It can be scary to be on your own sometimes. However, this guide will help put your mind at ease with these great tips on living alone.
Living alone in an apartment, condo, or home definitely has its perks. You are free to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Dance naked, eat like a savage, sing till your neighbors have to complain, the choice is yours. You don’t have annoying roommates to put up with and don’t have to worry about cleaning someone else’s mess or sharing the remote control. However, for a lot of people, living alone can seem intimidating. Truth is, it’s not. You just need some tools, mental and physical, to get you on your way to feeling secure in your own space.
Living in New York City, I can relate to the uncomfortable feeling of loneliness and sudden apprehension while walking streets filled with people who don’t really see you. Everyone is on their own, and that goes for any city. I had to toughen up fast if I wanted to continue living independently. Truth is, getting tough doesn’t mean becoming mean or buying a gun for safety; it merely means being smart.
When moving to a place on your own, you should feel happy and excited about this new chapter in your life. The taste of total independence is delicious but comes at a price if you’re not ready for it. The first few nights could feel especially scary if you think every noise you hear is a burglar or serial killer coming for you. But I promise you are safe.
You should never be afraid of what your anxieties may try to convince you of, but being aware and always being one step ahead will help you sleep peacefully at night. Do not seek solace in the fears you live in. They will ruin what could have been a unique and eye-opening experience.
Being on your own teaches you parts of yourself that you probably have never met before. You learn about responsibility and carrying your own.
Independence is a quality you don’t really see nowadays. People more than ever have become heavily dependent on other people or things to feel secure. But imagine if you never feel the need to depend on anyone again. Imagine if you can feel safe at night all by yourself. Now, stop imagining and start doing!
First things first, make sure that your apartment/home is checked before you move in: Make sure the locks work correctly, no one has an extra set of keys to your place, the bolts on the door are not loose, and the windows are secured. If you find anything that seems out of place or not securely screwed, make sure to tell your landlord or building manager to have it fixed or replaced. They are also working in your best interest for your safety.
Keep Your Doorman Close
If you have a doorman, become friends with him. This is probably one of the most important tips if you live in an apartment. Your doormen/women are the gatekeepers of your home & the ones to take care of you if something is amiss. If you treat them with respect and kindness, they will have your back undoubtedly, helping you feel protected from the outside. I always try my hardest to stay close to my doormats for this reason. They know who my friends and family are. They know what I order online. They observe what times you are in and out of your home. So always keep in mind the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the people in your building.
Keep Your Neighbors Close
If you don’t have a doorman, I would suggest knocking on your neighbor’s door and meeting them. If you feel comfortable enough, explain to them your situation and exchange phone numbers. That is if and only if you feel safe with them. It’s always nice to have friends that live in the building that you can call on for anything. Whether it’s milk or a small fire, they will be there in literally an instant if you need them. I tend to see the good in people. I don’t know if it’s a curse or a blessing, but if it were up to me, I would try to make as many close friends in my building as possible. You don’t need to trust them or become BFF’s; you just want to have the level of comfort and communication, showing that you have each other’s backs.
Set Up Security
Thanks to our ever-expanding digital world, there is a security device that works for everyone. If you want to install a doorbell, do that. There are doorbells with cameras that are connected via Bluetooth to your smartphones. You can speak to them directly through the camera instead of opening your door. I have a device like this back at home, and it helps me feel much more at ease than how I did when I lived without it. Some devices warn you of any motion outside your home; just make sure it’s not your local cat cause that’ll happen.
Have a Plan
Having an exit strategy in case of emergency is critical in keeping that little anxious brain of yours from thinking about the what if’s. You should:
- Know where the emergency stairs are.
- Know who you can call.
- See where you can hide.
- Keep some type of defensive item nearby.
- See where the nearest fire extinguisher and escape are.
- Keep your wits about you.
Do Not Overshare
Do not share with too many people where you live. By oversharing, you are allowing those people to not only possibly invade your home but also your mental state. Keep those conversations to people you fully trust.
Do Not Tell Others You Live Alone
This should be an obvious one, but please do not share with people who are not in your circle that you live alone. In fact, a little white lie about your living situation could possibly save you from danger.
Keep Your Keys Safe
Keep your keys with you at all times. Always look and feel confident when you’re unlocking the door. Fumbling and insecurity make you look vulnerable to others. If you have a set of spare keys and decide you want to give them to someone else, make sure you trust that person with your life. Seriously, don’t give your spares to just anyone.
Do not allow workers inside while you’re not home.
I have been guilty of doing this, and I don’t know why I ever allowed that. Never again will I make the mistake of allowing strangers inside my home just because they are supposed to do a job. Also, seeing the good in people could be a curse. When it comes to your home, always make sure you know who is coming in and out, and do not let random people or workers into your apartment if you are not there.
Keep Your Door Locked
At all times, whether you have guests over or not, keep your place locked. If others see that you are strict with who can come in or out, no one will even bother your home. So many people keep their places unlocked. Unfortunately, these are not the olden days where we were all friends. There are bad people out there doing wild things for no reason, so keep your door locked at all times to prevent that crazy person from invading your home.
Let People Know When You are Home
If you ever feel nervous or anxious, trusted family and friends are just one phone call or FaceTime away. I allow most of my friends and family to track me. I even text them when I am leaving, and when I am heading back home. It’s always better to be safe and allow the people you love and trust to watch over you.
Don’t Pull a Kim K
Kim Kardashian, queen of social media, posted a photo on Instagram of expensive jewelry pieces in her apartment in France. Unfortunately, robbers broke into her flat, stole all her jewelry, and even threatened her life. The moral of the story, think twice before you post something that might stir someone to break into your beautiful home.
Shut the Drapes
If you have large windows easily visible, close the curtains if you feel a little nervous about anyone looking into your room. It’ll also prevent people from knowing what goes on inside.
Keep it Busy
I recently learned that burglars are less likely to break in if your home is continuously busy. They will know not to mess with your place if it seems like a mission and a half. Seems like burglars are lazy. We see you.
Furry Friends Protect
If you’re still feeling lonely, anxious, or scared after taking every precaution possible, maybe it’s time to consider looking for your lifetime buddy. Dogs love to protect their owners; it’s their sense of duty. I have a fantastic wiener dog who barks, but with a purpose. I don’t ever feel nervous while I am home alone because I have my hound dog on alert for me. If he’s not barking, there’s not one thing to concern about. And if he does, it’s just the neighbors! Either way, it feels great knowing I have my own personal security guard at all hours. The same doesn’t really apply to cats, but they also make the best companions and will love and take good care of you.