Friday, May 5, 2017

10 Ways to Avoid Loneliness While Living Alone

10 Ways to Avoid Loneliness While Living Alone

I love getting e-mails from readers. It's truly a bright spot in my day every day. You are all so sweet and it's so fun and fulfilling making so many meaningful connections. You guys ROCK! Sometimes I get fun questions, like what to wear to a wedding, and sometimes I just get sweet compliments. But then there are days where readers really connect with me and talk about something a little more personal and we can relate to each other.

A few months ago, I had a reader reach out saying she had just moved out on her own. No roommates, no parents, no boyfriend/fiance/husband/etc. Just her. She mentioned she was having a little trouble since she is so used to being around other people so it felt a little lonely in her new home.

To give you a little background: I had at least one if not more than one roommate all throughout college. Then, I lived with my parents for a few years after college. So I had never experienced living truly alone. But now that I do, can I just say how much I LOVE it!!

I think one of the biggest fears of mine, when I was transitioning to living alone, was definitely feeling alone or isolated. I am very close with my family and love them so much! Before I moved out, I was having major anxiety about being away from my family.

In full disclosure, I honestly didn't have too much struggle adjusting, but also, every day wasn't perfect. I think what helped most is that in the first two months of living in my new place, I had so much going on with vacations, my sister's graduation from college, family visiting from out of town, weddings, and more, that I didn't have even a second to ever feel 'alone'. It wasn't really until fall when I got more time to myself and settled into a post-summer routine that I felt a little lull in my schedule.

I definitely thought I would share my experience because I think a lot of people feel this way as they transition to living on their own. Whether you are transitioning from college to a new apartment, or from having roommates to getting your own place, or buying your own home, or whatever it may be, you're not alone and it's ok to talk about how you are feeling!

With all of that said (phew!) I thought I would share some tips for making living alone more fun and less lonely!

Don't let yourself be alone for too long. 
As much as I am a social person, I also love having time to myself, but when you live by yourself, I find that it can be too much alone time and that's when you start to feel isolated.

Don't let your house feel 'silent'.
For example, I always have TV or music going. I don't like silence in general, but I really find that it exacerbates the feeling of isolation! So for example, while I cook dinner, I'll usually have the news on in the background or a great playlist going. Even when I'm doing mundane things like folding my laundry or even showering, there's always some noise that makes my apartment feel more alive!

Sleep with a fan at night. 
This is kind of a weird one, I guess. Before living alone, I never used to sleep with ambient noise or anything like that. However, I find the sound of a fan while I sleep comforting because if I lay in my bed at night and hear a noise, I immediately become paranoid! A fan kind of drowns everything out, which is nice too, since I live downtown. I use this one. It's really slim, inexpensive, and doesn't make a ton of noise. It has three settings, a timer function, and it oscillates. It's also very neutral looking/kind of blends it. It's also great because you can stow it away when you have guests over since it's so compact.

Let there be light. 
I actually live where I live specifically because of the way the light streams in for the entirety of the day. I have huge 10-foot windows that just flood every nook and cranny with natural light. It's almost impossible to feel sad or alone because I get so much gorgeous natural light! I definitely suggest opening your blinds and taking in as much of that precious sunlight as you can!

Make plans to do something during the week (and on weekends).
For example, I get together with girlfriends on Monday nights for the Bachelor and then have a group tennis lesson every Thursday and Saturday. Those few things right there are always on my schedule so it forces me to get out and be social! A date night at least once a weekday is always really great, too!

Go home for dinner once a week. 
Obviously, you can only do this if you live in the same city as your parents, but I think it can work with friends/grandparents, aunts or uncles, etc. I do this and love it! That way I can always see my parents and family and it's nice to not have to cook for myself!

Schedule a 'chore night' (or morning). 
You'll feel accomplished and it will help to get you in a routine! For example, I will usually do my laundry on Mondays and Thursdays, Sunday nights I will meal plan/cook for the week, etc. This gives you a task to complete so you're a little more focused on something!

Play host/hostess.
I'm totally biased on this one because I love love love entertaining more than anything. But even if you don't, I say give it a try! I totally think it helps to make it feel like home when you have people that you know and lover over often!

Make your house your home. 
I think a lot of people can jump the gun in feeling lonely in the first month or so because when the walls are bare, and everything is 'fresh', it doesn't have a cozy, homey feel. I think making your space your home is the most important thing to feel happy and at peace. Whether you're living in a 500 sq. foot studio in a big city, a townhouse in the suburbs, or even a huge house out in the country, making somewhere feel comfortable to you takes time! Give yourself that time and try to enjoy the process.

Make Friends With Your Neighbors. 
You don't have to be besties, but at least get to know the people that live around you enough that if there was anything you ever needed in an emergency, they would have your back. I think it can really give you a comforting feeling and a great peace of mind. I am lucky in that one of my best friends just moved two doors down from me and another best friend lives a floor below me!


Meghana Pathapati said...

i love spending time alone too ,its such a relieving thing to do for me!
but yeah too much of anything is bad right?!! btw you have a really cool blog:) love your outfits !
happy life,
i love spending time alone too ,its such a relieving thing to do for me!

Just Jess said...

I love all of these suggestions. I really struggled when I lived alone and I think a lot had to do with moving directly from college, to my parents for 5 months, to being alone for the first time in the Fall and I got a little depressed. I have had apartmentmates since but I am thinking about moving out on my own in the next year. Jess at Just Jess

Amanda said...

I love this post! My lease is ending in August and I'm hoping my next move will be to live by myself for the first time ever

Lauren said...

These are all such great ideas - especially sleeping with the fan on!


Kate Reeve Losee said...

This is such a thoughtful post! I am also very close with my parents and am so happy to be living near them for the first time in over ten years. I definitely think that putting art/pictures on the walls as soon as possible (and having them be the last things taken down when moving) helps so much. The thing that made the biggest difference for me was getting pets! I can't tell you how much it changes the idea of going home when there is a cat/dog/goldfish or whatever your building allows that is happy to see you!

Chichi said...

those are really great tips, sleeping with a fan on i couldn't have thought but certainly helps!


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