A woman struggling with loneliness has conquered her isolation by creating a global online community to support others working from home alone.
Amanda Kerin, 40, moved from Bristol to the French Alps to be with her partner, Chris.
From the outside, she appeared to be living a picture-perfect Instagram life against the backdrop of a beautiful ski resort with her pilot boyfriend. However, in reality, their conflicting schedules meant she found herself spending huge chunks of time by herself and afraid to admit how she truly felt to friends and family back home.
Searching for ways to reconnect, Amanda began her Creative Women’s Mastermind initiative, an online platform enabling others to co-work and collaborate remotely.
The community invites women to meet virtually and work together several times a week. Once a week, they also brainstorm ideas with one another to progress their own businesses.
Amanda also runs free ‘mastermind’ sessions to give members a sense of community through human interaction while working in isolation. The objective is for people to have company in their working day not only socially but also to spark creativity and share ideas.
Meetings take place via Zoom, with dedicated time to chat before users share what they’ll be working on during that session. The two-hour conference calls allow the women to be with others as if they have colleagues in an office. In light of this, they hold each other accountable for what they say they are going to do so it avoids procrastination.
Speaking to Uspire, Amanda told us her top five tips to staying productive and sane while trying to self-discipline with work at home on one’s own watch.
She said: “First up, is routine. The secret to getting stuff done is creating your daily routine using all the benchmarks in your day e.g. wake up time, get up time, shower, dress, breakfast, kids’ breakfast, lunch, dinner, change for bed, sleep.
“Freestyling at weekends is great, but the body loves routine, so stick to some key benchmarks that you have during Monday to Friday. Routine is the key ingredient so everything else falls into place.
“Second, schedule! Create a working schedule around your daily routine so you block out time to work. Identify which times of the week work well for certain themes e.g. hosting client calls, replying to emails, or creating content.
“Or perhaps think about the role you need to step into e.g. leader, creative, or admin. Structure a schedule around that to ensure you’ll be most effective.”
She continued: “Next up, is habits. Cementing new habits isn’t the easiest undertaking but linking them to your routine and schedule is an easy way to start.
“Use what you already have in your routine and build on that to create new habits around the benchmarks e.g. after getting ready in the morning, follow it by spending 30 minutes going through your private emails or reflection time for personal growth.
“Fourth, set boundaries. When working from home, it’s easy for the lines to become blurred between work, personal, and family time – especially with easy access to screens.
“It’s important to set boundaries around your routine, schedule and habits to ensure a healthy mix of work and play.
“They can be difficult to enforce as your loved ones will see a change, but once you’ve done it once, they’ll get easier.
“Finally, creativity and fun. You need to make time to keep your creativity flowing, as it helps keep your mental and emotional health in check.
“Take up a personal creative project or challenge yourself to do something new; what have you always wanted to do, but never had time to do?
“Take up that creative writing class or sign up to that baking course – you won’t regret it! Let those ideas flow… you never know where they might take you.”
In these unprecedented times when we are spending more time behind closed doors, loneliness is a significant factor in affecting both physical and mental health with lonely people at risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes, increased stress, and decreased memory.