Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

Arts & Literature

The Art of Living Alone

Guest Blogger: Jane Swenson Pride and Prejudice

Depending on your personality, the prospect of living alone can either be exciting or dreadful. You may be ready to bask in the freedom of eating, sleeping, and dressing however you would like — in perfect and complete silence; or you may be on the brink of tears thinking about the lack of social interaction living alone will inevitably mean. Whatever your situation, here are a few tips to successfully, safely, and happily live on your own.

Get Involved

While the first few months of solitude may be pure peace and quiet — just what you had hoped for — there will come a time when going home to be alone for the next 12 hours will be daunting. This is the time to get involved. Go to neighborhood get-togethers; plan block parties; join a local group, gym, or community organization; volunteer or take a class. Look in the newspaper, online, or in community newsletters for these opportunities, and when they arise — take them.

Tip: is a nationwide network that offers a variety of clubs, such as film, literature, art, collecting, and karate. In your spare time, learn a skill or pick up a new hobby while interacting with others.

Think about Your Safety

As a single dweller, consider your personal and home safety. Determine ways you can increase your security, such as installing deadbolts in doors, locking windows, using motion-detector lights, and practicing safe behavior. Some security companies, such as LifeShield, offer wireless alarm systems that alert users of fire, flood, and burglary. This can bring peace of mind and offer added protection.

Tip: Even if you don’t have a pet, post a “Beware of Dog” sign on your fence or in your window.

Enjoy the Perks

Living alone means if you clean before you go to work, when you return, everything will be just as you left it. It also means if you prefer to live a little messy, there’ll be no one there to annoy you about it! Enjoy the perks of living on your own, such as decorating how you would like, eating what and when you would like, and not worrying about anyone else’s preferences.

Tip: Chances are you grew up with siblings, shared a dorm in college, and will eventually have a family to share a home with. Now is a special time in your life — relish in the seclusion.

Adopt a Pet

A dog, cat, rabbit, or gerbil can be a loving companion that makes living on your own even better. He or she can help you feel loved, needed, and appreciated, which can contribute to your overall happiness. Some pets offer protection, which is important when you live alone.

Tip: Did you know rabbits can be house trained? Adopt a furry friend and get started.

Schedule Routine Phone Calls

Whether with your parents, girlfriend, or an old roommate from college, schedule routine phone calls with loved ones. It could be once a week or once a month, but it will at least guarantee that you’ll be staying in touch with family and friends. Not only will you strengthen your relationships, but you’ll have a check-in buddy that can serve as a safety precaution, as well.

Tip: Establish guidelines with your check-in buddy, such as a period of time he or she should wait before calling for help if he hasn’t heard from you.

About the Author

Jane Swenson is an artist and freelance writer who lives in Austin, Texas.

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Recovering The Self is a forum for people to tell their stories. Individual contributors accept complete responsibility for the veracity, accuracy, and non-infringement of their reporting.
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