Living alone can be rewarding, but also challenging, especially if you have no one to rely on besides yourself. Plus, if you’re prone to mental health issues, it can be a struggle to deal with the simplest of tasks, such as taking care of yourself. Sometimes, our moods just dip, along with our energy levels, and doing the dishes or washing our clothes become too much. As a person who has struggled with these issues, I completely understand how they can be impacted by isolation and loneliness. You can even feel overwhelmed by the silence in your own home, which makes it hard to complete the most basic things, like eating and sleeping.
According to Everyday Health, adults who live alone have an 80% higher chance of having depression than those who live with other people, and people who live alone are much more likely to take antidepressant medications. Those are some scary numbers, but just know that you are NOT alone – even if it feels like you are. It doesn’t have to be this way! In fact, here are just a few tips on how you can take care of your mental health so you can start to enjoy living independently.
#1 Stay Connected
No one is ever truly alone. We always have someone that we could talk to, no matter if it’s a family member, a friend, or even a colleague/classmate. You have to open yourself up and share what you’re going through with someone who you could trust. I get it, for some, it can be hard to reach out to people, but try to set aside some time to talk to people who care for you. Humans need connection!
#2 Prioritize Healthy Habits
Like I mentioned, when you’re dealing with mental health issues – on top of the loneliness and isolation that comes with living alone – it can be hard to complete even the simplest of tasks, like eating healthy, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. So, try sticking to a healthy routine, like going to bed on time, showering regularly, eating at appropriate times and exercising.
#3 Adopting A Pet
If you’ve always wanted a furry companion, this might be a good move for you. With a pet, you won’t be coming home to an empty house, and most importantly, you get cuddles! Plus, if your days feel a little aimless, getting a pet can help you stick to a schedule, since you have to take care of them. They also give you a reason to go out more, like walking your dog (or cat). However, if you’re not ready to commit, you could also consider fostering programs.
#4 Planning For A Bad Day
Bad days, we all have them. It’s easy to get lost in a spiral, especially when you live alone. So, planning for a bad day, like setting small goals, doing things that allow you to socialize, engaging with friends or family, or just taking some time out for a self-care day, is ideal. Just remember that bad days are a part of life, and they won’t last forever, even when it feels like they will. Feelings aren’t facts, people!
#5 Trying Something New
Yup, this again. I’m sure you’ve probably heard this advice from countless people and articles online, all along the lines of ‘you should find a hobby’ or ‘you should try something new’. But it actually works. Just like living alone, exploring new interests is an important part of self-discovery. Yes, it’s important to have a routine, but breaking out of typical patterns can also expand your perspective, and connect you with new people. The best part? You can do most of them from the comfort of your own space. There’s no judgement, so do whatever the F*CK you want!
The bottom line
Living alone isn’t always easy. Sure, it’s nice to have personal space, but you will also have moments where you crave human interaction. However, you are never truly alone, even if you live alone. Remember to talk to your friends and family regularly – they’re only a call or text away.
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