The Art of Living Alone: Extending Your Lifespan If You Live by Yourself

Updated on May 31, 2017
Allie Brito profile image

I'm a grad student at Michigan State University, studying rehabilitation counseling. My goal is to help care for our aging population.

Even if you enjoy living alone, studies have shown this can have a negative impact on your health and wellness.
Even if you enjoy living alone, studies have shown this can have a negative impact on your health and wellness. | Source

It’s morning. You get out of bed, and the solace of the house is there to greet you. You do your morning shuffle down the hall to the kitchen, where you cook a breakfast of scrambled eggs, coffee, and toast for one. You think of the whole day to yourself: no plans, no one coming over today, maybe not tomorrow, either. Do you embrace the solitude, or do you dread the lonely days without other people?

For introverts like me, the art of living alone was easy to master. My batteries get charged up by being alone with my hobbies and passions around me, along with the stillness of nature. But even for people who like being alone, and especially for extroverts, who need to be around people to have their batteries “charged up,” being alone all the time can be dreadful.

According to the Washington Post, studies also show that people who live alone have shorter lifespans than those who don’t. Even if you like living alone, there are ways to extend your life without having to move in with other people. Here are some ways to embrace living alone—for people who need to be with others more frequently, as well as for people who enjoy being with others on a more occasional basis.

Embrace The Solitude

1) Make Plans with Friends and Family

This can be every day, this can be once a week, or once a month. But even for Introverts, all people are social animals and need some human connection form time to time. If friends and family live far away, learn how to use Skype to connect with them, or schedule an out-of-town brunch monthly if possible. Years from now, you won't remember all the little things that kept you busy, but you will remember those moments spent with people you love.

Source

2) Get Outside

If you’re mobile and can walk around, take a walk outside around your neighborhood. Chances are, you will get to meet your neighbors and perhaps even make friends. It’s good exercise the fresh air and vitamin D is great for your health! If you have a porch and have limited mobility, sit outside and people watch. You can even do this with an open window. Seeing other people helps make us all feel a little less alone.

3) Get a Pet

Having a furry companion takes a lot of time and energy, but it is well worth it! Not only does a cat, a dog, a rabbit, or any furry, feathery, or scaly friend give you a routine and a sense of responsibility and purpose, but can also add happiness, and in dogs, has been proven to extend lifespans by lowering blood pressure and the risk of a heart attack. When I moved to California from Michigan, getting a cat to keep me company during nights alone saved me a lot of lonely nights.

4) Get/Embrace a Hobby

You may have picked up a hobby in your younger years. You may just be starting, or revisiting an old hobby you dropped a long time ago because of work. Hobbies are great ways to discover or rediscover what you liked to do; and they are ways to meet other people through connecting. It is never too late to learn something new or express your creativity in a new way! My suggestion is start small- try an adult coloring book or a puzzle.

5) Get Active in the Community or Online If You Can

Is there a local museum or art gallery where you can give some of your time? The possibilities are endless: if you are passionate about a hobby, call your local craft or hobby store and see if you can join or run a session. Start a book club if you like to read. Look up local societies you can join or causes you can help with that you care about! If you are unable to get out much and have access to a computer or the internet, join an online community about a passion of yours and meet other people from around the world who share your interests (just remember to be safe online)!

6) Prepare for the Holidays if They are Tough

If you live alone and holidays are hard, due to a relative not being there or spending a lot of them by yourself, the best thing to do is prepare as much as you can for the time ahead. Contact your local house of worship that best fits your faith (if you identify with one), or a community organization and see if a family can host you for a holiday. Sponsor a “Friendsgiving” if you can where your local friends who are also without relatives or family can gather and have a good time. Send holiday cards with personal messages to let the ones you love know you're thinking about them.

7) Keep a Journal

Finally, if none, some, or all of the above work out for you, a great thing to do is keep a journal. Write down your experiences, thoughts, and memories and get them on paper. A journal can be a great way to boost memory and to get your feelings out. I use a journal and it is a wonderful way to reflect on the past; I enjoy reflecting on where I used to be, how far I have come since, or reliving a past memory that made me happy!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Hi Allie, thanks for the very good suggestions. I do not and may never have a pet but count me in on all the others especially embracing the solitude. My last article encourages mothers to tell their single daughters about embracing solitude instead of being miserable in loneliness.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, remedygrove.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://remedygrove.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)