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How are people living on their own coping?

(105 Posts)
squirrelnutkins Sat 17-Oct-20 10:59:06

Hi. As a retired woman living on my own, I'd be interested to hear how others in the same situation are finding things at the moment.

I had quite an active life pre-covid and am managing to keep myself occupied as best I can but I have bad days when it's really difficult to get motivated. Does anybody else have this problem?

FannyCornforth Sat 17-Oct-20 11:25:26

I don't live on my own (with DH) but my life is incredibly restricted due to several factors.
My motivation is very poor. There was a very lengthy thread all about motivation (that was its title) quite recently.
I'll see if I can find it, but advanced search doesn't work for me.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sat 17-Oct-20 11:35:29

Hello squirrel I'm coping by doing most of the things I usually do, except for getting a bus and going into town (Nottingham) - something I haven't done since the beginning of the year.

I don't have a very active social life but enjoyed a monthly sewing group which hasn't met since February. I've been out for lunch twice since lockdown and have met friends in a group of five just once. Visits to family are very much curtailed. I keep busy with my usual hobbies of reading, sewing and a bit of pottering about the house, for what else can we do? Not much.

I refuse to get depressed about it - I'm glad to be alive and can and do spend my time as I please within the guidelines. I count my blessings - I have the eyesight to pursue my hobbies and the wit to know what needs doing and to get on with things. On a bad day I may slump about for a bit then tell myself to jolly well get on things.

FannyCornforth Sat 17-Oct-20 11:43:46

Brilliant attitude Beige.
I think that it helps if you accept that you are going to have rubbish days, wallow a bit and move on, rather than try to fight it.

squirrelnutkins Sat 17-Oct-20 11:54:43

Yes FannyCornforth - I must remember that it's ok to feel rubbish sometimes. Thanks for reminding me.

Teacheranne Sat 17-Oct-20 11:55:11

I live alone and had enjoyed a very busy social life based around the WI and eating out with other single people. Obviously all that has stopped but I seem to be managing to fill my time with crafting, Zooming and gardening.

I don't worry if I don't do much, I often stay in bed until mid day playing on my iPad or reading then potter around the house for a short time before deciding what to do! I record television programmes to watch in the afternoon while I crochet, do a bit of cooking or cleaning and the time soon passes. I use Zoom to keep in touch with friends and seem to use it at most days with various groups.

My life has slowed down and I can't wait to be able to go out again but living in Greater Manchester, the lockdown has not really lifted! Tier three is heading our way now!

squirrelnutkins Sat 17-Oct-20 12:08:23

I'm with you Teacheranne about not rushing to get up in the morning. I love being able to get a cup of tea and go back to bed and read or catch up with friends on social media etc (maybe a bit of Candy Crush etc). I was working this time last year so still feel that this a novelty for me.

GrandmaMoira Sat 17-Oct-20 12:15:36

Up until now I have not been bothered much by the lockdown. Now we are in Tier 2 it makes me feel that winter will be difficult. In spring/summer I walked in the woods most days and have been gardening, neither of which I can do now. I had got used to a little bit of socialising and travelling again but that has all had to stop again. I don't drive. None of my social groups opened up again or held zoom meetings.
Luckily I have a social bubble of my DS and DGC. I'm good at keeping busy and don't get bored but finding things a bit difficult at present.

Roses Sat 17-Oct-20 12:20:30

I live on my own and have done for over twenty years so I have got used to it now. There are busy days and unmotivated days for everyone I think.
I would stay in bed longer some days but have to get up for the dog,also go out for a walk every day for the same reason.
I think it's very easy to slip into a low state of mind and have to push yourself to do anything

Having restrictions in where you can go and who you can see makes everything so much worse,some days I do not get to speak to anyone but I still try to count my blessings like having a garden, having phone calls from my family,being safe and warm, anything that is positive really.

Lots of my friends who are married also feel unmotivated and a bit low some days, I think everyone is fed up with the situation wether they live alone or not

It's so hard to stay Up but I hope people have more good days than bad

Whiff Sat 17-Oct-20 12:23:41

After the death of my husband heading towards 17 years ago at the age of 47 and me 45. Finding I learnt to cope with that. Has given me the strength to face whatever life throws at me. After being in a couple for 29 years married almost 23. I have had to do a lot of firsts on my own.

This is just another thing to cope with. It's only in the last 5 years I can say I have become more confident and out going. My favourite saying is what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

I moved house last year to live closer to my children. My bubble is with my daughter , son in law and grandson and I am theirs. When I moved I joined a sit fit group, craft group and U3A. All stopped but I can craft at home , exercise and I read.
My garden has been completely over hauled. Which I love. As I was never been a gardener before. The garden at my old house was to big and had to have a gardener.

