Many of us look forward to the freedom of retirement. However, it can sometimes end up being quite lonely – particularly for those who don’t/no longer have a partner or have mobility issues. Taking proactive steps to be more social can help to stop you feeling so isolated. Below are just some of the different ways to beat loneliness in retirement.
Stay connected with friends and family
It’s important to not lose touch with family and friends. If they live locally, make an effort to meet up in person regularly. If they don’t live locally, don’t be afraid to plan phone calls or video calls.
The likes of Facebook can be very useful for maintaining contact with people in your life that you might otherwise drift apart from. Consider creating an account if you don’t already have one.
Take up new hobbies and join clubs
Retirement can be an opportunity to try new things and take on new challenges. This in turn could help you to meet new people who also share this interest (particularly if you take classes or visit events related to your passion).
Clubs are a great way to meet people. These could be clubs centered around certain interests such as chess clubs, book clubs, running clubs or ale clubs. Alternatively, you could find more general social clubs aimed at retirees and seniors – such clubs may meet somewhere every week and may even plan away days together.
Consider getting a pet
Pets can make great companions if you otherwise live alone. This could be a dog or a cat, or something smaller like a hamster or fish if you’d prefer something low maintenance. Dogs and cats are typically the best companions for those that are lonely. Avoid very active breeds of dog if you already have mobility issues.
Consider doing some volunteer work
While the whole point of retiring is to give up work, some people find that they miss the social aspect of working and sense of purpose. Volunteering can be a way to fill the void, providing that you are still mentally and physically able to work. Once or twice per week for a few hours may be all you need to combat loneliness.
Move into a retirement home/village
A retirement home or retirement village could be one option if you really don’t want to live alone. You can regularly socialize with people your own age and benefit from services such as assisted living. Of course, this does mean moving out of your home and downsizing, so make sure that you’re prepared to do this.
Try to get out of the house every day
If you can, try to get out of the house every day – even if it’s just to grab a coffee or take a walk in the park. This could ultimately help you to feel less isolated and you could end up meeting new people. Getting out of the house every day can be much more difficult if you have mobility issues and you have to put more planning into your trips out – if you can’t get out every day, at least try to get out every other day.
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