Living alone for many can mean a time of loneliness. For others we find ourselves in a relationship or living with others and still feel lonely. Some of us find ourselves living alone for the first time after many years of marriage and children filling up our lives. For others this may be your first time living away from home. You could have moved to another country or city even. Whatever your circumstance you need to have a plan of action in place to stave off loneliness.
Living along can be scary and exciting all at the same time and even overwhelming. How do I cope? As I’ve said you need to bite the bullet on this and decide to make yourself a plan of action and tackle your fear. I know for many you’re scared and this can be a huge thing. But you will have to make an effort to get out there and mix with people as well as adjust to living by yourself.
I am going to put in some practical tips for those who have never lived alone before, adjusting to being on your own can bring up so many emotions that even simple tasks such as cooking for one can be a huge adjustment.
- Make a budget. Yes you have to learn to do this. You are solely responsible for all the bills now.
- Learn to cook and shop for one. Make out a meal plan and shopping list.
- Get emergency numbers and keep them handy. On your mobile but also beside the house phone if you have one.
- Learn to become independent and self sufficient. If you don’t know how to do something get a list of reliable tradespeople or take a class in some practical home decoration/repairs. Great way to meet people also by the way.
- Learn to take a holiday on your own, go to the theatre or movies alone. You don’t need someone to do things with. Start small maybe a movie first then move on to a weekend away. You could always go on a group tour.
- Become friends with your neighbours. You can look out for each other. Get their phone numbers for emergencies.
- Get out and meet new people. Join clubs and associations such as: sports, gym, night classes, meditation groups, church groups, the active retirement or country women’s associations , mens’ sheds, volunteer etc.
- Invite people into your home. Have a coffee, lunch or dinner party.
- Embrace the freedom of living alone. You no longer have to check in with someone else. Decorate your home how you wish.
- Choose somewhere to live that is the right size for you -you may want to consider downsizing if you already have a home. Make sure it’s convenient to work, doctors and shops etc.
- If you have left a relationship, got divorced or widowed please take time to get to know yourself again before moving on. Take time to get to know what you want from the rest of your life. Be honest with yourself. You have no other responsibilities now but yourself. So wallow in that privacy and me,me time. get therapy if you need it.
- Nurture your friendships and cherish all interactions. You never know where you might make a new friend.
- Try new things. Keep an open mind when attending something new. Again strike up a conversation. It could be about what is happening, the weather or something on the news. I know it’s scary to talk to someone for the first time but taking that plunge will be so good for you. As they say feel the fear and do it anyway!
It’s not impossible to live alone, yes it’s scary at times and lonely. But you can do this! You can stave off loneliness by being active in your community. But when you’re alone take time for yourself, embrace it. You are good enough, you don’t need to be with someone else to to be validated.
If you are feeling depressed please reach out for help.
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