in, so I can make friends who have the same hobby with me. It’s not only a way to make friends, but also a way to do what you really like after work or school.

    • Kristin - Team Forleo

      That’s a great tip, Tsai! Thank you for sharing!

  178. Richard

    Working alone from home can become a serious issue for many reasons.
    My quick fix is to go to the coffee shop, or take my computer and work in the park.
    It helps me.

  179. I have worked from home the last ten years or longer, and it’s very hard because while I run a business to stay afloat, I try to work on my true passion, my art and music, but since even friends don’t support me by buying my art and music, I have to focus only on the business, which leaves me no energy and time to do what I love… and alone becomes lonely because it feels like no one really cares. I tried setting up Patreon, but that only seems to work for pretty girls, or some gimmick… Gofundme doesn’t work if friends and family don’t support and share… Patreon is the same way… so I have to just focus on my business, barely getting by, and hope for the best.

  180. Alina

    Hi, Marie!
    Thanks for great motivational speeches. You really make me happy and positive again.
    I used to work for a huge private school for about 3 years. I taught adults and teenagers. My job required me to be active, positive and creative 24/7. So one day (when I was promoted) I realized, that I`m totally exhausted. So I decided to quit, though it was complicated – my boss didn`t want to let me go. So – here I am – totally self-employed :).
    I`m lucky not only to work at home, but also to teach individual tutorials. The only thing I do miss is corporate parties(though they weren`t much fun). And sometimes I do feel a bit lonely, it`s true.

  181. Right on time Marie! Thank you. Been working at home since I started my family 11 years ago. Just recently I have begun to plunge into my online business (with your work and inspiration by my side). It continues to be a challenge to balance work, 3 children, and a personal life…but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I will pull this video up every time I need a bit more balance! Thank you for all you’ve given me! BTW…can’t wait for B-school…again! 🙂

    • Kristin - Team Forleo

      So glad this video helped you, Rebecca. And we can’t wait for B-School again either! 🙂

  182. Great ideas – and I am yearning for more in relation to MOMS (or dads) especially. Does anyone (or do you, Marie?) have practical advice for moms to get more human adult interaction while juggling working from home, raising small humans, and juggling a husband or wife’s needs for your time, too?

    This is all sounding dreamy but scheduling a date with a friend sounds like an almost heroic act in my practical day to day of raising 3 under 6 yrs old, being pregnant with #4, and running two micro-businesses with two employees, all online in that tiny 4 hours a day, 20 hours a week. Yeah I might be crazy. I love my life but I am absolutely a lonely mama!!!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Great question, Andrea! This MarieTV episode on working moms might be helpful: http://www.marieforleo.com/2013/02/working-mom-building-business/

      There may be other ways you can interact, too. Like a coffee date with fellow moms via Skype. It might require some creative thinking and planning, but there may be ways to connect with others that don’t necessarily involve going out or cutting into business hours. I hope this helps!

  183. Great Soul feed, what I do is connect with Nature after say 2 hours straight I get out of my work zone, then say thank you.. Gratitude that my dream is alive and kicking and to treat my Soul’s needs I get outside walk in the forest, river or lake shores, take my bike for a spin through a cemetery, I would have a light lunch tagged onto to me and say hello with a smile and let the Universe send my unexpected life events as I may or may not make as an acquaintance my best of friend even in odd places the time is always “NOW”
    after I re=energized my mind… Back to work… I am…Photo-Razzi Freelancer

  184. Véro

    Merci Marie, tu es toujours aussi inspirante même avec un temps gris et plombé ! Se bouger, au sens propre ( fitness, running,….) est l’une des meilleures choses pour tout : santé, relations, bonne santé mentale et physique, motivations…
    Je t’embrasse

  185. I campaigned to work from home and finally my boss buckled and let me work from home 2 days a week. I was ecstatic and the first day I was bored out of my mind! I kept looking out of the window and walking around the house. The second day I must have worked a 14 hour day because I didn’t want anyone to think that I wasn’t working. I finally found some balance but I am really grateful to go into the office a few days a week. You really do need that human interaction.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Very true, Cheryl! I’m so glad you found a balance that works for you. 🙂

