8 Ways To Increase Social Interaction After 60 To Boost Mental And Emotional Health
The NCBI published a report that gave an insight into the effects of social isolation on seniors. According to the author, “social isolation is a major and prevalent health problem among community-dwelling older adults, leading to numerous detrimental health conditions … social isolation will impact the health, well-being, and quality of life of numerous older adults.”
Not only does social isolation have a damaging effect on life expectancy, it also affects our mental health too. Loneliness has been found to increase our risk of depression, social anxiety, addiction, as well as hoarding.
Older people who live in increasingly smaller worlds are particularly at risk of loneliness and therefore diminished mental and emotional health, which is why it’s super important that you find a way to increase your social interaction.
Let’s take a look at 7 ways to do this.
- Invite Friends For Tea
As we get past 60, it’s all too easy to assume that people don’t want us to bother them by inviting them around for tea, coffee, and cake. They’re growing old themselves and they have their own lives to worry about.
You’d be surprised at how much family, friends or even neighbors appreciate being invited round for a chat and some tea and coffee.
- Go Back To School
Yes, back to school! At numerous colleges and universities, mature students represent around one quarter of the student body. It doesn’t matter how old you are because no one is ever too old to learn. Taking a degree will challenge you and you’ll learn new skills and grow in confidence.
- Learn How To Use A Computer
We now live in the age of information, which basically means that computers have taken over young peoples’ lives. The problem for anyone over 60 is that you may have missed the boat and assumed that computers are simply tools for the younger generation.
However, a computer, no matter how daunting it might appear at first, is an incredibly useful social tool that connects you to the outer world. You can get in touch with old friends or even find new friends. You can join online forums and groups and even go to conventions you never knew existed. It’s a fabulous way of staying in touch with people and opens up your world.
Moreover, your mental health can get a boost too if you try your hand at online games, such as chess.
- Buy A Phone
You can increase your social interaction by purchasing a cellular phone. Most phone companies now offer monthly contracts, so you can pretty much talk to people on the phone for as long as you want. You can text message too, and even play games on it. Having a cell phone ensures that you will not miss any invitations for a social event.
- Involve Yourself In Community Activities
Most towns have community centers that hold regular community activities for older people. These activities generally include singing, book clubs, bridge clubs, quiz nights, as well as bingo nights, and yoga groups.
Involving yourself in community activities helps to stimulate your mind and your emotional health and meeting new people is one of the most important action steps to boost your health and wellbeing.
- Help Others
You’re never too old to learn, and you’re never too old to help others. If you have knowledge and experience that you’ve always wanted to share with other people, now is the time to do it.
Whether you decide to mentor a younger person or help out at a homeless shelter, your mental skills will certainly be tested and sharpened – no matter how rusty they were!
- Plan Ahead
Sometimes we’re a little bit guilty of not getting much done during the week because we simply haven’t planned anything. We wake up in the morning not knowing what we’re going to do, and so we just drift through the day.
If you buy yourself a calendar and make plans for the week, you’re more likely to stick to them. Moreover, you’ll become more adventurous in your planning and may even consider doing something you’ve never done before.
- Plan It!
This is fun! Plan a month of activities that will you engage in. Get creative and write them down in your calendar or date book.
Get creative and choose fun and exciting new adventures, and ask friends to come along. Do this at the beginning of each month and stick to them as you would all those business appointments you used to keep.