A woman leaves her house while smiling
How Running Errands When You Work From Home Can Improve Your Mental Health
Working from home usually means being alone, and one of the ways you can mitigate what that does to you is by consciously choosing to run your outside errands with purpose.
A trip to the grocery store is far more critical when it might be the only time you see others during the week. You can use those errands to reintegrate into the world at large.
When leaving the house to run errands, open yourself up to the possibility of seeing people and talking. It’s also a great opportunity to put on actual outside clothing.
If you're not ready to talk to people, commit to smiling while out. Once you try it, you may realize how infrequently you do it at home when no one is around.
A 2022 study in Nature Human Behaviour suggests that smiling may contribute to real happiness. Consciously smile when out; you may realize you're out of the habit.
If you only leave the house for errands and have little time to socialize, try combining them. Ask a friend to "errand hang" or keep you company while you get stuff done.
Sharing the tasks you have to do can lift the perceived burden of reacclimating in public, get you both out in the sunlight, and remind you that the world still exists.