The thought of living alone may be challenging to some. But some do it by choice, or the current circumstances forced them to do so. At some point in our life, we will have to experience living alone, whether as a student or a single adult. It may bring you a certain excitement because of the new circumstances, especially if you just got out of college or dealing with a breakup.
According to Harvard Medical School, around 8.1 million or 40% of older women live alone, which is more than twice the number of older men living in the same situation. The reason behind women’s solo habitation is they tend to live longer than men. There are also more cases of divorced women and single ladies who have no plans of marrying.
By now, you may have rented out a one-bedroom apartment that offers complete utilities and settled down to your new living space. But as you move forward, there’s a lot of mixed emotions, from homesickness, stress, nervousness, excitement, and everything in between. But there are ways on how you can pull off living in solitude. Here are some ways to help conquer and embrace living solo and find fulfillment in it.
Take a self-discovery journey
Living alone offers a great opportunity to work on and explore your most important connection: your relationship with yourself. Before reaching this point, it’s common for all of us to share a home with our loved ones. We grew up with our siblings and parents, moved to college with friends, and established a household with a partner. But as we focus on fostering connections with our family, friends, and intimate partners, our relationship with ourselves may turn pale.
If you think you’re still having struggles in knowing yourself and embracing your strengths and weaknesses, this is a perfect chance to take full control of your life. Treat this as a self-discovery journey to evaluate your life choices and visualize your ideal self.
There’s nothing wrong with using your free time exploring your favorite restaurants and binge-watching Netflix shows. But you also have to dig deeper by exploring things that will unleash your true potential, motives, and character. If you went through a bad breakup or left home, exploring personal values and future goals will provide insight on what you really want to pursue in life. This approach will help you develop a sense of self to identify your needs and desires from your interpersonal relationships.
It is natural if you’re having a tough time to manifest these things, since your journey to self-discovery may often take a long while. A great tip is to put those thoughts and goals into writing to keep track of your progress.
Get a furry companion
If your landlord allows pets inside the house or apartment, now’s the time to consider a furry companion. Since you’re living solo, there’s no need to worry about someone’s fear of dogs or cat allergies.
Having a pet means you’ll never return to an empty home. A furry companion offers plenty of wellness benefits as they provide opportunities for socialization, decreased feelings of loneliness, physical comfort, entertainment, and other health benefits. They can also fill your life with purpose since having a pet involves bigger responsibilities, where you have to stick to a regular schedule for care, feeding, and doctor’s visits. If you’re looking for reasons to explore the outdoors, take the dog for morning or afternoon walks.
If you can’t have cats or dogs because of health issues, consider a fish, bird, small mammal, or reptile. Although they are not as cuddly as sociable, they still make great companions. Some of them are also lesser to maintain, which makes them a perfect choice for busy people.
Just because you’re living alone, doesn’t mean you have to seclude yourself from the rest of the world. Soul searching offers ways to strengthen personal relationships and let go of the ones affecting your well-being and peace of mind.
If you had a poor relationship with your family, visit them and let them know how you’re doing. You can also explore your contacts or social media friend list and reach out to friends you haven’t talked to in a while. This is a great way to close the distance with your friends if you spent too much time with your previous partner. Your main goal is to move forward and prioritize important connections and positive relationships.
While it feels good to be independent, you will eventually look for other options on your current living arrangement. But while you’re at it, use this time to explore your greatest passions, enjoy your social life, take on new hobbies, and other activities that will open up to new possibilities. You can also use it as a learning opportunity to do everything you love and meet like-minded people to enrich your character.