What’s an essential key to fighting the blues? Most of us know it’s being social and spending time with others. So it’s not surprising a recent study showed 80 percent of older adults listed isolation and loneliness among their biggest fears. The good news is this: even after retirement, losing a partner, moving, or living far from your family, there are still ways to maintain a lifestyle that keeps you in touch. Here’s how:
VOLUNTEER: Now more than ever, there’s a great need to pitch in and help others. Mentoring, working at a homeless shelter, offering to babysit for a neighbor, even helping the local branch of your political party are all ways to keep you in the loop.
CALL A FRIEND: These days, phone conversations are an often neglected way to stay in touch. But there’s nothing like the intimacy and immediacy of the give-and-take of a phone conversation. Cozy up on the couch with a cup of tea and catch up on news with a close friend or family member.
GET ON LINE: A study from the Phoenix Center found that spending time online reduces depression by 20 percent for seniors. As you already know you can find plenty of news and the opinions of others by reading thirdage, but there are lots more interesting and educational sites and blogs online. Many, like thirdage, want your opinion, too. Click here to check out our forums!
STAY ACTIVE: Take an exercise class. There are plenty available for all levels of physical ability. Yoga, tai chi, or water aerobics are all good choices. If you haven't exercised for a while, be sure to contact your doctor before you begin any activity program.
BE A STAR: Did you ever think about being on stage when you were younger? It’s never too late! Consider joining a choir or taking part in a community theatre program. If performing is too much of a stretch, volunteer to be at the box office or help with publicity.
GET CREATIVE: Whether it’s scrapbooking, or taking a ceramics or painting class, you’ll find group activities like these open the lines of communication. The bonds of friendship are naturally formed when creative juices are flowing.