For a very brief spell in my life I found myself living alone in a three bedroom terraced house on a quiet side road. I was in my late twenties and had never lived by myself before. For some of us this can be quite daunting, here are a few lessons I learned during that time…
Keep your phone on you. It doesn’t have to be on, just within reach. In my first week living solo I fell down the stairs – incidentally, novelty slippers might look cute but maybe aren’t so practical! I was okay but I had the disturbing realisation that if anything bad had happened I wouldn’t be able to get help. Get yourself a dressing gown to carry your phone around in, or at least pyjamas with pockets.
Give someone nearby a spare key, especially if you have a self locking door. It can be family or a friend, maybe your lucky enough to have a trustworthy neighbour. This wisdom came to me after arriving home, bursting for a wee, and realising I’d left my keys a 2 mile walk away!
Get a pet. Dealers choice, it can be comforting to have another living creature for companionship. Whether you want a lap cat, an enthusiastic dog, or maybe just a goldfish eyeballing you whilst you make dinner. You’ll feel less crazy talking out loud when there’s someone to listen- even if they can’t reply.
Try to arrange a social visit or outing once a week, once per fortnight at the least. For some people depression can be a ninja sneaking up behind you. It’s too easy to accidentally shut yourself off from the outside world. It doesn’t have to be anything more than a quick drink with a friend or a parent stopping by to admonish your housekeeping skills. Like it or not, human contact is good for you.
Make sure you’re eating properly. Yes it’s convenient to grab a piece of toast and call it a day but you know your body needs nourishment. It can feel like too much effort to cook for one, so don’t! Cooking large portions and freezing saves time and money whilst ensuring you are eating proper meals, there are tonnes of sites and recipes out there for all budget and dietary restrictions.
Bonus tips – (England only)
Check you are paying council tax for one, there’s a 25%(?) discount for those who live alone. Notify your local council office if your circumstances have changed. *They should also back date it if you haven’t been receiving the discount.
Are you using a water meter? This one requires a little forward thinking, once you switch to a meter you cannot switch back. When I purchased my house I was paying £50 per month flat rate, this is an estimated usage charge for a 3 bedroom house in my area- assuming a garden to water and an average family of 4 to bathe and wash dishes/clothes for. Since my garden is a patio, I don’t own a dish washer and I don’t plan to have children, I chose to switch to a meter- meaning you pay for the exact amount of water you use. Since then I’ve paid £34 per month- an annual saving of £192! *You can also do this in a rental home with permission from the landlord.
Now just relax and enjoy your own space!