Living on your own can be daunting and hard to adjust to. However, I found it to be a great gateway to self-discovery. By spending lots of time with yourself, you get to know YOU better.
The impact of Covid-19
Those that know me would probably describe me as someone who likes being around others. I like socialising and exploring with friends. But when the pandemic hit, this changed. I ended up moving back down to Bournemouth on my own and getting a self-contained studio flat. This means my life is currently in one room – literally!
Part of me was excited to try living on my own but I knew it would be hard. I went from spending evenings and weekends with friends and family, to spending 24/7 in one room with the internet as my way of “socialising with people”.
I learnt very quickly that to stay happy and healthy, you have to actively make time to do the things you need for your wellbeing.
It took me time to adjust…
To start with I struggled with boredom. It’s hard because you alone must fill up your time and think of things to do. I would work my day job 9am-5pm, and then sit there and go “well, what now?”. Thanks to modern technology, I would quite often turn to Netflix, Prime Video or Disney+.
I would binge watch show after show in my evenings, go to bed, wake up the next day and follow the same pattern again. I finished the whole season of Bridgerton in one evening, and I don’t even like period dramas!
Whilst there is nothing wrong with getting stuck into a good show and enjoying the world of film and TV, I did notice that I wasn’t doing much else with my time. I would waste hours and hours with my eyes glued to a screen.
I knew something had to change, with most TV shows binged, I was again stuck with this feeling of boredom and that same question of “what now?”
Walking my way to better habits
One of the main things that definitely helped to get myself back to how I am, as a curious and explorative person, was by going for walks around my local area.
Luckily for me, I chose a fab area to move into. I am a mere 10 minutes from East Cliffe, and a further 5 minutes from Bournemouth’s sandy beaches. I decided that on my lunch breaks or after I finish work, I would go for a walk for at least 30 minutes.
The effects were instant.
Getting that little bit of fresh air made me feel less tired during the day and gave me the boost I needed to keep me from feeling trapped within my little studio flat. Evidence has shown that walking does have a lot of mental benefits, such as feeling happier and having high self-esteem and it certainly worked for me.
As well as this, the more time I spent outside, the more space I had to think about how I felt and organise my own thoughts. When you eat, sleep, clean and work in one space, I found it hard to do anything else into that space without feeling overwhelmed. So, for me, walking became a time to process and “check-in” on myself.
With lockdown restrictions slowly easing, I am finding it easier to cope with living on my own, with opportunities to finally see friends and family again. Whilst I am now able to organise more activities with friends that live near me, I still find time to go for those walks and allow myself space to breath and process is invaluable to my wellbeing.
Living solo has taught me that making time for yourself amongst everyday life is so important to staying happy and healthy. It doesn’t have to be in the same way that helped me but remember to take advantage of your own company. Actively, make time for you and “check-in” on how you are doing whenever you can.
Thank you to our Young Ambassador Jordan for this helpful blog on looking after your wellbeing if you live alone.
If you’re a young adult struggling with living alone and want someone to talk to, our Wellbeing check-in service for 11-25 year olds provides weekly ‘check-ins’ over zoom or over the phone with a trained volunteer. You can find out more and register on our Wellbeing Check-In service page.