#mentalhealthmonday – living alone

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!



3 thoughts on “#mentalhealthmonday – living alone

  1. Sarah says:

    I only lived *alone* alone for one month and my anxiety haated it. But my last apartment, I had a similar experience. It was just myself and another girl, we worked very different hours and didn’t have a living room, so we barely ever saw each other. I ended up getting super isolated and depressed because I was spending so much time alone. It didn’t help that I had just moved to a new city, so I barely had any friends. And my work hours were garbage so it was hard to make friends.

    Anyway! All the advice you gave is super helpful! I’ve found that even walking one block to the coffee shop near my apartment to read on weekends is nice. It’s nice being around people without actually having to socialize. I’ve also joined some fb groups for my city and kept an eye on events at bookstores, etc. which gives me a good list of stuff I can do if I do end up wanting to go out and be social!


  2. colorfulbookreviews says:

    Even when it’s to make a life change for the better, I’ve always hated moving – and I’ve always lived within the same state! It seems to take me longer to get equilibrium and find my new normal. I’m glad you are taking care of yourself.

    Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about food habits, intentional eating and how to be better at this part of my life. It’s important to me to model healthy choices for the children. Even though it’s aimed at people with ADHD, I found this video really helpful. I’ve also been reading a lot about habits. There’s another YouTuber called Diane in Denmark who has wonderful videos about setting up routines based on the “Flylady” system. She really emphasizes taking your time and setting up simple routines slowly (one part at a time) so they become habits.


  3. RedRocketPanda says:

    I used to live alone when I was going through various supported housing placements and found it really difficult. My mental health was usually okay in the day time but evenings were really, really difficult for me. I would find very bad thoughts creeping in and by 10pm would be an absolute mess. I was very lucky that I had a dog at the time, and I have our rescue dog now. Whilst not super practical for others, it’s what definitely helped me. I’m a person who likes to spend quite a lot of time alone but also doesn’t want to *be* alone, so pets are very good company for me!

    It sounds like you’re doing all the right things though. I’m sorry I’ve been really rubbish at meeting up – we should definitely get a Christmassy hot chocolate soon though.


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