The Isolated Entrepreneur
For entrepreneurs, isolation is normal. The process of developing your business and even running it, requires a lot of contactless and digital work. In isolation a whole slew of challenges arise, some affecting us more deeply than others, but it is safe to say that the difficulty of isolation weighs heavy on each of us.
With that in mind, here are some tips on how to cope with isolation in the entrepreneurial world and make your days more manageable:
ACCEPTANCE IS KEY
Isolation sucks. Even for those that thought it would be easy, after a month or so it does take a toll on us all both mentally and physically. We become much more sensitive, patience runs thin, physically feel weaker and less motivated, loneliness wraps its claws around us, and we may even find ourselves reacting more strongly to things that previously didn’t bother us so much.
It’s key to accept the heaviness of isolation and to realize that it is okay to be affected by it. We can’t run away from these feelings. Awareness of our emotions will help us not only cope, but also encourage us to find ways of adapting and moving forward.
HEALTHY WORK SCHEDULE
In isolation, you may find yourself more prone to overworking in order to keep yourself busy. However, overworking can backfire and burn you out. Similarly on the opposite side, being in isolation can drain your motivation so much that you find yourself procrastinating more and more.
Creating a balanced work schedule for yourself and committing to it can make a huge difference both for your business and your mental health. Use a time tracker and try to simulate regular working hours plus a lunch break. If you find yourself on your desk for long periods of time, consider setting up an alarm that goes off every few hours to remind you to walk around your home, stretch those legs.
When working hours are done, disconnect from the business as much as possible by watching a movie or series, cooking, reading a book or journaling, any activity you enjoy that can give your mind some relief.
Bringing on an accountability coach can be extremely beneficial to make sure you’re progressing on your business and not falling behind.
EXERCISE & MEDITATION
The important aspect of exercise and meditation isn’t how much you do it, but instead it is the routine of doing it.
Meditating for 3 to 5 minutes every morning, or at any time during the day that suits you can seriously lower your stress levels. It helps quiet down your mind, reset yourself and allow you to focus more efficiently.
Likewise, exercising can also lower your stress levels and regulate your mood. Doing it daily or at least 4 times during the week, you will start to feel so much lighter. Exercise can help keep your body strong, and mentally drain the stresses and worries of both work and isolation.
GET OUT THERE (even if it’s on your own)
The only way to socialize as you’re working on your solo business is to get out there. Sign up for a group workout class, volunteer or take a class to learn something new, you might have fun and meet people with similar interests. Plan an outing with a friend! Take the initiative to reach out to your friend or family member and schedule an activity together.
You can also plan activities by yourself! Next time you want to order food, don’t order take out. Instead eat at the restaurant or cafe. If you’re new to eating out alone, start by taking yourself on a day time eating out experience. You’d be surprised by the confidence boost it will give you. Or go see that movie at the theaters you’ve been dying to watch. There are tons of people that go to the movies alone and by the time the lights are down and the film starts, no-one is going to care that you’re sitting by yourself. Don’t rob yourself of enjoyment because you’re alone and couldn’t find someone to join you.
The key is to make an effort and plan activities that will get you out of your isolation, connected with yourself, with loved ones and distracted from the challenges and isolation of entrepreneurship.