Sometimes you can find yourself living on your own, whether through your own choice or due to circumstances beyond your control.
Maybe a relationship has ended, or your partner has passed away, maybe the kids have left home. There are many reasons why you could find yourself living alone.
It can be a shock to the system, especially if you’ve always lived with someone. While it’s common to worry about feeling lonely or unsafe, living on your own can also be enjoyable and liberating.
Learning to live on your own will vary depending on what age and stage you are in life, so we’ve put together 10 tips to assist:
1. Have friends around
Just because you live on your own doesn’t mean you can’t have friends around or entertain. It can be nice to have a space that is usually quiet, full of people and chatter.
2. Maintain housework
It can be easy to let the housework slide when you live alone. Have a set day each week when you clean and tidy even if you think it doesn’t look untidy or unclean.
3. Freeze meals
When you live alone it can seem a chore to cook every night and it can be hard to cook something just for one. A good idea is to cook enough for a few meals and then freeze the remainder. That way you have ready-made meals for later on and you’re not wasting food.
4. Stay socially connected
Make sure you get out and about and catch up with friends and family and have regular social contact. Join a group, take up a sport, hobby or volunteer work. If you find the evenings lonely, take up an evening activity to get yourself out of the house. If you’re a senior, having someone you can phone to check in with daily or weekly can help you stay connected.
5. Meet your neighbours
If you don't know your neighbours, introduce yourself to them and invite them around for a coffee or drink. Neighbours can help you out if you’re in a pickle, and vice versa. You may want to give your neighbours phone number to close friends and family who don't live nearby, in case they can't get hold of you. It’s reassuring to know your neighbours are there to pop over or help in some way should you need it.
6. Check your security
It’s common to worry about safety when you live alone. Make sure you check your place is secure. Are the window latches all secure? Are the doors secure? Is there good outside lighting? Check the security alarm works or get one installed if you can afford it. Getting a dog can also help with security (and companionship).
7. Have a spare key
If you get locked out when you live on your own things can get quite tricky! Without someone else living in the house who has a key to let you in, you need to be extra careful. Have a spare key that is not in the house.
8. Have a good first aid and emergency kit
Having a decent first aid kit when you live alone is crucial. If you hurt yourself, there’s nobody there to help you so you need to have a good first aid kit at hand. In fact, having an emergency kit is essential for everyone, regardless of whether you live alone or with others.
9. Go away for the weekend
If the house feels extra quiet on the weekend, why not pack your bags and go away? Visit friends or family or join a travel group.
10. Enjoy yourself!
You are the master of your domain and can do what you like. You can have your house looking the way you like it, you can do what you want when you want, you can watch what you want and you don’t have to deal with other people’s quirky habits.