  186. Hi Marie! THANK YOU for talking about this! I’m a counsellor who specializes in working with entrepreneurs. I know this struggle personally and many of my clients deal with it too. Thank you for talking about the importance of entrepreneur mental health. One of my key strategies to cope with this is what I call a Coffee, Talk and a Walk. Getting up, connecting with others, moving our bodies (instead of sitting) and spending time in nature especially in the sun do wonders to lift the spirits. Also there is something about a hot beverage that brings people together. Perhaps that’s why so many hang out at coffee shops 🙂

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s brilliant, Arianna! Coffee, Talk and a Walk sounds like a really good antidote for the entrepreneur blues. Thanks for sharing this great tip! 🙂

  187. Oh my goodness, I can completely agree! I love working for myself but when I work from home I can go a little stir-crazy. I hop into a cafe once in a while or even the library. I never really considered working from the park until I watched your video earlier last week but this Sunday when I had some paperwork to catch up on I went to sit at the picnic bench and it was wonderful! Thanks for another great video.

    Andra

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s awesome, Andra! I’m so glad you had a fun day working at the park. 🙂

  188. John Garcia

    In the past ,as an illustrator, I worked from home online. Since I was completely absorb by my work, I did not miss the human interaction. I was too focused on meeting the deadlines. And I loved my work…I always found time to stay emotionally connected after hours, and weekends….All the best!

  189. Great article! I have experience working from home and it can get pretty lonely not being able to interact with other human beings on a regular basis. Like you said, most of your solution is to be proactive. Thanks for the great information.

  190. Ronda Gartland

    I have found volunteering on a community project the outlet I needed. When I was a stay at home mom, this is what I did. Some 25 years later, volunteering is still saving my sanity, and the people I am serving with I would have never met any other way. I take walking breaks in neighborhood, and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given. Gratitude is the fuel for my life!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Love that, Ronda! Not only is volunteering a great outlet, it’s such a beautiful way to give back to your community. That’s such an excellent tip! 🙂

  191. I like to spread my meetings with clients through the whole week to have physical interaction with other people almost every day.
    Thank you for the question and the tips!

  192. It’s not exactly human interaction, but I love the company of having my dog around when I’m working alone! He sleeps in my studio and brings me his leash at lunch time so we can get outside for a few hours to break up the day.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Awww, cute! Pets really are great work-from-home companions. My cats hang out on my desk, sit in my lap, and knock pens into the floor. Adds some fun to the day! 🙂

  193. I’m apart of a chatroom and this helps with my loneliness. I’ve created good friendships with a lot of people in the room, enough for them to feel like my co-workers. When I start to feel lonely I just keep the chatroom on in the background. Even though you’re not face to face, having that interaction does wonders! Apart from that I have my dog, and fortunately my boyfriend works for himself so he can get off work at 2pm so I don’t spend all my work time alone. I also make sure to get out when I start to feel awkward from society, I’ll do anything that gets me around a lot of people, like having drinks at a pub or bar or going to an amusement park, things like that. If I just stay in my house for weeks I will definitely feel awkward going out into public.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Right on, Lucky! I hadn’t thought about the ways chat messages help stave off loneliness, but that totally makes sense. Good tip! 🙂

  194. Having been an artist and writer for over 35 years, I’ve had plenty of practice at working and just plain ‘being’, alone. Mostly it’s actually what I need to do my best work. The most challenging time was when we were living in the Middle East. My husband was away at work twelve hours a day, 6 days a week and it wasn’t pleasant or safe for me to go out alone. Internet was problematic too. So how to stay healthy, fit and sane in a concrete apartment prison? I ate simply but well and then for fitness . . . Every day I’d put on a Bony M or Bruce Springstein CD and walk very briskly the short distance from the apartment door around the kitchen bench, down the hall to the end and back, for an hour. I’d write, meditate, write some more. I know from my metaphysical studies and spiritual experiences that aloneness is actually just one of those many illusions we humans suffer from in that tiny box of mind we think is ‘normal’ and ‘real’. These days, back in my home country I still write – mainly on the nature of reality. Now I can take my walks outside and daily appreciate the normal liberties most Western women enjoy. Unless I’m doing some kind of art work that require mess-enduring clothes, I wear something casual but smart to work in. It’s not necessary but it’s a simple thing that makes me feel more professional and helps keep me focused and disciplined, both of which can be a challenge when there is no boss except yourself.

