Never Let Yourself Get Too Lonely

Thank you to Sue, from Sizzling Toward 60 & Beyond, for inviting me to take part in her Aging Well in August series.  A wide variety of factors contribute to aging well. In this series, Sue covers 31 ways to help us focus on positive aging this August.

I invite you to pop over to Sue’s site to check out my Guest Post “Never Let Yourself Get Too Lonely.” I also encourage you to check out the inspiring posts that Sue and guests have prepared for this series. We look forward to seeing you there.

https://www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au/loneliness-ageing-well/

36 Replies to “Never Let Yourself Get Too Lonely”

      1. Could a loneliness problem have to do with our technologically/smart phone/smart device obsessed society? Many folks, especially the young ones, don’t always grasp the vital importance of voice-to-voice, face-to-face, heart-to-heart connections that can grow our compassion and tie us in good ways to each other. I’ll share in my next blog a sad observation (vis-a-vis phone addicted kids) that I noted on a recent vacation.

        On the flip side, I spoke to a 20-something employee at the gym today. She complimented me on my handwriting (and we discussed this dying art) and she went onto say that she and her boyfriend actually write hand written letters to each other to have for posterity. I think they are a small minority but I cheered and applauded her, and said she might start a new trend.

        I used to pick up the phone at work to connect with colleagues on the other side of the country – the ones who did this were in an older generation like me. So much was accomplished by email but some of us knew how email could be cold and lessen the chance of really getting to know people, so we would pick up the phone. I never met these people in person, yet I still wanted to make some kind of human connection beyond email, beyond text.

        To keep isolation and loneliness at bay when I am staying in the Bay Area to help with family (away from the desert homestead and my hubby), I make sure to reach out to old friends and make appointments for tea, lunch, a walk, etc. At the gym today, I made two appointments for next week! I was one of those who had great companionship and friendships at work that mostly went away when I retired. I moved on and so did they! It’s really forced me to face the issue of loneliness and isolation and how much I detest it. I knew this might happen so I kind of pre-planned. I laugh because I go out and exercise every day, I do yoga, I hike, I golf, I babysit, I take care of my Mom, but yet I have an element of loneliness and isolation in my life when I am alone in my apartment. So your blog really resonated and was quite timely.

        This is an important subject, Donna, not only for retirees but for all generations. I

        Susan Grace

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Hi, Susan – Thank you for your extremely thoughtful and insightful comment. I agree with you that our digital world is likely a huge contributor to widespread loneliness. This summer, I’ve had two friends from out-of-town, come to visit (at separate times). In both cases, each friend spent a huge chunk of our time together responding to texts and emails. I could accept this with someone who was younger, and working but both friends are retired. Even though it was likely not intended that way, it was hard not to take it personally….and not to feel a bit ‘lonely’ in the process.
        To address your hypothesis further, I Googled it and found many articles focussed on how Social Media can expand feeling of loneliness (e.g. https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/social-media-and-loneliness/)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Janis – Thank you for your very thoughtful comment on Sue’s site. You’re absolutely right – modern technologies can contribute (and deepen) social isolation. Self-doubt can eat away at our confidence, making attempts to climb out of loneliness even more challenging. Reaching out to friends/family/neighbours in need can make an extremely powerful difference.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lisa – I loved the suggestion (and supporting evidence) about volunteering. The options for volunteering are endless and easily catered to our individual abilities and interests. My husband and I are regular volunteers at our local animal shelter — it is amazing the amount of (human) social integration that is built into this position.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I wonder if by even talking about the topic of loneliness one becomes less lonely? That thought drifted into my head last night and gave me pause. Many times by merely putting a name to what you’re feeling it’s enough to encourage you to make accept &/or make adjustments. More of a rhetorical question than a real one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Ally – That’a a great question! I agree with your hypothesis. Talking about things that may be lurking for us, putting a name to them, knowing that we are not alone, brainstorming solutions….that all makes perfect sense to me. Thank you so much for adding this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting research! I know all about being lonely and feeling isolated. Although I love my alone time at times, I miss the day to day interactions and friendship of my former co-workers. Having to quit working about 20 years ago due to my illness is what caused the loneliness and isolation, I have a loving and supportive husband but he’s not here during the day as he’s still working. I have 2 very dear friends but they live in other states so talking on the phone, texting, FaceTiming, and traveling for visits are how we stay connected. And I can’t forget all the connections I’ve made on the internet since I started the blog, very beneficial to my well being…and you are one of them ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Donna
    This is the issue I am most worried about as I begin my retirement chapter. My husband is semi retired and proved he needed to do some kind of work to keep him physically connected.

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    1. Hi, Antoinette – So many active and dynamic people that I know have worried about the same thing before they retired. Then once they left work, their lives were so busy and full that they wondered how they ever had time to work. I totally see this happening for you!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this Donna. I shared this same comment on Sue’s site, I appreciate you both sharing the valuable post. “Thank you, Donna and Sue, this is a very important topic for all of us as we age. Close to my heart, too, is that lack of socialization relates to dementia. Exercise and socialization on a regular basis help to prevent and reduce the onset of some forms of dementia. I also agree with the sentiments stated above about how social media has worsened society. Not only are we finding so many of us stuck in our phones, but we’re also frequently and subconsciously comparing ourselves to others. Consequently, we can end up feeling like crap. Thanks for sharing this information – it is valuable to us all.”

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    1. Thanks, Shelley – The research on social isolation and lack of exercise in relation to dementia (and other health issues) is loud and clear. I also like how many commenters included how technology/social media can add to our isolation. I recently realized how much it (quietly) bothers me when a friend comes over or meets me for lunch/dinner and then spends the majority of our time together glued to the phone. It kinda says “hey, you are way less interesting than the person on the other side of this phone”. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, I appreciate the opportunity to chime in on the thoughts. I’m feeling the same as you, and I get mad at myself when I’m one of those “Just let me get a picture to post first” kind of gals! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Donna! I’m on my way over to Sue’s site now to read your guest post. I will say I am so grateful that my children and grandchildren are all close by, as well as my mother and mother-in-law and three of my five siblings. It’s hard to get too lonely for too long surrounded by my large family. I am truly blessed. See you at Sue’s. XO

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