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But you can absolutely live alone, safely, without feeling alone in the world. Here are some pointers to help you embrace your newfound solitude and find fulfillment in living solo. Living alone can help you find the time to work on your most important relationship — the one you have with yourself.
When you focus on maintaining strong connections with friends, family, and romantic partners, though, your relationship with yourself might take a backseat. A self-discovery journey can be a great way to kick off this new adventure.
A well-developed sense of self can make it easier to identify what you want and need from relationships with others. Tip: Try journaling to track and sort through your thoughts. Or you spent most of the last year hanging out with your partner, guiltily feeling the distance between you and your friends widen. If these stories sound familiar, take some time to identify positive relationships with people who lift you up and add value to your life.
Going forward, you can prioritize these important connections. No matter how much you enjoy living alone, you may feel lonely from time to time. These feelings might come up around the times of day you associate with seeing people. If you and your roommates usually all returned from work at the same time, coming home to an empty house might be rough. When your evenings feel quiet and empty, turn on some music as you unwind from work and make dinner.
Always longed for a furry companion? Pets also offer physical comfort stroking a dog can release mood-boosting hormones and entertainment, as countless pet videos on YouTube prove. Days feel a little aimless? Having a pet makes it easier to stick to a schedule, since they need regular feeding and care. If you need a reason to get out more, a dog will hold you able for a few daily walks. Consider a bird, fish, reptile, or small mammal. They may not be quite as sociable or cuddly, but they can still make great pets.
Speaking of commitment issues, you can also look into fostering programs. Many shelters have programs that allow you to temporarily provide a home for animals in need. The animal gets to unwind in a cozy home, and you get to have a pet without all the commitment — everyone wins! According to research , people who live alone often spend more time with friends or in their community than married people do, and many people in unhappy marriages report feelings of loneliness, despite not living alone.
Following a regular schedule can help boost purpose and motivation , improving overall well-being as a result. Routines often help relieve stress and loneliness, since keeping busy can distract you from unwanted feelings. Making regular plans with friends and loved ones can also help keep loneliness and anxiety at bay. Just avoid packing your schedule too full. Overbooking yourself can lead you to check out mentally and keep you from mindfully appreciating the things you enjoy.
Instead, you might end up simply going through the motions, which can create additional challenges. Leaving room for spontaneity has plenty of benefits, too! You might feel nervous about trying new things in front of family members, roommates, or romantic partners. What if you totally lack artistic talent? But breaking out of typical patterns can expand your perspective, help you grow, and connect you with new people. But when you put in the effort to make it really feel like home, it becomes a relaxing sanctuary, somewhere you want to return to at the end of a long day. As you settle into, scout out garage sales and thrift stores for unique pieces.
When choosing linens and bedding, go with the colors that draw your eye or just make you feel good. Arrange your furniture how you want it and display the art that makes you happy — because no one can tell you otherwise. Consider adding a few plants, too. Maybe you give up on a regular bedtime, skip nutritious meals in favor of snacks, wear the same clothes for 2 days, and finish the whole bottle of wine because, why not? Good self-care practices, however, can improve your emotional and physical well-being, and feeling good can make it easier to manage loneliness more productively.
Living alone can be freeing. This can strengthen feelings of compassion and kinship toward others on the planet, helping you feel less alone. Acknowledging your needs can help you take steps toward finding a living situation that supports your well-being. You might value personal space but still have moments where you long for human interaction. Times of crisis that make it difficult to connect with others can isolate you and cause further distress. Crystal Raypole has ly worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health.
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Strengthen your relationships. Identify when you feel most lonely. Consider a pet. Connect with your community. Add some structure. Try new things. Create your ideal space. Prioritize wellness. Find the positives. Get back to nature. Reach out for support. The bottom line. Read this next.
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