As an introvert, or as a young adult asserting your independence, you might choose to live alone on purpose. Alternatively, you might plan to move in with siblings, cousins, friends, or acquaintances, but the plans fall through for one reason or another.
In any case, you’re currently living alone in the apartment you just moved into, and you might live alone for a year or more. Even the most independent introverts suffer mentally and emotionally when they spend too much time by themselves, so watching for signs of loneliness and isolation is very important. You also need to know what to do when you feel lonely. Below, we’ve outlined some tips to help.
Dangers and Signs of Loneliness-Based Depression
Loneliness can make you depressed, even for the most introverted. If you’re new to a city with no friends and no contact with your loved ones, then your isolation could lead to depression. Some signs of loneliness-based depression include:
- Higher stress levels at work or school
- An exhausted feeling after social interaction, even though you also long for human contact
- Higher blood pressure and tension throughout the body. This constricts the blood vessels and leads to less oxygen and fewer nutrients reaching your cells, which in turn lowers your immune system’s strength
- Weight gain
- Insomnia when you go to bed and exhaustion upon waking
- Decreased memory function and increased difficulty in learning
When these symptoms wear on you over longer periods of time, they could lead to other complications as well. Additionally, should you feel more emotionally unstable, vulnerable, or sad, these feelings can also indicate that isolation has taken its toll. You will need to build social interaction into your regimen to boost your chances of staying mentally healthy.
Ways to Combat Loneliness When You Live Alone
Nobody deserves to feel lonely or isolated. You should do the following if you suspect your alone time has had an adverse effect on you:
Schedule a Time to Call or Skype Your Friends and Family Every Week
You might live thousands of miles and several time zones away from your friends and family, but you should make an attempt to talk face-to-face at least once per week. You have many video chat options to choose from. And if you can, talk to them more often, even if you bounce written messages back and forth.
Get Active When You Wake Up Every Morning
Physical activity is a great combatant to the stress of isolation, especially if you exercise in a public place like a gym. Even if you simply go for a run, you’ll give your mind some respite when you pass other people on the street. Exercise also releases hormones that improve your mood, so you’ll feel happier anyway.
Create a Healthy Diet Plan
You might want to eat all the chocolate you can get your hands on when you feel down. Who wouldn’t? However, sticking to fruits and vegetables is a much better option because they’ll keep your metabolism up and fill your body with health- and mood-boosting nutrients.
Join Clubs, Groups, Churches, or Other Organizations
You can’t see your friends and family every day, so find other ways to regularly see people outside of work or school. Enroll with clubs and study groups if you’re a student. Find an organization to spend time with, and make friends there. Try to participate with a group once a week at least.
You shouldn’t feel down after a move. Your move should signal the start of a new adventure and mark a positive step forward in life. Use the tips above to stay optimistic if you’ll be living alone. And if you are anticipating a move and need some assistance allow Wheaton Worldwide Van Lines to help. Request a free, in-home estimate!