I have health problems the main one a neurological one which effects my limbs and since moving finally after 32 got a consultant who has given me a tablet to stop my seizures going out if control.

Not being able to just do what I want is hard. But because selfish people didn't follow the rules the numbers are rising again. We are at war it's just an enemy we can't see. If it was people would behave themselves and it's all age groups that are at fault.

All we can do it's keep our minds and bodies active and follow all the safety guidelines. I know they are confusing at times but we all have common sense it's just some people don't use it.

I have bad days. Then I give myself a talking to and get back on track. I have met so many people who are worse off than me . I am not religious but the only phrase I can think of is I count my blessings but not in a religious way.

Life is hard and unfortunately it's only going to get worse over the winter months. But we are human beings we can adapt . If anyone has a bad day think of someone that you are glad off or makes you smile. Or as I do sometimes have a cry and then say right you've had your cry get on with something.

Hear ended my lesson or rant as it should be called. Hope it has helped if not sorry to have wasted your time reading this.

EllanVannin Sat 17-Oct-20 12:33:49

Oh yes it can take a good 12 months to get used to retirement---it did me anyway but being alone doesn't bother me at all because my time is my own and I can pace myself.

I've missed dinners with friends during this " debacle " as it's something I've been used to doing for years, but we'll phone or email each other as one is permanently shielded and we understand fully how unsafe it is for her.

Every day is different somehow and the time goes quickly. I don't worry unduly about lack of motivation as it comes and goes. Just take things in your stride, but always feed yourself well is my motto grin
I think the rest from years of working is very healing and gives your body time to adjust.

I'd hate to be just starting out in this uncertain climate, though saying that, if I'd continued with my nursing dream I'd now be in the thick of it.
It's surprising what you find to do as the weeks go by. Tidying kitchen cupboards in readiness to stock up for Christmas. grin That can take a full day !

Sparklefizz Sat 17-Oct-20 13:59:37

I live on my own and am used to my own company, so perhaps I was already partially adapted.

I went into lockdown on the 11th March because I felt it was time to do that to protect myself as I'm highly at risk. I decided to see it as a project and planned all the friends and family I would phone/Zoom, and all the painting I would do. Back then a 12 week lockdown sounded a very long time, but here I am, months and months later having given up counting the weeks, and I have hardly lifted a paintbrush.

There are days when lack of motivation is the main problem. I'm doing a great deal of reading, I do doorstep book swaps with a friend from my book group, and we discuss books on the phone. I try to have some conversation every day one way or another (but don't allow anyone in the house.)

I can concentrate on reading but just cannot concentrate on painting, which I normally love and have been doing for 20 years with various art clubs.

I miss the Choir I used to sing with, and when one of our songs was played on the radio, I suddenly burst into tears in my kitchen. But when I feel I am going "down" I fall back on things I know will boost my spirits, but sometimes having a cry actually helps.

I couldn't live alone through lockdown without my lovely cat for companionship.

Grandmabatty Sat 17-Oct-20 14:28:47

I've lived on my own for a long time. When I retired two years ago, I had the project of selling my house, downsizing and moving area. I also gutted my new house and garden so that took care of the first year. My dd had a baby and I help with childcare which I couldn't have done if I'd still been working. In lockdown I continued hobbies I had taken up after I retired but at a slower pace. I keep in touch with friends through WhatsApp and messages. I do have 'sofa' days but I don't beat myself up about them. I enjoy them instead of bemoaning my lack of motivation. The pace of my life has slowed right down but I'm fine with that. I try to ensure that I don't go two days without speaking to someone, family, friends or neighbours.

sf101 Sat 17-Oct-20 14:37:45

I have lived on my own for many years and retired last year, I just don't know where the time goes.
All the usual things like gardening, cleaning, little jobs around the house etc keep me busy. I also sew and crochet and a couple of months ago I adopted a retired greyhound. She is such a gentle loving dog and gets me out walking 2 or 3 times a day.
I am just grateful for everything I have and feel very content on my own.

craftyone Sat 17-Oct-20 14:38:05

I don`t know what I would do if I could not get out on my bike several times a week. It nicely fills the time until lunchtime. I am on my own, a widow, in a new build house which does not need much care and attention or cleaning. The garden has been a wonderful factor for me, building a new garden completely from scratch

My plan had been to get out to U3A and the likes, to meet people. That was scuppered. Luckily I am good in my own company, I have plenty of crafting to do, a warm home, food to eat, plenty of books. I count my blessings and am especially glad to be one of those always cheery and optimistic people. We will get through this

squirrelnutkins Sat 17-Oct-20 15:14:27

Thank you all so much for sharing your stories. Really interesting to see how everyone's coping and, on the whole, we seem to be doing ok don't we?

