Living alone can bring with it so much fun, excitement and independence. You can get home from work, put on your favourite song and relax without worrying about what anyone else thinks. However, while it is a liberating experience it can be a situation that leads to unhealthy choices in both food and lifestyle.


When living alone, it is important to look for an affordable medical aid in South Africa to help you maintain your healthy choices. Outlined below are some of the ways to make healthy choices while living alone.


Look for a medical aid

When you are dependent on your parents while living at home, you do not have to worry about paying for a medical aid but when you move out it is one of the very first things you should look into getting.

You can go online to compare medical aids to find one that best suits your needs or you can speak to a financial advisor and ask for their advice on the matter. Having an affordable medical aid in South Africa allows you access to private health care, and if you have an emergency, it is vital to have some form of cover. Many medical aids also offer incentives for healthy behaviours, which is an effective way to maintain healthy habits when living alone.


Have a check-up buddy

While you might feel that you are perfectly capable of looking after yourself, it is important to have someone in your life who knows that you live alone and who is willing and able to check-up on you if there is an emergency or if you are feeling sick and are staying at home.

Be sure that this person knows that you live alone and that they know your whereabouts if you are ill or are in an unfamiliar place. A check-up buddy can also offer advice on your lifestyle choices, such as if they feel you are eating unhealthily or if you are avoiding exercise. It is not a criticism but more of an advisory role, someone to guide you away from making bad choices with food and with other lifestyle aspects.


Meal plan and prep ahead

One of the downfalls of living alone is that there is only one person to cook for. This means that you might often find yourself opting for a quick takeaway or a microwave meal. You can break this habit by meal planning and preparing ahead, which saves you time and money while encouraging healthy eating.

You should try making a rough meal plan for at least two weeks, this way you can freeze some of the meals you make in the first week and eat those in the second week. You will waste less food and you will not eat the same meal every day, which can be boring and can lead to snacking in between meals. If you have a slow-cooker, try to make batches of soups or stews in the cold weather so you have something for lunches and dinners that week.


Go grocery shopping…the smart way

You are no longer constrained by what your parents and family members eat, which means that you can buy whatever food you like. However, you might find yourself throwing anything and everything into your trolley if you do not have a meal plan or grocery list to hand with set ingredients to buy.

When shopping for one, buy smaller portions (you do not need two kilograms of carrots or potatoes) but if you are meal prepping for two weeks, then buy bigger portions to make enough for this period. It is better to buy fruits and vegetables fresh every second or third day so that nothing goes to waste, and look out for options in-store that gain you rewards from your medical aid. Bulk packs of meat and veggies might seem like a great money-saving idea, but for one person they might go to waste as you cannot finish all the portions.\


Keep your home clean

One way to ensure that you are healthy and that you make healthy choices is to keep your home clean. A clean home inspires you to maintain tidiness and organisation not only where you live but in your daily life too.

Living alone does not mean that you do not  have to clean often, you should try to clean your house or apartment at least once a week to ensure it is clean and hygienic to encourage good health. Keeping your home clean is an important step to take as an adult living alone and can be a relaxing weekend activity to prepare you for the week ahead.


Take time for yourself

Even if you live alone, your life can seem busy and with a hectic social calendar, you will have little opportunity to relax and take time for yourself. To maintain your healthy choices you should look into one of the many affordable medical aids in South Africa and have a check-up buddy to keep an eye on you if you are sick or injured.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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