During the pandemic, I retreated into my shell – could DIY help to pull me out?

Finding myself in lockdown just months after upping roots and moving to Vienna, I turned to self-improvement projects to ward off my loneliness

I have always been very introverted and would sometimes feel lonely, but while living in London I established a small but steady circle of friends who I could meet, one-on-one, for dinner or a hot chocolate. Last year, however, I moved to Vienna, where I knew no one, and the loneliness hit me hard. My office job was the perfect solution as it gave me a healthy dose of human company before allowing me to retreat back into my shell. I even started flirting with someone. Then Covid-19 happened and I found myself stuck in my gloomy flat for weeks.

In London, my landlord was an elderly gentleman who rented out a studio space for extra income. He lived in the same house, so we would meet every day and exchange a few words. It was the most perfect living arrangement. Now, in Austria, I don’t know my landlord or anyone in my building. My flat is an old historic building, very beautiful and double the space for a quarter of the price of what I paid in London. But it faces out on to a courtyard that doesn’t let in much sunlight, and I don’t really see any people when I look out of the window.

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