When you retire from working, you leave behind the pressure and stress that goes along with it! However, you also leave behind a whole lot of social contact and relationships. This can cause a level of loneliness that can be damaging to your physical and mental health. In fact, a recent study by the University of California–San Francisco revealed that 43 percent of the people surveyed who were over 60 years old reported feeling lonely on a regular basis. Two-thirds of the adults who said they were lonely live with a spouse or other partner, which indicates that you shouldn’t rely upon your spouse to be your sole source of companionship. So how can you cope with loneliness in retirement? Here are some ideas!
1. Take up a new hobby.
Retirement gives you a great opportunity to pick up old hobbies, or even explore new ones! Hobbies are also a great way to put spare time into good use! Think about some of the things you wished you’d gotten into in the past, but never were able to due to your old circumstances. Here are some ideas; Find old furniture and refinish it, grow a garden, start raising pets, take up a new sport, become a master chef, practice sculpting or woodworking.
2. Volunteer for a good cause.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and help your community at the same time. Try doing a google search for local volunteer opportunities.
3. Join a social group.
There are a ton of local social groups in almost every community. They can be found at your local library, religious organization, or online. Check out this website, they have a database of local meetups for retiree’s near you.
4. Join a book club.
If you enjoy a good read, you might enjoy being part of a book club. It can be a great way to meet new people and stimulate your mind. Most libraries have a book club that meets every month. If they don’t, consider taking the steps to set up your own group!
5. Connect with others online.
If your friends or family live far away or you can’t go out to meet them, applications such as Skype can help you to keep in touch. Skype allows you to video call someone for free, wherever they are in the world (as long as you both have internet access) so you can see them when you talk.
Whether you want to keep in touch with old friends or meet new people, most of them are probably already on facebook.com. If you don’t have a profile, it’s very easy to set one up and start connecting to old friends and family members online.
6. Join a gym.
Joining a gym is a great way to spend your time, meet new people, and stay in good shape! Simply do a google search for “gyms near me” and you’ll be able to find a local gym to join. If you haven’t spent much time in a gym before, don’t be intimidated! Most gyms have friendly staff and personal trainers that can show you the ropes.
7. Talk to a therapist.
Talk therapy is a great way to learn more about yourself and form a deep connection with someone new in your life. A counselor will always be available to listen about whats going on in your world and can offer unconditional support. Modern Therapy offers talk therapy and coaching over the phone, so you can connect with your therapist in a place that’s most comfortable for you!
8. Join a bowling league.
The benefits of joining a bowling league stretches far and wide. Exercise improves not just physical health, but also mental and emotional health. Aside from all of those benefits, you’ll be able to meet some new friends and gain a new hobby!
9. Get involved in a church or synagogue.
Churches or synagogues are always hosting social events and looking for volunteers. Getting involved (or more involved) at church will help keep you socially active and spiritually engaged.
10. Get a pet (or watch a friends).
Pets can have such a positive impact on your mental health and are also a great companion when you’re feeling lonely. If you’re a dog lover, but don’t have the space, time or money to have your own, then ‘dog borrowing’ might be just the thing for you. Maybe a friend or neighbor has a dog they’d like someone to watch for them occasionally when they are away from their home.