How to not be nervous home alone? (Tips)

In this guide, we will discuss “How to not be nervous home alone” and a few tips on how to overcome your nerves if you find yourself feeling very anxious or nervous when left home alone.

How to not be nervous home alone?

‘How to not be nervous home alone?’, you may wonder. Well, feeling nervous being left alone at home or being completely on your own can make many people feel anxious for several reasons. Some tips to keep take your mind off being home alone are:

  • Distract yourself with activities you enjoy or find entertaining.
  • Call someone you rely on, such as a friend or family member to keep you company.
  • Be productive by reading a book, writing or doing something that challenges you mentally.
  • Do some physical activity.

Why do I freak out when I’m home alone?

As we have mentioned, there are several reasons why you may freak out when you are home alone. People tend to associate being home alone as the fear children usually have but as adults, we can also feel nervous or anxious if we are alone. For some, experiencing a traumatic or difficult childhood or even recent experience as adults could be the reason why they feel insecure, restless, nervous or anxious when they are left alone at home.

We know any strange sound or noise is reason enough to make us cringe and start imagining a lot of things. However, to avoid paying attention to these types of things, we recommend keeping your mind busy as we have mentioned so let’s dive more in-depth on the tips.

Distract yourself with activities you enjoy or find entertaining

Find activities you can distract yourself with. For instance, if knitting is something that you enjoy and helps you relax then do it. For other people watching a movie or their favourite TV can help them to stop paying attention to the outside world. 

Playing video or computer games can also be very distracting if it is something you find entertaining. Another option could be putting some music or even listening to meditation audios on youtube.

Think about all the activities you can do at home that you enjoy doing in solitaire. For instance, you may love to read but if your house is too noisy for this type of activity so you could take advantage of the peace while no one is home.

Call someone you rely on

We understand that being home alone for some people can be very overwhelming but now there are so many technological tools and options you can use so you won’t feel completely on your own. For example, if calling someone to go to your place and stay with you for a couple of hours is not possible, try video chatting with them. There are so many apps these days.

Moreover, if you know you’ll be home alone in advance then you can contact your friend and relative to let them know you’ll be alone and you may need to call them later on if you get scared so they are aware and will be expecting your call.

How to not be nervous home alone? (Tips)

Be productive 

Think about any pending chores or something you have been postponing or putting off for a while, it may be a perfect time now that you are alone and you need some distraction. For instance, if you are behind with homework or something related to work then being in a quiet house may help you concentrate better.

On the other hand, you could also do some pending house chores. For instance, cleaning the kitchen or washing the dirty dishes in the sink. Some of these activities you may find relaxing and soothing. 

Do some physical activity

Doing some physical activity can keep your mind occupied and it also helps to reduce your stress levels. If being home alone makes you very nervous then try to get your heart pumping a little if you have ant at-home gym equipment such as a treadmill. However, if you don’t own this type of equipment, you could also do some push-ups, sit-ups or even use your stairs.

If creating your routine is not your thing then we recommend looking for fun exercise routines on youtube. 

What can I do if I get scared at home alone?

If you find yourself home alone and scared, needing to calm down. Here are a few recommendations when none of the tips has worked and you are already anxious.

First, it is important to acknowledge how our mind plays tricks on us. It can be a subtle or loud noise, it can be something we are seeing that is not there or it is dark we could be seeing some shadows that we interpret as figures. 

To consciously take our mind off such thoughts, take control by closing your eyes and saying something like ‘it is all part of my imagination’ or ‘my brain is just playing tricks on me’. Moreover, if it is specifically a sound you are completely freaking out about then try to find a logical explanation instead of assuming there is someone else in the house. For instance, think something like ‘it is not an intruder, it is my anxiety. I know every door is locked so it is probably a sound coming from the house next door’.

Question your thoughts

Question your thoughts and contrast them with reality. You may identify those thoughts that are automatic but are not rational when you think about it. When you start getting those thoughts, stop and think for a minute ‘what is the worst thing that can happen?’. You will discover it is not as bad as it seems.

For instance, let’s imagine you get very nervous when it gets dark and you are home alone. You may think something like “someone will get into the house”. Now, stop and question yourself, “Is there someone trying to get into your house?”. In reality, if you have checked all the doors and everything is locked and the alarm is on, you shouldn’t have to worry about someone getting in.

Deep breathing exercises

If you have an anxiety or panic attack and you are struggling to breathe then try taking a few deep breaths inhaling through your nose and put one hand on top of your stomach, feel how it inflates like a balloon when you let the air in. Exhale slowly and feel how the air goes out as the air goes out.

We recommend closing your eyes and feeling how the air goes in and out by repeating the exercise a few times. You will feel significantly better.

Visualizing 

Visualizing can be a very powerful tool. Just close your eyes and imagine you are somewhere else, imagine a happy place or perhaps your favourite vacation destination. For instance, if you imagine yourself at a beautiful beach, feel the sand between your toes, the sound of the waves, the water coming and going, the sun on your skin, etc. by engaging your senses, you are shifting your attention from your state of anxiety into feeling calm and relaxed.

Why is this blog about How to not be nervous home alone important?

As discussed in this blog titled, ‘How to not be nervous home alone?’, for some people feeling nervous or anxious when left home alone may result from a traumatic experience during childhood that follows into adulthood. For others, their minds seem to play tricks on them that increases their anxiety when home alone.

However, the few tips and tricks we shared are very useful when battling your anxiety. For instance, distracting yourself by doing something entertaining, calling someone you trust or exercising can help talk your mind off the thoughts that make you feel nervous. But remember, if the nerves become too overwhelming and it starts affecting your life, we recommend looking for professional advice.

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about How to not be nervous home alone

Why am I so scared to stay home alone?

It is normal to be scared of staying home alone from time to time. Some consider it a form of social anxiety and it is perceived as a potentially threatening situation, making you feel nervous. It is just like the people who may be afraid of spiders or heights. 

What is the fear of being home alone called?

The feeling of being home alone may also be known as autophobia, monophonia, isolophobia or eremophobia, which is the specific phobia of isolation or being left alone. People who suffer from this type of phobia need to be physically alone, but just to believe that they are being ignored or unloved.

How do I get over my fear of sleeping alone?

To get over the fear of sleeping alone you can start by leaving the TV on for some background noise if you fear the silence. Just leave it at a channel you don’t normally watch and with low volume. You can also download music that is meant to help you to sleep or use a white noise machine. If you are missing a pet, consider getting a dog or a cat that can keep you company.

Why am I scared to sleep in my room?

If you are scared to sleep in your room it might be that something traumatic happened to you in it or you have watched many horror movies where the scariest things happen in the bedroom. Also, you could be suffering from somniphobia, hypnophobia, clinophobia or sleep anxiety, which is the extreme fear around the thought of going to bed. Analyze if it is the idea of sleeping alone in your room or if it happens someplace else too.

How long can you go without sleep?

You can go without sleep approximately 264 hours (11 consecutive days) according to the longest recorded time. Many studies in animals have indicated how fundamental sleep is for normal functioning but it is still unclear exactly how long humans can survive without sleep. However, after 3 to 4 nights without sleep, you can start to hallucinate.

References 

Wikihow.com: “How to Keep Yourself from Getting Scared While Home Alone”

How to not be nervous home alone? (Tips)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.