Making Spirits Bright

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Working from home is weird. Like, don't get me wrong, it's also great – but it's weird, too. It's weird in that without an office to be at every day, I have to force myself to get up at a normal, adult time in the morning. I have to force myself to wear pants. I have to make up reasons to leave the house. And if I don't do that last one, I sometimes go days without seeing anyone who's not Nathan or coming at me all pixelated through a computer screen.

It goes without saying, then, that I am what you might call "isolated" – & without other people to keep me entertained, I have to think up ways to entertain myself, to keep myself from falling into loneliness ruts, to encourage myself to wear pants. I have to think of ways to keep my spirits high, to bring a little enthusiasm & energy to everyday life. They include:
  • Playing dress-up: I clean up kinda nice, but without an office dress code (in which "office" is "my apartment"), I don't necessarily need to clean up at all. Still, the days when I make the effort to shower & put on makeup & wear clothes I like & accessorize & just generally look nice are the days I feel best about myself & about my work, like I'm a real person & not some lazy asshole spending her days in sweatpants on Twitter. (I work in social media, by the way. I don't just fritter around online all day for fun. Usually.) 
  • Talking to strangers: Apparently this isn't a thing folks do in New Jersey. People always look at me like I've sprouted a third eye when I try to chat them up at places like the grocery store & in coffeeshops. I never want to have, like, in-depth conversations with them – stranger danger, y'all! – but I do like to try to make conversation with randoms, just to make those temporary connections & try to brighten people's days & let them brighten mine. Even stoic, brusque Jerseyans have been known to crack when subjected to my friendly Midwestern demeanor. The Ohio force is strong in this one.
  • Indulging in things YOU probably can't do: Can you take a power nap on your lunch hour (in your own bed, no less)? Can you have a quick one-woman dance party to de-stress when the workday gets tough? Can you light candles & incense in your cubicle for aromatherapy? Can you watch Netflix while you work? Can you, for that matter, wear leggings as pants to your office? I try to be grateful for the little luxuries that my work-at-home life affords me, rather than focusing on the less-than-stellar parts of it. Which brings me to my next point...
  • Appreciating what I've got: Each day, Nathan & I tell one another the five best things about our day. We started doing it a year or so ago, when he was underway in the middle of the sea & the only way we could keep in touch was by email, & we've carried it over into "real life" because it's a pretty good way to keep myself grounded & appreciative.
  • Planning the next big thing: Knowing what comes next not only keeps me sane – it keeps me entertained. I find that I'm always looking forward to some upcoming event, be it a vacation, a holiday, a day off, or a visit from a friend. When I don't have something to plan for, I find myself bored & a little bit lost. Plus, who doesn't like having something awesome to prepare for? PARTYYY.
Whether you work from home or not, tell me: What are your little tips & tricks for loving life just a little bit more?

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