  195. Melissa

    It has been great to have the opportunity to work from home for more than 9 years. I love to go through the house and open all the blinds in the morning to start my day. Enjoying something personally important to you before starting work is great. For example, watching a video on Marie tv 😉, writing down three things I’m grateful for or reading a few articles on various topics. And one of the best mood boosters when it gets lonely working from home is to take a break and realize how awesome it will be to not have to drive home in traffic!!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      So true, Melissa. I’ve started getting up early to read and write for a bit before work and it really does make all the difference in the world. So glad you’re a fan of that practice! 🙂

  196. Kacey Nicklom

    I’ve worked from home for many years, for multiple industries. I find that volunteering also helps. You can choose a volunteer commitment that suits your volunteer style (would you want a one or two day event only, or on a committee that does monthly planning?) The feeling of giving back, and being a part of something bigger than yourself, is gratifying, but you’ll also make great connections in your community. Find a cause that is near and dear to you, and you’ll likely meet like-minded individuals. I also found that as my kids got older, and were involved in organized sports, that it was easier for me to commit my volunteer hours to their teams/clubs.

  197. Eva

    Thanks Marie and Team Forleo for this episode, because I too work from home. I often feel like having lunch at a restaurant on the weekends and my husband craves to have a daytime home-made meal, lol. He’s used to picking a lunch place Mon-Fri, while I’m used to fixing something quickly for me and the kids at home on those days. So we compromise and do about 50% of each 🙂

    I’ve learned to enjoy working from a coffee shop at least once a week, because the smell of fresh coffee, the people and getting out of the house make a huge difference in my routine. And wanna know something funny? Some great ideas have come from random questions and conversations I hear there, and I have even found new clients from the “hey! what are you up to these days?” question I get asked by an acquaintance!

    I also make sure to attend lectures, workshops, conferences and events related to my field, so I meet new people who care for similar things. I forget about strategic networking and enjoy casual, friendly talks and guess what? That’s worked wonders!

    The hardest is to make time for my non-work friends. But I’m learning.

    Thank you so much for your tips! I swear, your e-mail is one of those messages I look forward to every week and I NEVER miss an episode!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      That’s so wonderful, Eva! I love that the folks at the coffee shop not only help keep loneliness at bay, but also inspire you. Sounds like a win-win!

      It truly means the world to us that you look forward to MarieTV. It’s an honor to share episodes with you and we can’t wait for the next one to land in your inbox. 🙂

  198. This was a really useful list of ideas to help beat the feeling of isolation! I’ve been starting my own business (yoga teacher) so the last year has been mostly studying for my new qualification & being on my own.
    Definitely the best things to alleviate the anxiety I developed (which I have never suffered from before) were joining the gym for the group classes (I never use the actual gym!) and joining a sewing class. These activities get me out of the house for several hours a week altogether & give me people to chat to about a mutual interest.
    I start my first classes next week so I’m hoping that these will also bring a social aspect into my life!

  199. What a wonderful article…So true, Teresa — there are always pros and cons to every side. These tips can quitely work for working in an office also !

  200. Fantastic and super helpful episode, Marie! As a solo business owner working 99% virtually, I’ve definitely run into this problem. I also have PTSD, so social isolation is something I’m combatting with that as well. It can be a tricky balance to find, but my favorite solution is going to a cafe as often as I can. $2-3 for coffee is affordable, even on a tight budget, and it makes a huge difference mental health wise!

    I’d love to go to meet ups and such, but I currently live in a place I’m planning to leave within (hopefully) 6 months and it isn’t safe going out at night, so that’s been a huge challenge. Does anyone else have solutions or ways to overcome this and still get a social fix, without knowing many people in the area and with plans to move?

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      Arien, thank you so much for your comment, and we’re so glad this episode really resonated with you. Going to work in a café is one great strategy, as you mentioned, and I was just brainstorming some things you might be able to do in the meantime to get out socially.

      One thing you could do in your local area at the moment is see if there are any lunchtime meet-ups, discussions, or events. If it’s not safe to go out at night, that could be a great solution, plus it can be really fun to break up the day a little bit.

