Hate it or love it, most people will live alone at some stage in their life.
Imagine it. No one to tidy up after, no bathrooms to share and no unexpected company to worry about. Whether it be escaping a share house, needing a bigger space, or simply embracing a newfound independence, moving out for the first time comes with its highs and lows.
Say goodbye to negotiations and compromise - you take the best car space, invite guests over as you like and decorate the house as you please. Sound like bliss to you?
There's no denying that the peace and quiet can be a welcome change. However, before you pack your bags and say sayonara to your housemates, make sure you're also prepared for the challenges that come with living alone.
Read on for our top tips for staying healthy, happy and sane when you're living solo..
If COVID-19 has taught us one thing, it's the importance of staying connected to the people in our lives. Separation from loved ones has unfortunately been a common experience for people in all types of living arrangements during the COVID pandemic. But it has been particularly tough for the solo dwellers amongst us who faced long lockdowns at home without the company of family members and close friends.
While we hope this will be the last pandemic for at least the next couple of centuries, there is a lesson here: if you live alone you must make a conscious effort to reach out to loved ones and maintain social activities and social interaction- in whatever form you can. Hit up an old school friend on social media, join a social club for single people, organise a face time call with your Mum or best friend... there's countless ways to interact, find what works for you.
Staying connected plays an important role in your mental health and overall wellness. Enjoy the moments of solitude that come with living alone while also maximising your opportunities for social connection.
Tune into how you feel
While solitude can give you space to think and create, there is such a thing as too much alone time. To help keep loneliness at bay when you live alone, learn to identify feelings of loneliness, stress or anxiety and act on them early by reaching out for support. Simply talking to a trusted friend, family member or mental health professional can provide some relief and remind you that you're not alone.
Research shows that social isolation is linked to poor mental and physical health so don't ignore those niggling signs of loneliness. Remember that everyone feels lonely at times so don't be ashamed if you're struggling with strong emotions and reach out if you're not ok.
Prioritise self care
Now that you've got only yourself to look after at home there may be the temptation to become slack with the cooking and cleaning. Resist the urge to become a sloth and rather use the opportunity to ramp up your self care and make your home a sanctuary.
Be diligent with washing the dishes after each meal, set regular times each week to clean your space and take the time to make delicious, nutritious meals. By looking after yourself and the environment you live in, you will feel healthy, grounded and relaxed.
It's also helpful to remind yourself of the perks of living alone! You don't have to tolerate anyone elses' dirty habits, you can make noise to your heart's content early in the morning or late at night and the bathroom is always free so you can enjoy long, uninterrupted showers every day. By focusing on the positives and embracing your newfound freedom, you can make the most of the opportunities that come with living alone.