Simple Ways Stay Sane When You Live Alone
After years of share-housing, you’ve finally taken the plunge and moved into your own place. You’re now a fully-fledged adult and you’ve got the crushing amount of weekly rent to prove it. Ah, freedom.
No more random roommate’s friend sleeping on the couch (how long has he been there?). No more tupperware of mystery food in the fridge (how long has that been there?). But sometimes living alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Sure, you’ll no longer be woken up at 3am by your roommate coming home from a night out, but there’ll also be no one to vent to about Karen from accounts when you get home from work.
So here are a few simple tips to get you used to the solo-living routine.
Have something to look forward to at the end of every day
When you live with other people, you tend to take for granted the comfort of coming home to an actual human person. It might be quick hello, making dinner together or a lengthy chat, but either way this is something you’ll inevitably miss when you come home to an empty house.
A great way to combat the 5.30pm blues is by having something to look forward to at the end of each day. Arrange to meet up with a friend for dinner after work, take up a team sport or check out that art exhibition you’ve been meaning to go to. Whatever it is, do something that will get you out of the house and that you’ll actually enjoy.
Cut down on your alcohol consumption
Cutting down on alcohol seems like a counter-intuitive move to enjoying yourself, but when you live alone opening a bottle of wine to have one or two glasses with dinner rarely ends that way. While you may be used to having roommates around to “help you out” with that bottle of wine —aka drink half your bottle of wine – when it’s just you in the house it can be easy to just finish off the bottle yourself.
Next thing you know, you’ve drunk a bottle of wine and have a shocking hangover. To avoid this, try not to drink at home, and instead, save it for when you’re out with friends.
Prepare your meals
When living alone it can become easy to skip meals or get into the habit of ordering takeaway every night. Without people in the same house as you going about their daily routine, it can become easy to get sucked into the new season of your favorite show on Netflix and opt for ordering Uber Eats or skipping dinner completely.
Doing meal prep on a Sunday night will get you ready for the week and ensure you’re having regular and nutritious dinners. Plus your will your body and your budget will thank you for the preparation.
Do something constructive with your house
One of the best things about living alone is being able to do whatever you want with your house. From décor to lighting, everything can be attuned to what best suits you, making your home your own little sanctuary.
You won’t be able to blame your roommate for the new house plant dying.
So if you’re ever feeling a bit down about your living situation, take advantage of this and change up your house a little. Maybe you’ll rearrange the living room, buy some new plants or hang a painting. Whatever it is, you won’t have to consult your roommates before you do it and sometimes even a small change can make you feel much more comfortable in your environment. The only down side is you won’t be able to blame your roommate for the new house plant dying.
Take a class
From pottery to adult dance classes or joining a social sporting team, taking a class or starting a sport can be a great way to keep you sane when you live alone. Not only will you get to learn a new skill or maybe revisit an activity you did as a kid, but it will also act as a pretty non-demanding social situation. You’ll get to make new friends with common interests but while focusing on an activity, taking away some of the pressure and awkwardness of meeting new people. Plus taking up a new activity will help set up a productive little routine for your leisure time.
Bonnie is a Melbourne based writer, publisher and founding editor of Mous Magazine. Her work has appeared in SBS Sexuality, Archer Magazine, Global Hobo and Mous Magazine.