With the holidays around the corner, it can be easy to feel a little down amidst all the joy. We all feel lonely from time to time, and this can be especially so when Christmas is around the corner - especially if you are far from your loved ones. Although it might be a bit hard to admit, loneliness is a very natural feeling, especially in this age group. It might be difficult at first, but there are some steps you can take to help combat this feeling and meet new people.
One of the best ways to get yourself out there and feel good while doing it is to volunteer. There are lots of causes that are all looking for people to dedicate some time. The first step is to identify what kind of causes you would be interested in - if you’re an animal person, shelters are always looking for volunteers to help.
Or if you like reading and writing, you could consider being a tutor for young children. Once you have an idea of the kinds of causes you’d like to try out, you can search for volunteering opportunities in your area, either part-time or full-time.
2. Take classes
Who says you have to stop learning? One of the best parts of retirement is having the time and opportunity to learn. Why not take the plunge and take a class on something you’ve always wanted to know more about, but never really had the time? For history buffs, classes on Roman and Greek mythology can always be fun.
Or if you have always had a passion for science, you can take some introductory classes in Biology to learn more. Most community colleges, as well as local universities, allow you to take classes without needing to be a part of a degree program. And many of them also offer senior discounts. Even taking one class a semester can be a great way to meet more people and tap into some of your passions at the same time.
3. Join the SDC forum
We have been hard at work to create a fun, active and vibrant senior community amongst our own users, so why not join us? For a lot of people, it can often be difficult to overcome loneliness, especially when it means more physical activity. If you are not as mobile, our forum is a great way for you to make some online friends, and join in on discussions amongst the group.
Online forums are a great way to meet people and have interesting conversations without leaving the comfort of your home. It is less daunting, and you can make some great internet pen pals along the way!
4. Take a part-time job
Retirement can be financially challenging for some, and coupled with loneliness, that challenge is often exacerbated. There are many employers, both local and chain, that are looking for part-time staff, so why not join one of them? It can be a good way to make some extra money while also meeting people. While Wal-Mart and Costco are synonymous for this - as an example, they hire many seniors as greeters for customers, why not check around locally too?
If there is a particular interest of yours, such as antiques or books, you can take on part-time jobs at local stores that need an extra hand. Next time you’re at one of your favorite stores, why not ask if they have any opportunities? Even if there’s nothing on hand at the moment, they can always get in touch if something does arise.
5. Start a fitness class
Keeping active is important, no matter the age. And while some activities may be too much, there are lots of low-impact physical exercises you can partake in to stay happy and healthy. And if you’re feeling a little low, exercise can definitely help. Aside from the endorphin boost, workout classes are a good way to get more active while also overcoming loneliness.
Many gyms offer fitness classes for seniors, or there might be some through your local senior center. These are low-impact classes designed to keep you fit without making you exert too much energy. Ask around at your local senior center for classes that are coming up, or if there’s a gym nearby that you can join. Local community centers often have deals on classes, so it is worth checking to see if there are options there.
Although difficult to acknowledge, loneliness is a very natural feeling so it is completely okay to be experiencing this. It might be hard to break out of your shell and do some of these activities, but take it slow! All you need to is take one step at a time, and even doing one of the activities suggested here will go a long way in helping overcome some of these feelings.