On the whole, I am loving living in London. There are always things to do, new places to explore and memories to be made. But there is one thing that is really challenging me, and that is living alone. I’ve not lived so alone in my entire life. In my first year of university I quickly made friends with my flatmates, and I’ve lived with them and my boyfriend for the past three years. This year, though? I’m living with strangers.
I’m lucky that my boyfriend doesn’t live too far, and a couple of my friends are Londoners too. I didn’t quite realise how much I depended on other people to help me with my mental health and the practicalities that go with it. When living with friends or family, I know that I won’t go hungry because of lack of motivation to cook. Nowadays, that is a very real possibility.
However, not everything is going badly – in fact, I’ve been doing a lot better than I thought I would. Here’s a couple of things that I’ve discovered along the way that have been helpful:
- Hold yourself accountable – originally I was doing this with my food instagram account, where I was posting what I was eating every day. This would ensure that I was eating at least one square meal a day. I’ve given that up for a bit (though with every intention of going back!) but I have been telling my boyfriend what I’ve been eating for every meal, again to keep myself accountable.
- Be social – this is one thing that I’ve really been pushing myself to do. I’ve been meeting up with friends quite a lot, which has done wonders. While I still do need time to myself, as a classic introvert, at least once a week I’ve made sure to meet up with people outside of class time. Often this also means inviting people back to my flat, which means that I force myself to clean up, too.
- Go outside every day – associated with being social, I’ve also tried to ensure that I don’t spend every day cooped up inside. My room is really tiny, and being stuck in here does really bad things to my mental health. Every day I try to go get groceries, or go to the library. I don’t have to be outside of the house for long, just long enough that I don’t feel cooped up.
- Be kind to yourself – recently for me this has meant taking a break from blogging. I think I kind-of burnt myself out over the past couple of months so I’ve taken a step back from Twitter in particular. I’m still going to be around, but probably not quite as much as I have been. This has allowed me to focus on activities that really act as self-care, such as knitting or chatting with friends.
Do you live alone? If you have any tips for me, please let me know!