Living alone does not make us inherently lonely, but it can dramatically contribute to feelings of loneliness, especially if they are already present in us. Because of this, many studies have noted that there is a correlation between living alone and depressed. In other words, individuals who live alone are more at risk for depression.
But, just because there is a correlation between living alone and depression does not mean that you will become depressed simply from living alone. It is crucial to recognize that living in any environment can have incredible impacts on our minds and how we see situations.
The Biggest Challenge of Living Alone
There is no denying that there are a number of challenges that come with living alone. However, there is one challenge that generally trumps the rest in this type of life. This challenge is loneliness. We thrive on social connection — even if it is simply seeing people living around us.
Spending a lot of our time alone can make it hard to appreciate the life around us and can make it harder to keep up with relationships as well. While loneliness is not the only challenge of living alone — for example, many people get decision fatigue from living alone because they are the only ones making all of the decisions, both big and small — it is typically the most easily noticed challenge.
How to Cope with the Challenges of Living Alone
Luckily, there are ways to cope with challenges, like being lonely or constantly feeling fatigued due to the numerous decisions you make on a daily basis. Here, we’ll dive into some tips for coping with living alone that can help, no matter if you’ve just moved out on your own or you’ve been living alone for years.
Involve Your Loved Ones
This is especially important if you are just starting out on your own, as it can be a dramatic shift from the life you may be used to. Have a conversation with the people you are close to. Let them know what you are worried about and what they can help you do to ensure that you are taking care of yourself (including your mental health) while living alone.
Sometimes having someone to check in or even someone we know is looking out for us can be the best thing when we are making large changes in our lives.
Nurture Your Relationships
Speaking of loved ones, make sure that you do not forget to make space for them in your life. Just because you are living alone does not mean that you have to be alone. Take time to hang out with your friends and family. Go out for coffee or dinner. Meet up at a bookstore or do errands together.
Living alone can make us feel isolated from the people we love, so make sure that you make the extra effort to show yourself that you are not alone. You have valuable relationships that you will continue to nurture, and they will continue to grow.
Build a Solid Support System
Support systems are crucial in anyone’s life. Sometimes things happen in life that we cannot control. These things can shake up our view of ourselves, others, and even the world we live in. Having a support system is the key to making it through these times, and it can be harder to build one of these systems when you are living on your own. But “harder” does not mean “impossible.”
It will take you a little more conscious support system building than it may take if you were living with family or friends, but taking the time to ensure you will be supported in your life, is a crucial step.
Plan for the Bad Days
We’re sorry to burst the bubble on this one, but there will be bad days when living alone. We all have bad days. Even when we live with family or friends, sometimes the day just does not go at all how you’d planned.
But do you want to know a secret that can help you with these bad days? Plan for them. That’s right, have a “bad day” spa kit on hand in your bathroom for when you feel like you’ve hit a wall at the office. Maybe keep a small fund aside for getting yourself a treat or something you’ve been eyeing all month.
Maybe write out a list of all of the things that make you feel better — like journaling, walking, changing into those cozy flannel pajamas, or calling a friend. Look at this list when you’re having a bad day and pick a few things to do.
Make a Routine for Yourself
We love routines. We love making sense of puzzles, ordering busy days into clean and concise time blocks. So, why not use your ability to create a no-interruptions morning or evening routine that you can do at home? Routines like this are not only a great way to give structure to your day, but also they provide an invaluable display of self-love and help you to practice healthy self-care habits.
Talk to a Therapist
Sometimes you may feel like you can’t fix what’s going on with you by yourself. This is completely normal and 100% understandable. We feel like we should know our minds and bodies the best, but sometimes they betray us and make it hard for us to determine what is wrong.
There are times when you may need an extra hand, shoulder, or list of ideas that can help you overcome the loneliness or isolation you may be feeling from living alone. If this is the case for you, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Love Heal Grow to talk to a professional therapist.