Being alone can be one of the most heartbreaking, freeing experiences of your life. Whether you’ve just moved out on your own after leaving your parents’ house or are finding your way after separation from a partner, living completely alone is a huge adjustment.
I would know — I moved into a one bedroom apartment right away when I moved out for college. This experience, coupled with moving to a college town from my small hometown was one of the most jarring experiences of my life, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
During this time of being alone, I experienced a ton of ups and downs when it came to my mental health. And I will admit it was hard having no one at home for me when the lows hit.
However, being alone allowed me the time to really hone in and discover who I was. On this journey of self-discovery, I learned how to count on myself and only myself and, in time, turn my frown upside down.
To help you get there faster, here are my tips for boosting your mental health when you’re by yourself:
1. Move Your Body
Movement is so good for your mental health and it’s easier when no one’s around to watch! Put on your favorite jam and have a dance party, go on a walk, clean up around the house, or carve out time to do a full-scale workout. Being alone doesn’t have to be boring!
Whatever method of movement you choose, go for it wholeheartedly, no matter if it makes you feel silly or you’re feeling unmotivated. Once you’re a couple of minutes in, you’ll notice these feelings melt away.
2. Get Some Sun
Sun and fresh air can help clear your head and bring you down to earth when being alone feels overwhelming. Plus, depending on where you go, you might run into other people, which helps to remind you that you’re not truly alone. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house!
3. Visit With Friends or Family
This tip might seem a bit backwards if you’re trying to be fully on your own, but hey, we all need our support system from time to time! Just because you have your own space doesn’t mean you need to be isolated from everyone you love. Even if the meeting is virtual, it’s worth taking the time to check in with loved ones.
You may even find yourself feeling thankful for being alone once you’ve visited with friends and endured the sounds of their baby crying or dog barking in the background.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Time for You
Being alone can lead to some of the best uninterrupted moments of self-care. Take advantage of being alone and milk it for all it’s worth!
For example, when I lived alone, the thing I appreciated the most was the freedom to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, without having to conform to anyone else’s schedule. A fitness class during my traditional dinner time? No problem! An extra hour at the pool before starting chores? I say go for it!
When you have no one else counting on you, it’s super simple to prioritize what you want to do.
5. Know You’re on a Self-Knowledge Journey and Embrace Every Step Along the Way
When you’re feeling down, this is the most important tip to remember. I can say from experience that living alone is truly one of the most unique opportunities you’ll get to learn about yourself — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Embrace this time that you have by yourself, and learn to love the person you are. Then learn all the ways you can honor this love for yourself, even when you start living with others again.
This is only the start of a lifelong relationship with the most important person in your life: YOU! Be sure to save these tips for when you’re feeling down about being alone and remember to love yourself through every season of your life.