If you’re newly single, have lost a partner or you just prefer your own space– here’s how to make the most of life when you’re living on your own
Whether it’s a result of your own choice or circumstance, living alone certainly has its advantages. A disadvantage though can be a sense of isolation from social activity, which in turn can lead to feeling lonely. A lot of people think that we should live with someone because that is the normal social convention, so if you’re not doing what everyone else is, it can make you feel that you are abnormal. On a practical level some people, may feel a lot more insecure about living alone. A lot of questions go through our minds – who will look after me if something were to happen? Would anyone even notice? How safe is my neighbourhood? These are concerns that can cause people to think negatively about living on their own. But don’t let it frighten you – why should you feel lonely when there is so much to see, do and experience? Here’s how to have fun living solo!
Get a pet
A furry friend can certainly give you someone to communicate with and devote time to. If you’re quite outgoing, playful and energetic, you might consider a dog. Famously known as man’s best friend, owning a pooch can be both demanding and rewarding. It would need to be walked every day, giving you opportunities to venture outside and meet other dog owners. If you’d prefer a pet that is a little more low maintenance, a cat may be a good option. Caring for a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which can calm and relax you. It’s also a great way to bring love into your life.
Learn something new
Living by yourself gives you opportunities to discover more about yourself, your talents and your limits. Whether it’s painting, drawing or sculpture, or even learning to play an instrument or to speak another language, enrolling in a class will enable you to learn a new skill and widen your social circle through new people that you meet. Happy and optimistic people tend to also have lots of motivation, which fuels their ability to accomplish their goals and remain content. The challenges brought about by a new path of learning will help increase your overall self-drive and your mood, so you’ll feel less blue when you think about going home alone.
Take up meditation
Scientific research has shown that meditation has many benefits for our well-being. It helps us tackle stress, makes us feel more rested and helps to lower blood pressure. If you’ve been feeling stressed at work or in life generally, living alone can make things tricky when you don’t have someone to hear you vent frustrations or concerns. Meditation enables you to release anything that is weighing on your mind, leaving you feeling calmer and more at ease with life. What’s more, regular practice over time can change how we think and approach situations so that we are able to experience more positive emotions and look at things more optimistically. If you live solo, you have ample time to meditate and turn your home into a sanctuary of peace and calm – somewhere where you can be in better touch with your spirituality. So take that first step and join a gym, a yoga class, or even consult social media for some first steps on how to meditate. You’ll become a better and happier person for it – housemate or not.
Feng shui your home
Start by introducing fish into your home, as they are both fascinating and calming to watch and represent good luck – although make sure that you buy a big tank with plenty of room for them, and give them fish friends to swim around with, too! Next, keep your front door looking clean and well presented – this is said to increase prosperity into your home and enhance your career and wealth prospects. Throw anything out that you consider to be clutter – this will transform your home a peaceful and welcoming environment that you relish coming back to at the end of the day. Finally, keep house plants, as they oxygenate the air and promote positive energy.
Top tips from the expert…
Pete Cohen is a life coach and the best-selling author of 14 self-help books including the recently launched Shut the Duck Up which is all about the tools we need to break the cycle of negative self-talk. Here’s his top tips for what to do if you’re feeling lonely:
• Start a conversation… Whether it’s with a neighbour or a friendly shopkeeper – take every opportunity you can to make as much contact with people as possible
• Research your local community… Find out what’s happening in your area and whether there are any activities you can take part in with like-minded people
• Be kind to yourself… Whether it’s reading or cooking a new recipe – do things that excite and inspire you
• Surround yourself with people you know… Use the internet to keep in touch with as many people as possible and make frequent contact with family and friends – whether that means meeting in person or sending an email