5 Ways to Make the Most of Living Alone
If you’ve stumbled upon this post, it’s probably because you are planning on living alone or are currently living alone and looking for some comfort or advice. In recent months, I’ve been spending a lot of time analyzing my blog traffic, and found that the top-visited post on Bliss This House isn’t about home styling. My musings on my first year living alone have brought the most traffic to my site from Google and other search engines, and it’s not hard to see why.
Living alone for the first time (or in general) stirs up a mix of so many emotions: excitement, energy, creativity, calm… but at the same time, it can breed anxiety, loneliness and confusion. That is okay. It’s normal and expected.
Your time spent living alone in your apartment or home can and should be glorious! It will stretch you and grow you. I stumbled upon a quote today that read, “Growth and comfort do not coexist.” If living alone is putting you out of your comfort zone a little or a lot, good. This is your chance to experience life-changing growth! You are going to get to know yourself better now than ever before, because you are simply going to be so aware of you without the distraction of someone else around.
I thought about some of the ways I have come to love this experience, and the advice I would give someone who is living alone (or thinking about living alone) for the first time, or for the first time in a long time. These may seem very obvious to some, but it’s nice to have an encouraging reminder every once in a while.
1. Create a beloved and familiar routine.
For me, a routine doesn’t have to be something extremely regimented. It can be as simple as my Sunday tradition of walking to grab coffee down the block and picking up fresh flowers at the farmer’s market ($4 a bunch, a total steal for gorgeous dahlias in the summertime)! I always do this activity alone, and it’s nice to get out and about for 15-30 minutes and enjoy “shopping local” in the neighborhood.
For you, this routine might be a nightly jade rolling session and cracking open a good book to read before bed. Or maybe it’s as simple as turning on your tea water first thing in the morning and making yourself a cup to enjoy before leaving for work. Routines don’t have to be impressive (i.e. wake up at 5:00 am, chug celery juice and work out… all before the sun comes up!) to be effective. Honestly, you should just strive to find one or two that are enjoyable to you and commit to practicing them as often as possible.
2. Prepare your home for guests… and ALWAYS OFFER TO HOST!
When you’re lonely, the best way to bring life back into your space is by hosting a little soiree... or just inviting someone over for tea! You don’t need to have a ton of friends to have fun and be the hostess with the mostest. Some of my favorite memories made in my studio apartment have been ones when friends came over for a low-key gathering.
One of the first weekends in my apartment, I had 10 girls over to make homemade acai bowls and watch our church’s livestream in our comfy clothes. My place wasn’t put together the way it is now… I didn’t have a kitchen cart yet and was using the smoothie blender on the floor (lol) but it was that makeshift moment that really stands out in my mind. Everyone pitched in to help make breakfast and do the dishes in my tiny kitchen. It was a morning to remember!
3. Take up a hobby you can master at home.
Your apartment may just be the perfect place to learn a new skill or practice something creative. I have always loved scrapbooking but never had the room to spread out and work on projects when I had roommates. I was always self-conscious that I was hogging the table or the main living space with all my paper goods, stickers and photos. Now, I keep all my supplies in my TV stand/buffet and often find myself sprawled out on the floor of my studio, spending hours working on new pages.
4. LEARN TO ENJOY COOKING!
Having a kitchen to yourself is the best… no one is going to judge you if you don’t do the dishes right away, and you don’t have to compete for fridge space with anyone else. I’ve compiled some great recipes on my Pinterest, but I also enjoy flipping through actual cookbooks and finding inspiration in the pages of gorgeous photographs. Some of my favorite cookbooks include anything by Ina Garten, as well as the Skinnytaste cookbook.
At left: Ambitious Kitchen Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad (I swear… it’s a CPK Thai Crunch Salad dupe!)
5. Define your personal style and invest in your space.
Last but definitely not least… now that you’re on your own, it’s important to make your home feel like it’s yours. You can do this in so many different ways - through displaying personal mementos and treasures collected over the years, by incorporating your favorite colors into your home, adding plant friends, etc. The most important thing is that when you come home, you feel comfortable and inspired in your space.
If you’re looking for a list of things to get you started when outfitting your first solo apartment, it can be kind of overwhelming to sort through the many resources online.
Lucky for you, I’ve created my own Ultimate Apartment Checklist, perfect for planning out everything you need before move-in day and beyond. It’s pretty, too… so you can print it out and bring it with you while shopping.