      Another thing that popped to mind is, if you know the general area you’re moving to already, you can sign up for something like meetup.com for that area. That way you can check out groups already that might be interesting to you, and you could perhaps even get in touch with them with any questions about the groups and start connecting already before you even move. Then once you move, you already know people there!

      I also really enjoy video chatting, which you could do with people you know from literally anywhere. It’s not quite the same as hanging out in person, but seeing people face-to-face, even if it’s through a screen, really makes a difference.

      That’s just a couple ideas to get you started. I hope that helps and you’re able to find some great ways to connect! 🙂

  201. Thanks Marie! As a small business owner that works a lot from home, this post hits the mark. I’ve gotten some of my best work done at the local public library. It’s great because it’s easy to feed off the productivity with everyone working so diligently around you, but at the same time, it’s not appropriate for people to walk up and distract you with small talk! I find it’s better than going to a coffee shop for that reason.

  202. I know it’s time to get out of the house when I get excited that the letter carrier’s arrived… I have learned that being alone all day long, every day is NO GOOD for me, esp now that my son’s off at college!

    To keep myself from going bonkers, I:
    1) Work at an area coffee shop on Wednesdays, another coffee shop on Thursdays and the local botanic garden (they have a cafe) on Fridays. While it’s not always possible to hit all 3 each week, working in different environs is a great way to mix it up and see some of my local peeps! I also sometimes combine this with social activity, inviting people to join me for coffee or lunch.
    2) Every Monday, I attend a group with a bunch of women entrepreneurs called the Co-Working Tomato via Zoom. We do a check-in, then do a 25-minute, laser-focused work session, check in again, then do another burst. It’s amazing how much work you can get done in an hour & the camaraderie is priceless. We met through a marketing program run by a woman in Portland, OR, but set this up on our own. Attendance varies from 2-5. Even when it’s just 2 of us, it is so totally worth it! And we’ve become great friends in the process.
    3) Take my dog for a walk before I settle down to work, again in the early/mid afternoon, and at the end of my work day. Getting out in the fresh air and going for a trot does both of us a world of good! 🙂

  203. Beverley

    There must be something wrong with me. I love working from home I’ll , alone. I never get lonely. I listen to my audio books and Marie Forleo’s “How to get everything you want” over and over over..

  204. Andysu

    Wow! This was my first Marie Forleo video and I have to say that I became a complete fan of her. It is a new reality that more people is working from home and have to adapt their personal routine and spaces to their work. I believe is not impossible, but is important to keep routines and spaces as you develop it in regular offices. I had the experience of work from home and it was difficult at the beginning but then i resolve and went better.

  205. Marie, you’re amazing. I’ve been working from home for almost 7.5 years and it sure is hard some days to feel like I’m not going crazy. Great tips as always!

  206. arava

    wow, great tips.
    i must say it was pleasure to read and interesting.
    recently i started to work from home online (at koocam website), and i reached to your article because wanted to learn how to improve my self.
    i will definitely will apply some of those tips.
    thank u very much for lovely article.

  207. I just accepted a new job with a start-up and will be working from home starting mid-January. My new employer recommended checking out your site and I was delighted to find this article and video. Knowing I need human interaction I’ve already started considering other places to work during the day near my home and have found 2 co-working locations in my city. I plan to check out one of their free co-working days shortly after I start.

    I echo what folks are saying about getting involved in your community. At my old job, I was feeling dissatisfied and started volunteering for a local sci fi/fantasy convention which led me to help organize and plan another book-related event. I’m looking forward to having a bit more flexibility in my schedule to help promote these events and stay connected with others!

  208. Thanks Marie and Team Forleo for this episode.
    I love Malls… movies at the Mall and bars. Always happy to go there.

