wellness

"The 3 ways I've embraced living alone."

Optus Sidekick
Thanks to our brand partner, Optus Sidekick

Since I was 15 years old, I had always dreamed of living in my own apartment in the city.  

I was lucky enough to make that dream come true a year ago when I moved out on my own for the first time. Although I was extremely excited to finally have a place of my own, I couldn’t help but also feel a little nervous towards the idea of being by myself as a single 24-year-old woman. 

I won't lie: even now, one year later, I still worry about loneliness and my overall well-being from time to time. 

Before Sydney went into lockdown this year, I went back to my parents house so I wouldn’t have to go through isolation alone. Since being here, I’ve been able to really appreciate my little city apartment and how much I miss her (yes she’s a woman). Being away from my apartment has also helped me realise how much I’ve grown and developed mentally this past year, allowing me to have a whole new appreciation for my tiny abode. 

Here are the 3 ways I've embraced living alone the most.

Cooking.

I used to tell everyone that I couldn’t cook. Thinking that I could live out the rest of my life on takeaway food, I soon realised that this was a huge drain on my mental and physical (also financial) health. I had to at least try! After a few basic pasta dishes and some burnt roasts, I finally mastered the art of average cooking for one. 

Since living alone, I cook around 2 big meals a week and it has become such a highlight of mine. The whole process really: from the start of buying groceries on my walk home from work, to sitting at my own dining table with some candles lit and a jazz playlist (yes I said jazz) to actually enjoy it in my own company. 

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Cooking has really helped me embrace the living alone lifestyle and I highly recommend it.

Daily walks.

I can’t live in the city and not go for a walk every day. It’s impossible. I’m very lucky that within 10 minutes from my home, I have extremely scenic walking areas ranging from city landscapes, waterfronts and beautiful gardens. 

I always try to get in a good 5km walk before work, but sometimes life gets in the way, and by life, I mean sleeping in for an extra hour. If so, I make sure to take a little stroll in the evening. 

When I first moved in, I was originally a bit nervous walking alone when it was growing darker outside, mainly because I wasn’t familiar with the area as yet. I just always made sure I messaged someone, usually a close friend or my dad letting them know I was out walking for 30 minutes. It not only made me feel better but I knew it made them feel comfortable knowing my whereabouts as well. 

I'm an Optus user, so I'll actually be really keen to use their new Optus Sidekick feature on my early morning or evening walks. It's a complimentary feature of the My Optus app, and I just have to add three trusted people from my contacts list and set a timer on how long I'll be doing my activity, like my evening stroll. If my countdown finishes before I'm back from my walk, the contacts I’ve picked will then receive a text from Optus asking them to check in on me.

It’s just such an easy way to give myself reassurance and the ability to stay present in the things I love doing solo, and I can make the most of the alone time without worrying.

Image: Supplied.

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Dating.

Confession: I love going on dates. I love meeting new people, I love dressing up for the night and I love engaging in long (hopefully interesting) conversations. Being able to go on dates helped me so much in embracing the home-alone lifestyle. 

Image: Supplied.

I take my time getting ready, dancing around the apartment to music, trying on different outfits, pouring myself another (responsible) glass of wine and having my clothes thrown everywhere. I definitely know that if I was living with someone else, they would not approve of this madness. But I love it. 

I know Optus Sidekick will be quite handy on my dates as well, when I can get back to dating in person after lockdown. That will definitely help bring me peace of mind knowing that someone will check in on me after a certain period of time. A quick prompted check-in will help me, and my parents, feel more relaxed so I enjoy the date to its full extent. 

Living alone can be a bit daunting at first. Of course you will always have little feelings of loneliness creep in every now and then. However, finding the little pockets of happiness in my day-to-day life really helped me embrace living alone. Also making sure you stay connected to your people from time to time, makes every day feel so much smoother. I bet you’ll feel more confident doing the things you’ve always wanted to do. 

Optus Sidekick has got your back. Ask family or friends to check in with you when you’re hiking, socialising, home alone, or on a late-night stroll. Find the feature on the My Optus app.

Feature Image: Supplied/Instagram @emilyvernem

Optus Sidekick
We've got your back with Optus Sidekick! Ask family or friends to check in with you when you’re hiking, socialising, home alone, or on a late-night stroll.