While the thought of living alone for the first time may seem liberating and even exciting to some, it can be a difficult step for others. Those who embark on the adventure of living solo may face multiple challenges, ranging from feeling lonely due to fewer social interactions to being overwhelmed by the various chores that come with living alone.
To help overcome some challenges that solo renters might face, we spoke to a few lifestyle coaches and asked for their advice on how to get the most out of life on your own. Here’s what they said:
Be your own best business
“I have two tips for anyone who is single or living alone for the first time:
Be comfortable with the silence. Learn to appreciate calm and don’t let it scare you away. Being alone with your thoughts can be scary, the key is to feel secure in your loneliness. You can fill your surroundings with music or background noise, but real peace is the ability to embrace stillness.
Be your best company, but if you need company or support, make sure you have friends on hand to help. Dinners, evening savers, televised sporting events and game nights keep you from being alone and fill your home with laughter and good energy.
Find new, exciting hobbies
- Nicole Graham, Lifestyle / Relationship Coach, Womenio
“Experiment with new things. Investigating new interests is an essential part of self-discovery. Experimenting in front of an audience is not always easy. You might be afraid to try new things in front of family members, roommates, or romantic partners. What if you are completely devoid of creative ability? Or if you find out that you don’t like playing guitar after investing time and money in lessons and practice? While these are legitimate concerns, it’s also worth noting that a life without trial and error can be rather limited. Repeating activities with the same people is not always harmful.
However, breaking with established habits can broaden your perspective, help you grow, and introduce you to new people. Before committing a large sum of money, online video tutorials or how-to blogs can help you find out if something is really of interest to you.
Keep your friends close
“It’s important to make sure you have friendships. Look for other people who appreciate the perks of living solo (there are so many!). Connecting with others who understand both the benefits and the anxieties of living alone can help you feel part of a community.
Make sure to hang out with your friends. Schedule appointments in your calendar, so that you always have something fun to look forward to. Keep a list handy of those you can call if you’re feeling lonely. Knowing that there is someone on the phone with whom you have a lot in common can be very reassuring.
Stick to a regular daily schedule
“My advice is to follow a regular daily schedule. Don’t overfill your schedule, but a schedule can give you purpose and reduce any feelings of loneliness. You don’t always have to stick to your schedule and some spontaneity is good, but having things to do can help you feel more motivated.
Give yourself time for housework, shopping and hobbies. A clean and organized environment can reduce anxiety and increase feelings of well-being. Sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
Find a healthy balance between work and rest
“Living alone for the first time can be isolating if you don’t plan ahead. It is important to stick to a routine so that you can feel safe and mentally good. Waking up at the same time each day helps you develop healthy sleep because you will feel tired at the same time each night. This is especially useful because the evening can be the loneliest time of the day for people who live alone.
You can also schedule regular get-togethers with friends and family, like going out for lunch every Monday or watching a movie together every Friday. This will give you something to look forward to throughout the week and make sure you don’t lose your social life.
Finally, try to find a healthy balance between work and rest. If you work during the day and spend the evening relaxing, you are less likely to burn out. On the other hand, working sporadically can make you feel like you don’t have enough time outside of work to do the things you love.
Overall, to make the most of life at home, you have to structure your days as best as possible, leaving some room for spontaneity. This will help you remember your goal, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Put your thoughts and plans on paper
“You can feel secure, mentally healthy, and happier than before when you think about things with a plan of action for living on your own that meets your needs. Use paper and pen, markers, or a pencil with an eraser.
People think more productively by writing with their hands rather than with keyboards. Give your document a title. List the actionable items you feel are necessary to make friends, feel happier, and more secure in your heart and home. Number your tasks so that your document looks like a draft project, a draft to improve your quality of life. You’ll be working on a draft, so don’t beat yourself up for cross-outs, new ideas, and changes. It can take anywhere from a day to a month to finalize your action plan. It’s normal. It takes time to understand the details. Doodles are good. They can be meaningful, fun, and break boredom.
You might end up wanting to change the title of your document. Change the title to Action Plan: Getting the most out of life on your own or whatever works for you. Experiment with your document until it’s ready to use. Enjoy results that increase and unfold over time.
Interact with people
- Dr. Kate Steiner, Burnout Recovery Coach, Wellness Consultant and Founder of ELEVATOR
“As humans we have to be with other humans, when you live alone you can sometimes come to the end of the day or the week and find that you haven’t interacted with anyone in front of you. face. This is especially true if you are a telecommuter and your living space is also your workspace. For your own well-being, make it a goal to interact with another person face to face at least once a day. Some ways to do this include, taking a group fitness class, walking around the park and making eye contact with others (bonus points if you say hello), using the lane with a real person at the grocery store, or meet a friend for a coffee or a drink. These human connections will give you a sense of belonging and lift your spirits.
Practice gratitude and visualization
“Renting and living alone for the first time is an important part of developing a constructive relationship with oneself. It is a good time to reflect and understand each other. As soon as you wake up, a good habit to make is gratitude and visualization.
With your eyes closed, sitting up straight, begin with a deep breath for 60 seconds to clear your mind and focus on your breathing. Begin the exercise by practicing Gratitude. Recite aloud everything you have accomplished and what you are grateful for. Listen to your words. Transition after 2 minutes to visualize where and how you want to see yourself and see your future. Imagine yourself daily in what you consider to be your best life. Practice early in the morning.
Incorporate healthy foods into your diet
“People living alone for the first time are predisposed to depression and anxiety, but an easy step in combating this is to focus on healthy eating. While it is easy to fall into the trap of delivery or fast food when cooking for one person, eating habits characterized by healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, and vegetables. Low fat dairy products have been associated with a decreased risk. of depression. Meanwhile, unhealthy foods – like fried foods and foods high in sugar – have been linked to depression, brain inflammation, and neurological damage.
A great way to stay focused on eating healthy is to plan menus at the start of each week and build your shopping list accordingly. This way you can plan what you will eat each day and how long you will have to prepare it.
For example, if you usually have a lot of free time for the first half of the week but are busy on Thursdays, you might want to plan a larger meal to prepare on Wednesday so you have leftovers for the following days. You don’t have to cut yourself off completely from unhealthy foods, but leaving them as a treat can improve your overall physical and mental health.
Listen to your body
- Helena Plater-Zyberk, co-founder and CEO of Supportiv
“Your body has its own individualized idea of the amount of interruptions, noise and activity it can handle: often referred to as your window of tolerance. Outside of this window, your body sends out messages such as anxiety, fatigue, brain fog, asking you to rest and avoid so much stimulation next time. We’ve all been there. However, when you live with others, you may not be able to listen to these signals or predict when they will arise – it is difficult to live according to what your body wants.
So, apartment dwellers living alone have an opportunity: listen to your body signals, since you are in a place where you can actually hear them. Pay attention to your limits and practice respecting them, because you have the space and the privacy to do so! “
Whether by choice or by chance, living alone can be quite an adventure and it is important that you focus on success. If you are looking for a new apartment, check out RENTCafé and find the one that suits you best.