How to Fight Loneliness when Living Alone

Living alone is viewed different ways by different people. Many people in their twenties have the desire to live alone-at least once-before they start a family. Especially if you lived with roommates during college, you may be eager to have your own place to do your own thing. And, living alone can be fun and liberating, but it can also be cause for loneliness and boredom. Here are a few tips on fighting those feelings while living alone, especially if you’re living alone in a new town where you don’t have any social networks.

One of the most important things when living alone is to have a hobby. If you don’t already have one, think about what you’re interested in and do some research on activities that appeal to you. Many hobbies like writing, reading, crafts, etc. are solitary hobbies that you can do from the comfort of your own apartment. However, because they are solitary they often increase the isolated feeling you may get from living alone. Take your writing to the library or to the park. Take your book to a cafÃ?© or quiet spot. The more time you spend pent up in your apartment alone, the more likely you are to feel holed up and solitary. Sometimes, just leaving the apartment helps you feel less alone, even if you have no more social interaction than a quick thank you to a cashier. It’s important to get out, even if it is alone. Getting up and doing something will help you feel productive. Just by getting out of the same four walls you are changing stimulation, which can be exciting even if you don’t meet anyone new.

If you do have a social network nearby, make sure to maintain a social schedule. If you have friends in the area, try to set up weekly get-togethers. Don’t leave social outings to chance, plan ahead. If you have a particularly open spot on your calendar, contact friends and family to plan activities together. If you are somewhat shy or don’t like making plans, it’s very easy to sit around and wait for other people to call you, but don’t let that happen. It’s so much easier to take the reins with the friends you have rather than try to make new ones. Even if you enjoy your solitude, it’s important to maintain physical contact with people (not just email or phone calls). Even the most reclusive people need to have real life contact once in a while.

If you’ve moved to a new town and don’t really know anyone, take the opportunity to learn. Join clubs or groups. The YMCA often offers classes in a variety of subject as well as exercise classes. Local school districts or community colleges will also have classes or activities to enjoy. Community centers or libraries will often have fliers for classes, lectures or other gatherings that you may be of interest. Since you’re taking a voluntary class or voluntarily attending a lecture, chances are you will meet people with similar interests. Try to be cheerful and approachable and make sure you really enjoy the subject (in other words, you’re not just going to meet people). You aren’t guaranteed to make friends, but you will enjoy learning something new and at least having some contact with a variety of people.

Volunteer. Keeping busy is important to battle boredom, but loneliness can still pervade busyness. By volunteering for an organization or cause you feel strongly about, you are using your time in a way that will make you feel good. Again, you may not meet friends, but by doing something valuable with your time you feel better about yourself and are less likely to feel lonely when working toward something important. It is a lot harder to feel sorry for yourself and lonely when you are helping an important ideal.

At the end of the day, take time to realize and enjoy certain things you will only be able to do while you live alone. Decorate in an outrageous style; sing at the top of your lungs. Remember, in the future if you live with someone else you lose some of the freedom to make all of your own choices. Try to enjoy that freedom of choice while it’s possible.

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