As we age, many aspects of our lives change, too. Physically and mentally, we can expect to notice differences over time. One of the things we may not anticipate changing is our friends.
People move away, they pass away, or we each move on as our needs change. What once worked no longer suits us. It can be difficult when friends leave us, but we can always make new ones.
The Need for Friends
Even people who enjoy their time alone still need to engage. It becomes important when we get older to keep us mentally and physically stimulated. Just the idea of a cup of coffee and a good gossip can make us feel much better.
People drift apart for many reasons. In recent years, political divides have driven wedges between friends and families. Ideals and beliefs we once shared are now in opposition.
When we are young we have many friends, but as we mature and age, it’s perfectly natural that people don’t keep in touch. It’s alright that people move on, but we can’t survive without friends.
All too often, people find themselves all alone after a partner dies or has health challenges. The kids are all off raising their own families and no longer live close by.
While the phone and video chat is great, they are not the same as being in the company of friends. If you are feeling lonely, there are several ways you can meet new people and hopefully, friends.
Take a Class
Your local community college or community center likely offers all kinds of classes. Learn everything from cooking to sewing, and do-it-yourself jobs around the house.
Pick up a calendar or subscribe to a newsletter to find out about classes that interest you. This is a great way to meet like-minded people and start building a bond.
Go To Church
Life gets busy and we tend to let many things slide. If you haven’t been to church for many years, don’t worry. The beauty of churches is that everyone is welcome.
Even if you are not a big church-goer, it is still a great way to meet people, get introduced to people, and join community events. Churches always have events, like rummage sales, potluck dinners, and bake sales.
Join a Club
There are bound to be all kinds of clubs you can join, from walking and hiking to bird watching and gardening. There are groups that love to go out for dinner, read and discuss books, or attend events together.
Check out a bulletin board in your community and find a club that interests you. You don’t need to commit to anything, but if you already have a hobby or interest, then you will be joining people who feel the same.
There may be a dance or community BBQ in your neighborhood. Find out about attending one, just to see what it is like. You can find events listed at community centers, the library, and your local community center.
You could go down to your local pub. They often have special food offers, host pub quiz nights, and even have raffles, softball teams, and other sporting tournaments.
Join the Gym
Fitness is vital as we age, so why not check out your local gym. Even if you have never been before, there is always something for everyone. Take a yoga class, a dance class, or join a swimming class.
Many people are intimidated by the gym, but there is no need. You will find people your own age with similar interests and get some exercise while you are at it. It’s a win-win.
If you have recently lost a partner, suffer an illness, or just feel the need to share, there are support groups for every need. They are safe spaces where you can vent, cry, share, and find out you are not alone.
Making New Friends
If you are a family member worried about your loved one who may be isolated, encourage them to find something they enjoy and share it with others.