  209. I thought to give my reply *before* listening and reading the comments… so here goes! I absolutely LOVE working from home! It became my savior! I was diagnosed with a debilitating (life altering) chronic pain dis-ease in 2012. That very same year – to the month, I manifested my job from home! Additionally, as much as I love ppl., I do not do well in crowds – so the train was a *bad* but necessary start to my day. I am a bit of a recluse… So! I was gifted more time! So long as you are aware – and use it! The first year – I did not know the following (and spent a hard year learning – feeling isolated yet blessed to be able to continue my work); The time it once took me to travel is now used on my mental and physical wellness. I use meditation and dance to alleviate many of my worst symptoms… additionally, it is important to stick ones feet in the Earth and ground and have a number of minutes in the sun. Living in a building on the 5th floor created a delicious added challenge! My thoughts had to change and my fire-escape became a new friend! 🙂 So simple yet so far from thought for a WHOLE year! So long as you are in *allowing* for all possibilities, the lessons come! I also became happily connected to a few online communities and learned how to open and share my ME. Another gift. So long as one does not over-do the online thing! LOL 😉
    ~Peace, I found peace!

  210. I was kind of going crazy at the beginning of last year after I closed my office and started working from home again because, despite being able to share tons of quality time with my husband and my two year old, I was running my business 100% online and was not seeing many sales or feedback. I got an invitation to join a networking group that meets every thursday and, not only have my sales grown, but I feel I have a new family of entrepreneurs and company owners that support me. I totally recommend going outside and meeting people, it is way more effective and satisfying than only connecting by mail and social media.

  211. Nitin Prasad

    Thanks Marie for this episode full of suggestions of how to remove boredom if you are working from home. Few months ago I have also started working from home along with my day job. Sometimes I really start feeling lonely and start watching TV, Youtube or start calling my friends. But nothing was really working out, I have spent hours working on my website. Thanks for the valuable inputs, I am sure it will help me and I have more fun working from home.

  212. J’adore cette robe que porte Marie sur la photo.
    Pour le travail à distance, je peux témoigner comme professeur en ligne, que l’on peut être un travailleur digital et pour autant être plus entouré d’amis et de bonnes âmes que dans le meilleur des bureaux du monde. J’enseigne le Français sur internet et mes étudiants sont les meilleurs clients du monde !

  213. I love that these are steps you can actually take action on. Thank you so much for this!

  214. Great tips and another helpful segment from Marie TV. I’ve been working from a home office for more than 25 years…. and I am a very social person. When things get lonely, I typically make plans to meet with work associates, contractors and friends for lunch, coffee, etc. during the week. I also work out just about every morning or afternoon, usually with a run outside which clears my head and helps me to re-focus. I feel that I am more productive working from a home office, but I do miss the social interaction as many have also mentioned in comments above. Your tips have reminded me that while career transitioning (presently) I need to remember to get out of the house and away from the screen. Thanks again Marie & Team! ~ Kris

  215. Melissa

    I started working from home a few months before giving birth and that was about 2 1/2 years ago and boy did that ever change my life! Fast forward and I still work at home, have a toddler to care for, a home to manage, and a full time sales job to stay on top of. Balancing all of these factors leaves little room for much else but I can honestly say I’m craving interaction. My main social interactions so far have been with parents of my little one’s classmates at his pre-school. For sure after giving birth, I did go through a major transformation (physically, mentally, emotionally etc….) I’m trying to get back on track and out of my comfort zone but I’ll be honest it is not easy with all of the obligations I have and hats that I already wear. My trouble is it feels like a bit of a chore to push myself to get out and engage socially. I’m working on getting out of my rut here! Having the flexibility to work from home has been a lifesaver and I’ve been able to be right there with my child which I cherish so much. But I can say the flip side is I feel like my self-care has not been a huge priority and my social life is non-existent. Thank you for the advice, I hope at some point, I’m ready to take action !

    • Heather- Team Forleo

      Thank you for sharing all of this, Melissa. Working from home and balancing life ebbs and flows. We’re a completely virtual Team and as a Mom, I can relate to much of what you’re talking about. For me, I started yoga classes and held them sacred every week. And I have a group of friends that I meet out usually every other week. Our team chats on the phone every day and that helps as well. Try different things and see what feels right for you. You’ll notice the shifts. Sending you a big Team Forleo hug.

      • Melissa

        Thank you Heather!! Looking forward to taking some small steps to get out of my rut here!! Appreciate the comment.

  216. Stephanie

    Great advice but what do you do if you work medical and you have to be hardwired to the internet? You can’t just go work at the park or coffee shops due to privacy laws. I love my job but my anxiety and depression have taken over.

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