There’s no way to predict precisely what kind of ups and downs life has in store for you. However, it’s much easier to face them and celebrate them all when you have people you love by your side – virtually as well as literally.
Each chapter of our lives brings something new to the table, from wonderful, life-altering experiences, to setbacks that help us overcome our own limitations. We do our best to prepare as much as possible, but the advice we get from our parents becomes more outdated as we grow older – the world they’ve been preparing us for no longer exists. That means that our retirement, our silver years, our old age looks and feels completely different, and we have entirely new adventures and challenges to face.
The wonders of the modern world, technology included, have allowed us all to be more connected through social media, video calls, and the like. At the same time, the current health crisis has limited our ability to interact in person and to enjoy our regular activities. Social distancing and no group gathering are the two most detrimental limitations for our social lives and even more so, for our emotional and mental wellbeing.
With all the difficulties of meeting new people and fostering strong bonds after 50, we also have the pandemic to handle. So, to help you navigate these challenging times with more ease, here are a few ideas for building strong relationships, strengthening existing ones, and avoiding loneliness in your silver years.
Reconnect with old friends on social
Social networks such as Facebook are a goldmine of opportunities to find old friends from school and relatives scattered around the world. If you’re already using these platforms, it’s time to rekindle old friendships and send the people you know a friend request. Then again, social media is amazing for staying up to date on the latest in the world, from global news and political changes, all the way to memes and fun new tech solutions.
The built-in messaging tools help you simplify communication, and since most people have access to a good internet connection, all you need is some motivation to get the conversation going. Then, perhaps you’ll be more confident to make new connections on social media, too.
Give mature dating a chance
While we’re on the subject of new connections, if you’re divorced or widowed, you know that it’s more challenging to meet new people as you close in on the big five-o. That’s why dedicated platforms for mature dating are a great chance for people to meet their peers in a safe environment and find companionships that last.
Keep in mind that you can do this at your own pace, and you can be sure that these platforms conduct all the necessary checks to make sure you’re actually talking to your peers. As you get to know someone, you can stay in touch online or choose to meet them in person when the time is right and when the pandemic allows for such an encounter.
Take up a new activity with small groups
Fitness classes aren’t just great for keeping that low back pain at bay. They are also great for expanding your social circle by spending time with people who share an interest with you when it comes to health and wellness.
No matter if you choose aerobics, yoga to become calmer and more resilient, or you take up dancing, you are bound to meet people from your own generation. Surrounding yourself with positive, upbeat individuals can do so much for your emotional and mental wellbeing, that even if you start off being shy, you’ll eventually open up.
How about a book club?
When you retire, you finally have some time to go back to one of your favorite activities: reading. You can revisit old, favorite books, and look for entire new collections that you’ve missed while you’ve been busy building a career or raising kids. Even if you’re still not retired, but your kids have flown the nest, this is a wonderful hobby you can share with many like-minded people in your community.
What’s more, you can also find online book clubs and social media groups in case you need to be in isolation due to the pandemic. Discussions can be as lively online as they are face to face. Pick a club that you’ll enjoy and start using literature as a way to preserve your cognitive abilities such as memory and vocabulary use, and to make new friends over good books and great coffee.
Organize a safe road trip
Depending on where you live right now, you might be dealing with restrictions such as limited social contact, mask-wearing, and of course, no birthday parties and the like. However, what you can do is organize a safe road trip with a close friend or two, or your spouse, and spend some quality time in nature – with access to nearby medical help, if needed, of course.
Road trips give you a chance to reconnect with nature, get away from city crowds (which means you can instantly be safer and practice social distancing), and enjoy the fresh air. This is a great opportunity to devote all your time and attention to your travel companions. Meaningful conversations, hiking and similar revitalizing outdoor activities, and an entire weekend for yourselves is what you need when you’re surrounded by stress.
Over to you
There’s no way to predict precisely what kind of ups and downs life has in store for you. However, it’s much easier to face them and celebrate them all when you have people you love by your side – virtually as well as literally. Nourish your social relationships with the help of these tips, and most of all, don’t prevent yourself from creating new ones. You’ll lead a fulfilling life no matter your age.