Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: it’s hard to make friends as an adult! When you leave the everyday structures of school or office jobs, your social circle naturally shrinks. Eventually, we find ourselves asking: how am I supposed to make new friends?
Why Making Friends is Important
Social circles are crucial to your health and wellness, but building that network takes time. However, your patience will pay off because a social ecosystem doesn’t just make memories—it also provides significant health benefits. Some of these benefits include:
People with healthy social relationships and support tend to live longer than more isolated people.
Improved Physical Health
Research links strong friendships with a more robust immune system. A healthy social life may give you a better chance of fighting off flu, colds, and minor illnesses. Friendships may also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Although much research cites the connection between healthy relationships and overall health and wellness, it’s important to note that socializing is most effective when combined with a generally healthy lifestyle.
Better Mental Health
Positive, supportive interactions with others helps increase feelings of well-being while decreasing feelings of depression.
Reduced Risk of Dementia
People who are active and have social lives generally tend to have better memory and other cognitive skills. These same people are also less likely to develop dementia.
How to Make New Friends as a Senior Citizen
Okay, so you’re ready to make new friends: what’s next? Though it can seem like a daunting task at first, building your inner social circle can often be as simple as doing the things you already love:
Volunteering is an excellent activity for connecting with other individuals who have hearts for the same causes as you. Odds are, the volunteers you’ll work with welcome positive, enriching connections.
Make a list of community causes you care about: wherever your passions lie, there’s a place for volunteers. If you’re passionate about food insecurity, you can volunteer at your local soup kitchen. Perhaps volunteering at a community garden aligns with your favorite pastime.
Visit Your Local Senior Center
Many cities and communities provide senior centers that you can easily visit. These are places designed for seniors to participate in social activities and find camaraderie. Many other visitors will likely be interested in building friendships of their own, so you’re in good company.
Join a Local Club
Another way to connect with those who share your interests is by joining local clubs. Whether it’s a book club hosted by your local library or a crafting club at the fabric store, these organizations provide an excellent way for you to connect with other individuals looking for senior friends.
Join a Gym
Physical activity is essential for your physical and mental well-being as you age. Many gyms offer classes geared toward seniors that need an exercise program tailored to their mobility and goals. Don’t be shy! Many people feel out of their comfort zone when trying a fitness class for the first time, but it’s worth trying.
Attend a Local Church
If you’re religious, attending a local church can be an excellent way to connect to people in your community who are also looking for new friends. Religion provides a perfect way for people to find common ground on their beliefs and lifestyles while connecting in meaningful and enlightening ways.
Be Confident in Yourself
Remember, the very best friends will appreciate you for who you are! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and share what you love with others. You’ve got this! Feel free to reach out to our team for more resources to cultivate an active life and build a social community at Vineyard Senior Living.