Living alone is a big milestone for many people. For some, it’s what happens when you move out of your parents’ home. For others, it’s a signal of “adulthood,” as you leave roommates behind. Or, it’s a necessity when you move into a new city or start a new journey. Whether it’s logical, necessary or a choice that’s forced upon you, living alone can be a daunting adventure to plan for and adjust to.
Or at least it was for me. I had never lived alone until this spring, and it was never something I thought I would enjoy. Turns out, I was wrong! In my first month of living alone, I found out a lot about myself. I got a little braver, and became a more inventive cook.
1. Find an apartment that works for you.
As someone who watches A LOT of crime shows, the idea of living alone had always included a certain amount of fear for me. After all, if I lived alone, who would be there to find my body and help Olivia Benson track down my murderer?
Dramatic? Yes. I know. But it was a real fear for me. That’s why finding a studio on a high floor of a building with a 24-hour doorman was crucial in me feeling safe, getting a good night’s sleep and not having to call the Criminal Minds squad.
Figure out what will make you feel the most comfortable for your first solo apartment and focus on that before you sign a lease.
2. Add personal touches wherever you can.
This seems like a no-brainer, but lofts and studios are smaller, so you need to make the most of every inch. Hang photos where you can. Add colorful extras like plants or small pieces of art. Even touches like memorabilia from a trip or family event can make a difference in making the space your own. Just because it’s small, doesn’t mean it’s not all yours!
3. Make plans (even with yourself!).
There was a day in my second week of living alone where I had worked out in the morning the day before, and then didn’t leave the house for almost 36 straight hours. As I was eating dinner alone (again), I realized that “staying in” is much more fun with a pal. After that, I started making sure I had post-work plans for 3-4 nights a week. Whether that was going to the gym, meeting friends for dinner, or something else, giving myself activities kept me busy but also forced me out of my cozy studio cocoon.
4. Get used to cooking for one.
Let’s be real. Cooking for one sucks. Meal planning can be tricky, leftovers aren’t as sexy when you have to eat them for four days straight, and microwaveable meals lose their luster really quickly. Learning easy recipes like small-batch pasta, lots of fun eggs dishes and simple salads meant I could use a variety of ingredients without having to make the same meal day in and day out.
That being said, if you have the option of doing meal delivery services like Eat Purely, that’s also a good way to go. It makes delicious single-serving meals that are healthy and hearty!
5. Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely.
Though there were times when I felt lonely in the beginning, I had to remind myself that even when I lived with roommates, there were plenty of nights that I spent by myself. Being alone is, of course, more apparent when you, well, live alone. But that doesn’t mean you should feel lonely!
If you ever feel that sense of solitude creeping in, remember that there are so many pros to living on your own! Then, do whatever the heck you want to do! There’s no one to stop you. 😊
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