Living by yourself can seem daunting, especially to those of us who are single. It’s easy to feel lonely when you no longer have the constant companionship that your college roommate provided or a boyfriend to pass the hours with. However, it definitely has its advantages. Here’s how to make the best of your solo living arrangement.
Learn to cook
It can be all too easy to settle for boxed mac and cheese or half a bag of frozen dumplings for dinner when you have no one else to cook for. Of course this is inevitable from time to time, but don’t make it your regular diet. Not only is it extremely unhealthy, but it’s also fun and satisfying to cook for yourself. Set aside a few nights a week that you have the time, pick out recipes that look appealing to you and make a grocery store run to buy all the ingredients so you have them on hand. Knowing the best take-out restaurants in your area doesn’t hurt, either.
Befriend your neighbors
Don’t get me wrong; it’s great to learn to be independent. Every girl living alone should know how to deal with basic maintenance issues, but knowing the neighbors can come in handy when you need that occasional favor, like a little help shoveling or an extra set of hands unscrewing the tomato sauce jar. You just might become friends and have somewhere else to hang out when you’re not in the mood to be alone. Plus, can you say future boyfriend potential? Never say never!
Living alone can be depressing. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of seclusion and boredom when there’s nobody else around pushing you to get off your couch and do something. Make sure you keep up with your friends and make plans often. Don’t be afraid to be blunt and tell them that you’re lonely and need some distractions. No one is free? No problem. Do things that you know make you happy. Take up old hobbies, exercise to release endorphins and clean up your place. A clutter-free home can make all the difference.
The one major downside of living without a roommate is having nobody to share the expenses with. Bills, rent and groceries can add up faster than you’d think. Keep track of what you’re spending and where. A weekly or monthly budget can help immensely. This way, you can allot certain amounts of money to each of your obligations, and use the rest on treating yourself to dinner or shopping without feeling guilty.
Enjoy your alone time
Being single has a bad rap, and of course friends are great, but don’t underestimate the joys of having your own place. With no one else around, there’s no need to impress, so go ahead and hang out in your ugliest sweats all day long sans makeup (or even shower) if you so choose. Also, there will be no complaints about your weekend-long Real Housewives and Girls binge. Finally, every inch of the space is your own to do with what you please. This means clothes can dry anywhere, all decorating decision are up to you and nobody has to see your stack of dirty dishes before you feel like attacking them.
I know from experience that being single and alone is not necessarily ideal at times. There’s ways to make the best of it, though. Take time to focus on yourself and learn to be happy without having to depend on anyone else. You very well might learn to love it!