Independent Living Basics: Coping with Anxiety When Living Alone

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More people in the U.S. today are living solo. Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that the country has 35.7 million single-person households in 2018, which represented over a quarter of all households. Back in 1960, the number of individuals living by themselves accounted for just 13 percent of households in the U.S.

Living alone does have its perks. Independent living allows you to relax in the comfort of your space, work from home more easily, and live by the rules you set.

Although living by yourself is what many call as “adulting,” it could be a cause of anxiety. Spending some alone time can be okay once in a while, but this could become anxiety-provoking over time.

The good news is that you could develop actionable strategies for your living situation. Here are five suggestions to help you cope with anxiety while you’re at home by yourself.

Socialize with Your Friends

If you become anxious thinking about being alone in your living space, make evening or weekend plans with your friends. This keeps you occupied and discourages you from entertaining negative thoughts. By the time you get home, you’re exhausted and ready to pass out in bed.

Alternatively, you could invite your friends and throw a party at your place. Planning and organizing an event may give you a sense of mental order.

Reach out for Help

If the anxiety is keeping you up at night, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a professional. You could seek therapy from a trusted online counselor to get the help you need. With this type of counseling, you won’t have to drive miles just to see a therapist. On top of that, the sessions are private, as you’re the only one at home.

Keep Close Contact with Members of Your Family

Maintaining close relationships with your family is an effective way to keep anxiety at bay. If you have a good relationship with your parents or siblings, give them a call regularly to achieve a sense of security. When you’re going through times of uncertainty, they can remind you of the times you’ve triumphed over your worries, fears, and doubts.

Get a Pet


Buying a pet or adopting a rescue animal is an excellent way to ward off loneliness and anxiety. Dogs, cats, and other pets provide therapeutic value, which could ease feelings of depression and social isolation.

If you want a pet, though, you should make sure to provide the animal with a decent living environment. If you work long hours and live in a tiny apartment or condo unit, for instance, consider getting a low-maintenance pet.

Give Your Spare Time to Help Your Neighborhood

A smart way to fill your evenings (and free time) is to help out in your community. You could volunteer as a social worker in a homeless shelter, assisted living facility, or a local soup kitchen. Sharing your time with other people helps maintain your mood. Additionally, you contribute to other people’s happiness when you give back to your community.

Remember these coping strategies the next time you’re sitting on your sofa and feeling anxious. Always remember that tough times don’t last and things will get better eventually.

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