Monday, September 18, 2017

Loneliness: Coping With The Pitfalls As We Age


Loneliness needn’t be a big stigma anymore.
 
It’s a fact of life that we will sometimes struggle with stresses and anxieties as we age, but any notion of depression or anxiety is something that older generations don’t feel prepared to talk about. And so, we may have a parent or relative who lost a partner and so they have lost their whole world in many respects. This is hard for anyone to deal with at any age, so what is the best thing any single one of us can do if we ever get lonely?

Reach Out For Help
 
Not just in the general sense, but the health issues we can suffer from as we get older can mean that we won't feel as inclined to leave the front door as we used to. Feeling trapped at home when not being as mobile as we once were, can underlie a whole lot of other issues, so it’s important to reach out for professional help. There are organizations like the CDPAP, the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, which reaches out to vulnerable people by providing a caregiver who is someone they trust, like a relative, and not a member of staff that they’ve never met before. You can learn more about CDPAP at their web page. Investing in your health, in whatever way you can, is the important first step to making sure you combat your sense of isolation.
 
Be Curious
 
Learning about new things is a great way to combat feelings of loneliness. If you can get out and explore, it will be the best remedy for refreshing your mind and seeing more than the same four walls! The thing we all face in loneliness is a sense of disconnection. So even if you can get out to the grocery shop down the road, it’s a small thing to start building that bridge of feeling connected to people again. It’s a slow race, but when you feel ready, then you can start to socialize a bit more. Maybe try an evening class, or getting in touch with some friends. There’s no need to push yourself to socialize because it can be a shock to the system and you can easily end up retreating back into your shell. So celebrate each little social achievement.
 
Focus On Yourself
 
We can end up feeling lonely when we lose all sense of direction in our lives, and we stop focusing on the best parts of ourselves and view feeling lonely as a limitation rather than a challenge. The danger in getting older is that we feel we’re “too old” for certain things in life, which is only correct if you really believe it. But if you learn to find yourself fascinating again, naturally other people will soon become drawn in too. A lot of people take courses after they retire, or they try something they’ve always wanted to do, so start to think about what it is you want to do with your life, and go do it!
 
Loneliness is devastating, but it can be challenged, but if you're feeling this way, be sure to do it in a way that isn’t too stressful, as it can have negative repercussions on your wellbeing.
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