Will I Be OK Living Alone?

How to hack — and thrive in — solo living.

Melissa Anne Graf
6 min readOct 14, 2021
Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

Just like sharing your space with roommates, family or a partner, living alone has its challenges. But keeping a living space all to yourself may be just the push you need to grow your self-confidence.

More time alone can translate to new hobbies, greater creativity and a feeling of being better connected to who you are.

Whether it’s your first time striking out on your own or solo living is your norm, it can be helpful to know how to reduce discomfort and capitalize on the pros of having your own place. Let’s take a look at some straightforward tips on how to be OK living alone.

Be encouraged by solo role models.

You’re not alone when it comes to living alone. Literally millions of people live on their own in North America, and you can probably learn a little something from them.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about living on your own, try reading about the experiences of healthy, vibrant people who live alone. I’ve personally found watching apartment tour videos by solo dwellers can be really uplifting, as are (some) of CNBC’s Make It interviews.

Seeing other people thrive in places of their own can help you reframe your thoughts. Instead of focusing on the life you don’t have, you’ll be able to appreciate the good things that come along with having your own space.

Key takeaway: Confident, healthy people can enjoy living alone, and you can be one of them.

Soothe yourself with sound.

I always have something playing in the background — a movie, a YouTube channel, a podcast. It creates a lively, coffee-shop sort of atmosphere in the comfort of my own home.

You don’t need to pay attention to what’s playing, either. Background chatter can be soothing, which is reason enough to rely on this tip.

If you’d prefer music to podcast dialogue, create a few custom playlists for yourself on an app like Spotify. I like making playlists according to the mood I want to feel. Create a playlist for the purgatory which is waiting for your coffee to steep in the morning or a collection of beats that pump you up when you’re feeling tired.

Key takeaway: Background music. A podcast. A movie. Turn it on and leave it on to boost your morale.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

Manage loneliness.

Scheduling in time with others is the #1 life hack I’ve picked up since I started spending more time at home alone. Try setting up a standing phone call with a friend or family member. Catch up over a drink with someone every Wednesday. Commit to and set aside time for going to that house party, brunch or the yoga class you’ve been invited to.

If you find yourself feeling lonelier at certain times of the day (it’s after dinner for me), prioritize doing something fun at that time. I like watching the latest Youtube videos from travel bloggers and messaging with friends throughout my evening to keep my spirits lifted.

Exploring where your loneliness is coming from can also help curb sadness. Grab a notebook, write down how you’re feeling and think about where you want to be headed next.

Key takeaway: Loneliness is unavoidable and you can handle it.

Take yourself on adventures.

Part of living well alone means you routinely spend time away from your pad exploring the outside world. What adventure means to you could look very different depending on your schedule and personality.

Is your idea of adventure a weekend hike with your dog? A trip to a city you’ve never been to? A day at the art gallery?

When time or money are limited, small excursions still have the power to boost your morale. On workdays, you might only have time to go for a mini adventure, but you should still go. A dance class after work, grocery shopping for that recipe you’ve been meaning to try or even just a walk around your block can all be fulfilling adventures.

Key takeaway: Plan both big and small ways to get out on your own.

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Keep your contacts on hand.

Part of living alone is taking responsibility for your household running smoothly. You can stay on top of this by creating a list of phone numbers that will come in handy if something goes awry.

Include contacts like your building manager, the hydro company, mom & dad, the nearest neighbour, etc. The fridge door is my go-to place to stick my list of phone numbers for easy access, but a desk drawer will do too.

Key takeaway: Knowing who to contact when you need help can reduce anxiety.

Plan for safety.

It can be a bit unnerving to live alone, especially if you’re worried about safety. Regularly checking in with friends and family is a great start, but you can give yourself peace of mind by planning ahead:

-Keep a fire extinguisher within reach.

-Have a flashlight with matching batteries on hand.

-Consider installing a security system or door alarm.

-Build up an emergency kit with water, non-perishables and first aid supplies.

-Learn how to secure your windows with a lock or piece of wood cut-to-size.

-Install an additional lock on your door, one that can only be locked from inside your home.

Key takeaway: You can take responsibility for your own safety with a bit of planning.

Photo by Elina Sazonova from Pexels

Fill your space with stuff you love.

Decorating your space with things that bring you joy will make spending time at home a treat. Plus, the freedom to design your space the way you want is a major perk of solo living.

If you feel at a loss for where to start on your home decor journey, try plants. Even just one. Even fake plants (no judgement here.) Bursts of green foliage are an easy, affordable way to bring life to your space.

Quickly spruce up your home by choosing essentials like towels or kitchen supplies in funky colours. If your budget doesn’t allow for framed art, posters are a fabulous stand in. These inspo boards on Pinterest will kickstart your creativity.

Key takeaway: It doesn’t have to be fancy, but what you surround yourself with matters.

In conclusion

Like any other lifestyle, living alone has its ups and downs. Loneliness is a normal experience for everyone — even people living with flatmates or family.

Embrace the positives of solo living by learning from other home-aloners and stay connected to the people you care about. To summarize:

Look to healthy solo role models for encouragement.

Use sound to enhance your space.

Stay on top of loneliness by reaching out.

Plan solo adventures.

Maintain easy access to your emergency contacts.

Stock up your place with safety related items.

Decorate with things that you enjoy.