- Isolation for prolonged periods can have devastating effects on your mental and physical health–even for introverted people, who generally prefer to be alone.
- It is also essential to have some alone time, even if that isn’t your general preference; Overstimulation from others can lead to the same problems that under-stimulation leads to.
- When you aren’t working, and you are all by yourself, you need to make a conscious decision to spend that time in the ways you want to.
Roughly 54 to 74% of the human population are extroverts. Extroverts are temperamentally more prone to socializing, preferring to spend their time with others rather than alone.
While extroverts can, of course, spend time alone, this isn’t their preference. And if they have to spend too much time alone, it can take a toll on their well-being.
Working from home is the new norm, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. This being the case, many extroverts who would otherwise work in social spaces may have to work from home alone.
For many, working remotely has not improved well-being –it has hampered it significantly, in some cases.
What can remote workers do to maintain their well-being when working alone from home? Several strategies for maintaining mental and physical health have been verified by scientific literature and are readily implementable in our day-to-day life.
Here are a few such worthwhile strategies to help maintain your well-being while being alone:
Take time to reflect on what you’re grateful for
Voluntarily generating feelings of gratitude has been scientifically proven to improve our subjective sense of well-being. Positive emotions readily arise when deliberating upon what makes your life suitable!
One of the best times to reflect on anything serious is when you are alone. Without distractions or others around –which may inhibit serious reflection– one can think clearly and honestly with oneself in a way that reliably produces a cheerful mood.
A strategy one may utilize to generate these feelings is journaling. Sitting down and thinking can be overwhelming, but with writing your thoughts down, you can course-correct in real-time to mitigate an over-flow of ideas.
Practice physical self-care habits
Physical self-care habits can include regular exercise, getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, drinking lots of water, and maintaining a diet full of nutritious food.
Of course, one incentive to follow such a regime is all of the physical health benefits that accompany it, such as:
- Lowers blood cholesterol.
- Improved blood pressure.
- Reduced systemic inflammation.
- Improved cardiac function.
But another incentive of keeping up a good self-care routine is because it has been shown to improve symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Embrace alone time! Use it to your advantage!
Among countless others throughout history, Aristotle famously stated that humans are social animals…and this is correct.
Isolation for prolonged periods can have devastating effects on your mental and physical health–even for introverted people, who generally prefer to be alone. Indeed, COVID-19 lockdowns have allowed scientists to study this phenomenon at a large scale.
“A study led by an epidemiologist at Newcastle University concluded that deficiencies in social relationships are associated with a higher risk for coronary heart disease and stroke. A study published in The Journals of Gerontology concluded that loneliness was associated with a 40 percent increase in the risk of dementia,” according to Tulane University.
However, it is also essential to have some alone time, even if that isn’t your general preference. Overstimulation from others can lead to the same problems that under-stimulation leads to.
Embracing being alone doesn’t mean that one must relish in their isolation. On the contrary, getting out and seeing people is an integral part of coping with working from home. Instead, it means using some of your alone time to your advantage.
Using this time to plan your future, get creative, learn more about yourself, and work towards goals you wouldn’t have time for otherwise are all highly positive things you can do if working from home alone.
In some sense, when one is actually doing work from home, they aren’t really alone. They are occupied with whatever task their job has given them to do, and in turn, do not feel as if they’re alone.
It is in the times intermittent to such tasks when one is truly alone, and being at home just so happens to produce more of these times. During these sporadic periods, you can fill the time with reflection, self-awareness, and goal-affirming tasks.
Solitude helps us regulate our emotions recharge from our encounters with others and our work. But this can only happen if one chooses to be alone. When you aren’t working, and you are all by yourself, you need to make a conscious decision to spend that time in the ways you want to.
It is when we fail to make these choices during our alone time when isolation diminishes our well-being. Rather, when we spend this time idly, or lost in thought, that is when we become lonely, as opposed to merely alone.
Working from home alone can be challenging. Unfortunately, for many of us, it is simply too easy to slip into feelings of loneliness.
However, being alone and loneliness do not have to form a union. The former can occur without the latter, and insofar as it does, alone time can vastly improve our health and well-being. Sometimes, it’s just nice to be comfortable with yourself, by yourself.