Alright, this sounds a little silly, and no one should need a how-to guide to simply sitting at home alone, waiting for their housemates to get back, right? Wrong. The last time I was home alone my housemate came back to find me stood directly in front of the TV after literally just walking around my flat for hours, doing nothing. It was 10pm and I hadn’t even managed to make my dinner yet because I’d been aimlessly circling my flat. Why? Maybe it’s because I’m actually super needy, maybe it’s the hyperactivity-inducing spare time with no one to vent my deepest, most ridiculous thoughts to… who knows? Either way, here’s how to make better use of your empty flat/house when you’re needy af.
So, this depends on how productive you need to be/how much stuff you have to do that day. Say you’re blessed with one of those rare free evenings and you’re finding yourself at a loose end. This is the kind of time I end up building towers out of playing cards and practicing my Charades acting skills (yes, really) while my flat mates do normal people things like meet friends for dinner or go to work.
I mean, you could fill the time with a part time job but chances are you’re too busy living in your overdraft and online shopping with that money your parents sent you for text books to actually seek employment. So where does that leave you? Put down the playing cards, leave your Charades ideas alone and try to channel your time into something slightly more productive. If you’re a blogger you could always turn your bedroom into a photography studio and create a stash of blogging pictures and flat lays for future posts.
For the non-bloggers, maybe try looking out for some new podcasts. Podcasts always feel slightly more productive than being 30 episodes deep into Netflix because you often get to learn something new or hear perspectives on things you’d never really thought about before. It’s kind of the same with Youtubers, just try and steer away from the Logan Pauls of the world and maybe watch some wholesome af Carrie Hope Fletcher videos or, if you’re feeling super trashy, Willam’s Beatdowns. Before you know it you’ve spent 3 hours learning about different perspectives on the world, and maybe even discovering different aspects of life and culture you’d never have known about before. (Unless you’re watching Willam, in which case you’ll just get a load of belly laughs, but there’s nothing wrong with some occasionally risque but always hilarious giggles from a Drag Queen) It’s also almost like replacing your flat mates with long distance friends who don’t really know you but keep talking to you- neediness resolved. *Crazy eyes*.
Podcasts and Youtube are all well and good when you’ve genuinely got nothing to do, but what about those of us who are using our time alone to put off stuff we really should be doing. I mean the Procrastinators. I like to think of myself as Procrastination Royalty. 2 essays, blog editing and job applications? Oh, I’ll just clean the bathroom first. Who actually chooses bathroom cleaning over working towards their degree and future career? This girl.
I have, however, found a way around this recently. Warning: it’s harsh but effective. When I have stuff to do but I’m home alone, instead of sitting in my dressing gown, stacking Kinder Buenos into towers before circling my flat, I get dressed and force myself into the uni library. I know it’s grim but it really works. If you’re not a uni student but have some blogging to catch up on or some editing to do, take yourself to a coffee shop and get out your laptop. If you’re the kind of person who’ll just sit and surf the internet for hours, try the system my uni tutor told me. Do 25 minutes of work, take a 5 minute break to procrastinate. Repeat. The rule is to always stop at 25 minutes and take no more, no less, than a 5 minute break. It’s surprising how much you can get done if you just focus for even a small amount of time, with the promise of a break to mess around after.
Worst comes to worst, there’s always giving your family a quick phone call. At the end of the day, your mum will probably appreciate you checking in and nothing fills the loneliness of an empty flat quite like hearing a familiar voice.
Oh, and of course, there’s always starting a blog.