Positive Approaches when Living Alone

American households have shifted from a nuclear family of four to solo adults.

Today, 35.7 million Americans live alone, 28% of households. That is up from 13% of households in 1960 and 23% in 1980, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Delayed or forgone marriage, longer life expectancy, urbanization and wealth have contributed, demographers say.

If it’s your first time to live alone or you’re a pro at it, here are a few strategies I use as a guide for living well.

Tips for getting along well when solo living:

  1. Have faith and trust that all will be okay. I know hundreds of people who live alone. In my Facebook group there are close to 10K members. What does that tell you? Yes, indeed, there are many of us. We face challenges no doubt but one thing I can say about solo adults… we are very resourceful and learned to manage well on our own.
  2. Have a morning routine that gets you up and going. It could be making coffee, reading the paper online, or starting the day with exercise. I enjoy stretching and doing a few yoga poses. You only need a couple of things to give your morning structure. Walk with a friend or neighbor or run an errand together.
  3. Make time for you — take good care of yourself. I’ve been on my own for close to 20 years! If I get sick and can’t go out for food or medicine… I’m up a creek. The worry of having no one in the house to get me a cup of soup can be stressful. It’s a hard reality to deal with when you live solo, you cannot rely on anyone other than yourself. So, it is essential you are as strong and healthy as you can be. And this is the biggest reason I live in a high rise building. I have close neighbors and we look out for one another.
  4. Make friends with your neighbors. Take charge and start a support group of like minded friends or neighbors who live nearby. Gather and discuss ways you can help each other remain independent and strong.
  5. Eat well. Avoid the easy way out to grab fast foods. Those are not the healthiest. I enjoy cooking, but it can be a hassle doing it for one person. However, I’ve adapted and have found it easier to cook healthy and nutritious meals after twenty years! The top foods to eat are vegetables, greens, seeds, nuts, and low-fat meats. But check with your doctor before changing the diet.
  6. Keep mood in check — staying active, eating nutritiously, connecting with peers, going outdoors for a walk and getting fresh air will benefit your body and mind.

Numbers never tell the whole story, but in this case the statistics are startling.

According to the market research firm Euromonitor International, the number of people living alone globally is skyrocketing, rising from about 153 million in 1996 to 277 million in 2011 — an increase of around 80% in 15 years. In the UK, 34% of households have one person living in them and in the US it’s 28%.

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