Living alone doesn’t have to be boring. Source: P.S. I Love You
Living alone can be overwhelming yet fulfilling.
Self-reflection and nurturing relationships are key.
Did someone just say something about a pet? YES.
Allowing for spontaneity has several advantages!
I started living alone when I first moved to Malaysia for higher education in 2017; the newfound freedom was exciting as I could go anywhere or do anything I wanted. However, the self-care bit was somewhat overwhelming. I’d often find myself wanting to go back home to my family. Living alone was a disaster until I slowly learned to be more self-dependent.
First-time living alone might be exciting or anxious. For some, it could be enticing or even downright terrifying. I feel it provides new experiences and hurdles, such as independence and self-discipline, yet it can be immensely gratifying and suitable for personal growth. You can organise your apartment however you want, leave your clothes in the drier for days, and walk around in your underwear. Who’s there to judge?
If you’re thinking about living alone, here are some tips I have learned throughout my solo living adventure to help you embrace your newfound loneliness and find joy in living alone.
1/ Expand your self-awareness
Try writing a journal to keep track of and filter through your ideas. Source: Hannah Olinger
Living alone lets you focus on your most important connection: yourself.
Before living alone, I, like most people, spent most of my time with others. It didn’t take long to realise that while giving all my focus to friends, family, and partners.
Considering your favourite hobbies, meals, and TV shows is healthy. But don’t ignore fundamental issues like your behaviour, priorities, mistakes, and individuals you should forgive, including yourself.
Suppose you’ve recently moved out or ended a relationship. When you know yourself well, you can tell what you need from others. Self-exploration takes time, so be patient.
2/ Nurture your meaningful relationships
Tip: Make and dedicate time for those who matter. Source: The Tribune
Living alone allows you to analyse your relationships and identify harmful ones.
Having housemates can be fun. I’ve seen myself becoming friends with my roommates. However, I never really became close with them due to the inevitable arguments about piled-up chores or them using my stuff without permission.
I’ve spent most of the past few years trying to figure out my own life, but it makes me feel guilty about how I let the gap between me and my friends and family grow.
If you can relate to these experiences, take some time to discover healthy interactions that help you grow and add value and fulfilment to your life. It is essential to prioritise meaningful connections in life.
Even though self-sufficiency is a good thing, you should never forget the important people in your life – your family and friends.
3/ Find out when you feel the loneliest
If your loneliness is more physical, don’t overlook the importance of hugging yourself. Source: Anthony Tran
You may sometimes feel lonely, regardless of how much you adore living alone. These emotions may surface at times when you’re expecting to see someone.
Personally, coming home to an empty house always felt overwhelmingly tricky as it only reminded me of how I’m so far away from my loved ones. I’d spend a lot of time oversleeping as nobody was there to wake me up. Being so used to having my mom tap my shoulder every morning to wake me up, I couldn’t depend on my alarm!
It is essential to spend time with friends, engage in activities, and stay in contact. Unless you don’t socialise as much, find some activities you could do at home, such as trying out new recipes while listening to jazz. Maybe a glass of wine would help too!
4/ Think About Getting a Pet
Taking care of a pet gives you a sense of purpose and motivation, which can help with your self-esteem and mental well-being. Source: Sarah Ashley
Pets require regular feeding and care, which helps you stay on a schedule. A dog will hold you accountable for frequent walks, so you might need to get out more. They will also fill your heart with joy with all their goofy behaviour.
Grooming and maintenance aside, isn’t it just adorable to have your furry baby running to you with excitement as you step into the house after a long tiring day at work?
Unfortunately, some accommodations do not allow having cats or dogs. Consider a hamster, fish, or any other small pet instead. They may make good pets despite not being as caring as humans.
6/ Keep your routine more organised
Having a routine keeps you in control of your life. Source: Core Corner
I find it mentally pleasing to have some spontaneity in life. However, I’ve noticed throughout the years that having a routine can make your day-to-day life more productive. Consistency can improve purpose, motivation, and well-being. Making plans with friends and family can also reduce loneliness and anxiety.
Don’t overbook. Overbooking can induce mental burnout and impede you from learning. You can go through the motions, which may be more complicated.
Consider the following suggestions:
- Set aside weekly time for house cleaning, errands, and other tasks to avoid chores piling up.
- Every day, try to go to bed and wake up simultaneously.
- Make time for hobbies and leisure.
- Finally, while having a pattern might be beneficial, there’s no need to plan out every minute. Allowing for spontaneity has several advantages!
6/ Connect with your neighbours
Get acquainted with neighbours, especially those with shared interests. Source: Daily Star
Neighbours are the closest people in proximity when we live alone. Not our family, or friends. Building a good relationship with the people living next door is essential. They will be there for you when there’s an emergency, or you need someone to talk to.
Find fresh ways to involve neighbours. Invite them for game nights, gift exchange, and offer help. Many ways exist to be neighbours’ friends. Even though friendly neighbours are a blessing, avoiding those that make you feel uneasy is important.
Privacy is incredible, but make sure to acknowledge your relationships.
Even if you choose to live alone, it is not always straightforward. You may appreciate your privacy, yet there are times when you need human connection. When a crisis makes it difficult to communicate with others, you may become isolated and depressed.
But remember that even though you live alone, you’re not entirely alone. Your family and friends are only a phone call or text away, and your neighbours are right across the hallway. Welcome to adulthood!