Living alone can be difficult and can in the long-run affect the mental health of some people because it can cause issues like anxiety and mental strain on them if not properly handled. You need to stay active while living alone to avoid anxiety issues because staying active helps to keep the brain active too. Some people require company or assistance to stay active and that is not a problem, however creating a balance between being able to live with people and also alone is important.
People never imagined that living alone and not being able to visit friends or have friends visit could be a challenging situation until the covid pandemic/lockdown which affected the world in 2020. A blow which most people and countries are yet to recover from. Physically, people responded to the situation differently because while some people gained weight unconsciously, others lost tons of weight due to difficulty adjusting to the new routine that involved living alone and in some cases not having activities to engage in. Mentally, some people went into depression and had to seek serious professional help. Till date, some people still undergo therapy to get past the trauma because they got forced into living alone and did not know how to handle being alone or know what to do alone leaving them in serious shock.
Mastering the art of being able to live and cope alone while remaining active can be a struggle, one that requires patience and commitment. The trick to maintaining sanity while living alone or as an introvert is to be active. When living alone, you need to make conscious effort to be active by engaging in activities that not only keep you busy but also provide a sense of fulfilment and excitement. People mistake being an introvert to not having an active life. This is because people think that to have an active life, one has to be outside or surrounded by people. But the truth is that an active life can be built around the comfort of your home, whether you are living with people or alone and I’ll tell you five activities that helped me deal with anxiety the first time I had to live alone.
Combining the activities of Meditation and Yoga
Yoga is an act of stretching the muscles to relieve stress, tension and promote blood flow. Meditation while stretching the muscles reduces tension, helps with free flow of ideas while easing the mind of tension caused by worrying. Yoga provides instant relief from anxiety and this instant relief with consistency builds up into a near permanent relief point where you find yourself finding solutions to your pressing problems and issues in the most relaxed way rather than in panic or fear. Fear of the unknown and regret from past actions are one of the major causes of anxiety. Learning to meditate and calmly visualize those aspects can help reduce the strain of worrying because uncertainty and a troubled mind builds anxiety.
Exploring with Interior decoration
If you want a space that promotes peace, creativity and positivity then you have to create one for yourself. In creating a personal space tailored to fit your interest and personality, you get to discover yourself more while staying active thereby keeping anxiety away. Take it or leave it, but a disoriented space or a space that does not complement your personality will drain you of your passion, happiness and leave you bored, sad and deep in anxiety. One of the activities that can help in dealing with anxiety is, exploring with interior decoration. This could include engaging in DIY activities, turning old to gold, painting and revamping a worn out item. Recycling used pieces by turning them into statement pieces that show your interests. Fixing up every corner in your space to reflect your personality and the ideas that make you happy and energized while help to reduce anxiety issues.
Engaging in active process of gardening
Gardening helps to occupy the mind. Gardening helps to engage the mind thereby keeping worry and anxiety away. In early 2020, I got my first set of plants. Prior to that, I had no knowledge about plants, their individual care and needs and it was during the lockdown that I learnt all I know about planting today. The activities of nurturing, watching them grow and blossom helped deal with my anxiety issues. My first set of plants and vegetables did not survive due to overwatering and excessive urge to be active with the plants. When I noticed how one by one the plants withered, I dived into making researches and learning how to deal with plants because I was determined to make sure the plants blossomed and flourished. It was while engaging in this activity that I checked the calendar one day and realized that months had gone by, months of being in solace and living on my own yet so calm and peaceful since the activity helped me mentally such that I was too occupied with giving live to more plants that I had no room for anxiety.
Experimenting with healthy recipes
Our bodies give back whatever we take into it, there is almost no way around it . We get what we give with our body. Filling our bodies with junk and unhealthy food/drinks will most certainly turn back to affect our health with signs that include anxiety disorders. You know how the popular saying goes? The one that reminds us that we are what we eat? This is one of the realest saying as it has proven over time to be accurate. Too apt.
Living alone is a great avenue to keep track of what you eat and drink because unlike when living with others, your kitchen contains only what you bring into it. One way to make the most out of living alone is by trying out new and healthy recipes from time to time with applications like Pinterest and YouTube to help. This is fun and educative. Experimenting with healthy recipes is a win-win situation since it would both help against anxiety issues and at the same time nourish your body.
Practicing conscious journaling
Journaling is not over-rated as some people like to believe. Journaling helps to relieve stress and anxiety. Journaling is a safe act of unwinding. Journaling helps to keep track of growth progress as well as shortcomings. Journaling helps to identify the cause of anxiety early. The best way to deal with anxiety is to identify the cause and journaling helps in identification. Journaling is a natural stress reliever, which might sound absurd but is in fact true. Writing down feelings, goals and expectations helps to reduce the stress that comes with worrying and being overly anxious about them. I put up a poll on my page some days ago with the question “How often do you journal” When the final results came in, I observed that only about 5% of the people who voted had their votes in favor of active journaling. Journaling is a safe way of letting out deep feelings and emotions and i highly recommend it, not only to people living alone but to everyone, young and old inclusive.
In conclusion, living alone can be a struggle especially as a first timer. The trick is to stay active and keep in touch with family, friends and loved ones. Also, note that not everyone can cope with living alone mentally which is totally fine and nothing to be ashamed of. Not being able to stay alone does not mean you cannot handle independence. If you are looking to take the bold step, stay active with one or all activities mentioned above as a coping mechanism.
Feel free to share other activities that helped you cope to help others too and ask questions below too