Dorsetcupcake61 Sat 17-Oct-20 15:18:57

We are all so different but its surprising how we adapt. I count my blessings, the future may be uncertain but I have a secure roof over my head and friends and family are safe and well.
I happily occupy myself but like others have found days when I have drifted. I think after many decades of being a single parent/ carer there is still part of me that relishes being selfish.
I tend to go with the flow,but ensure the basics of cleaning and tidying are done. There are other projects left undone but I dont give myself a hard time about them. It does seem common for people to struggle with concentrating or not doing hobbies they normally enjoy. I read somewhere that in times of such uncertainty its perfectly normal. It's not like taking a years sabbatical or 6 months off,its as though on some level you are always on guard. So it's about being aware and being gentle with yourself and others. As is often said it's ok not to be ok. Its recognising bad days for what they are and seeking help if needed.

Dorsetcupcake61 Sat 17-Oct-20 15:26:38

Indeed Squirrel I think we are. In many ways I think we can only focus on the here and now. I think it's a balance of acknowledging the seriousness of the situation but also acknowledging this to shall pass. One thing I did find very helpful was not automatically turning on tv/ radio when get up but instead enjoying the peace and tuning in to surroundings. Elsewhere be called mindfulness, found it very beneficial!

AGAA4 Sat 17-Oct-20 15:36:37

I have lived on my own for many years and am happy. Like most people there are times when I have a low day but mostly I have things to interest me and the time flies by.
I just enjoy the freedom living alone brings. I have no one else to please but myself.
I do miss my family as we are all in lockdown in various parts of the country.

Chewbacca Sat 17-Oct-20 15:46:34

I live alone and I'm fine. I work from home 3 days a week and so those are days of focus and concentration. I'm lucky enough to have DS, DIL and GC very close by and as they're my bubble, nothing much has changed in the regularity of my seeing them; I still do school runs and nursery pick ups etc. The only thing that I do miss, very much indeed, are my theatre, cinema and art gallery visits, plus an art group that hasn't met up since last March. But I still see all my friends, even if at a socially aware distance.

BlueBelle Sat 17-Oct-20 16:15:05

My life has not changed at all I live on my own I go to my voluntary job three days a week I go to my allotment work in my garden meet up with friends for lunch or coffee and meet my daughter and grandkids that live nearby I go on buses to shops or parks
All is the same except my two children and families overseas won’t be visiting me or me them, and I miss very much any decent films or shows to go to, ( I ve been to one show but with so few allowed in the theatre and sitting with masks on it wasnt the pleasant experience it usually is) otherwise all is as normal for my life

Franbern Sat 17-Oct-20 16:43:45

Many Gnetters may be in the extremely fortunate position of getting pensions, (whether private or state), and therefore the one thing we have not had to worry about this surreal year has been income. I know that does not apply to all - but to a large number of us.

Like Craftyone, I had moved at the end of last year, to a totally new area and had a good plan, mainly involving U3A to get to know people, both as groups and individuals. This was, of course, scuppered and although I do have No.2 daughter living nearby with her family, I have really missed these last months human contact. I would love to be able to contact someone local just to have a (socially distanced) chat of coffee or tea.

But, I do realise that I am very much one of the lucky ones, living in a lovely and much-loved flat, in an area close to shops, parks and beach - at least I can get out (on my mobility scooter) and see people most days. No worries about losing my home or paying my bills.

Did start off with good intentions for daily exercise at home,but this has not happened for sometime now, did a lot of knitting at first, but even this has tailed off . Watch far too much recorded television, no garden to worry about and my patio balcony has now been tidied up, and pots planted with spring bulbs. Flat all too easy to keep totally clean and tidy. Can't really spend too much time backing - as I am now really trying to lose the extra weight I put on in the early months of lockdown.

Do join in some weekly zoom U3A things, but with winter approaching am finding it increasingly difficult to find good,useful ways of passing the time.

Gransnet has been a definite life saver for me, and I really do appreciate being able to be part of it.

Franbern Sat 17-Oct-20 16:45:32

Should have read 'can't spend too much time BAKING' (not backing'#}

craftyone Sat 17-Oct-20 16:56:51


Thank you all so much for sharing your stories. Really interesting to see how everyone's coping and, on the whole, we seem to be doing ok don't we?

yes squirrel, we are the chin up, chest out generation, whatever gets thrown at us, we get on with it. Either that or we mope and that gets us no-where

However we soon need to be a one day at a time generation, same as I coped after I was widowed. A short list the night before, it helped to have something to get up for the next day. On that list, meals and a couple of things to do

In the meantime I grab any half decent offering on tv and record it for the dark days of winter

Rosalyn69 Sat 17-Oct-20 17:07:14

I don’t live on my own but still have days when it’s hard to get motivated. I think that’s normal.