Getting older and being independent can be exciting and scary at the same time. You will have plenty of support as you start being more independent and become an adult. Making sure that you have the right life skills will also make it easier for you to enjoy your independent adult life and feel more in charge.
With the right life skills, you will be less stressed and find it easier to live independently. The good news is that these life skills are easy to master, too. Once you get into some different habits, you’ll find that living independently isn’t quite as scary as it might have seemed at first.
Learning to cook is an important life skill you will need. But the good news is that you don’t need to be a top chef to cook for yourself. As long as you have some basic cooking skills that you can use to prepare meals that you like, you can always build on this as you get more confident.
If you have never cooked before, or don’t have much experience, there are lots of simple meals that you can make to start out with. Dishes like cottage pie or spaghetti Bolognese can be very filling and nutritious too, and they’re easy to make. You can learn to cook by asking somebody to teach you some basic cooking skills, taking classes, or going online to learn from YouTube and other websites.
Living independently means that you will need to know how to keep your space clean. If you have your own home, keeping it clean is not only important for your physical health, but it will also have a positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing.
The good news is that you don’t need to spend all the time cleaning to achieve this. Start with learning the basics such as how to effectively wash up, how to clean floors, dusting, changing bedding, using a washing machine, cleaning a bathroom, and using a vacuum cleaner. Most cleaning jobs are fairly easy to do, so with practice you will get better at them.
One of the most important skills you will need when it comes to living independently is managing money. When you are independent and have your own home, you will be responsible for paying things like your rent, council tax, gas and electric bill, water bill, broadband, and anything else. You will also need to make sure that you have enough money left to buy yourself food, pay for transport, buy clothes, and anything else that you do that costs money.
The simplest way to do this is with a basic budget. This involves looking at any money that you have coming in each month, such as from a job or benefits, and then adding up the cost of all the bills you need to pay each month.
Time management skills are important for anybody who lives independently. Good time management means that you turn up for appointments or work on time, give yourself plenty of time to sleep at night, and have most things in your life running on schedule.
If you have never had to practice good time management skills before, then it’s a good idea to put yourself in situations where you can. For example, make plans to meet up with friends at a certain time and try and get there ten minutes early. Set a time for yourself to wake up each morning, and make sure that you go to bed early enough to wake up without being tired or oversleeping.
Exercise and Fitness
Looking after yourself is another skill you will need to be successfully independent. You will need to learn how to motivate yourself to stay on track and keep going even when it’s not easy or you don’t feel like it. Even if you simply go for a walk every day or do a short session in the gym a few times a week, any exercise is good for you. Your time management skills can also come in handy here, as you will need to schedule a good time to exercise – however you like to do that – and get into a routine that works for you.
You don’t need to drive to live independently, although it can help. However, you should know how to get to the places that you need to be using transport methods that are available to you. If you are mainly going to be using public transport, then you will need to know how to use buses and trains and how to pay for tickets. You might want to further improve your skills in this area by learning how to ride a bike or even a moped.
Job Seeking Skills
Getting a job is an important part of independent living. Even if you are currently studying to get qualifications that will help you get your dream job in the future, you might want to start working earlier so that you can earn your own money to support your independent life.
To do this successfully, you will need to learn some basic job seeking skills such as how to write a CV, what to wear and how to behave in an interview, and how to search for suitable jobs for you online. There is plenty of information online about successful job seeking, or your local Job Centre can help.
Being independent doesn’t mean being on your own! And the more you develop your interpersonal skills, the easier it will be for you to make connections and friends so that you can start to build a support network around you. Over our lives, we gain and lose friends all the time. The better your interpersonal skills, the more effective you will be at making new friends, getting to know people, and building great relationships with people. This includes things like good communication skills, empathy for others, and working together with others as a team.
Whether you are about to start living independently or it’s something you’re getting ready for in a few years’ time, these are some of the skills you will need to live a successful, independent life.
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