How to Deal with Social Loneliness after Retirement
Dealing with social loneliness after retirement is very difficult if you do not have people who cheer you up or support you or inspire you. Janelle Anderson is with us on this fourth episode of co-hosting the show and we will be talking about how to deal with social loneliness after retirement. This is also applicable pre-retirement!
Janelle works with women as a Certified Professional Coach through her business, Emerging Life Coaching. She typically works with women who are transitioning into a new season in life, whether that is from the “busy mother raising children season” to an “empty nest” season or from “busy career life” to the season of retired life. Janelle helps them discover a new game to play and who they truly want to be in this “third act of life.” Her work with clients includes one-on-one private coaching sessions, as well as coaching groups, workshops, and personal development classes.
Nourish your relationship
People are building relationships at work but they do not nourish that relationship outside of work. After retirement, that relationship dies and now you're alone. It may lead to intense loneliness. Loneliness can cause a lot of problems like isolation, depression, and early death.
The Harvard Men Study
There was a study called the “Harvard Men Study” where they follow 268 men from their 30s to 70s to see how successful or happy they were. They wanted to see what are the characteristics of those who are happier and more successful in life compared to those who don't. The one that came to the top is called “love-full stop”. In other words, it is love (personal relationships and connections).
Start looking for new friends to defeat social loneliness!
If you don't have relationships now, you should take a look or make a list! Relationships that feed your soul, nourish you, support you, those are the ones you should be looking for. Church, joining clubs, classes are good places to find relationships. For the ones you currently have, ask yourself if you are nourishing that relationship. Are you still doing activities together outside of work? If not, then it may be a good time to start that now. Make time for your friends.
Here are some ideas where you can meet new people
One good place/website to meet people in your area is Meetup.com. I met so many of my best friends in Meetup. You can create a meetup group (with a fee, if you're the host) or you can just join existing groups.
In Janelle's case, her church started a dinner fellowship. She became close with a couple of couples because of that. What's good about it is that you cannot choose who you're going to be grouped with. They will be the one to choose it. It's really cool because you get to meet new people.
Spend time with your friends
You do not have to go out with your friends every single day. You may go out one a week or once a month and catch up. Take turns in being the host. Janelle's daughter does “neighborhood dinner” where she invites some of her neighbors so that she could get to know them.
Meet new people by volunteering
Volunteering is another great way to find relationships. There are 3 places I found where you can volunteer if you haven't volunteered before.
1. VolunteerMatch.org – they'll send you volunteer gigs near your zip code
3. Points of Light.org
There are many places where you can volunteer. Check our episode about doing Seasonal Jobs.