Reply
Community Concierge

It's OK To Be Alone, But Don't Be Lonely

The next time you're feeling too tired or busy to ask a friend to lunch, attend church or join a new club, go ahead and do it anyway. Why? A recent report, detailed in this article, shows that loneliness can be as much a threat to longevity as obesity — even in people who say they like to be alone. So pick up the phone and call a friend today. Visit AARP® Staying Sharp® for more brain health information.

36,114 Views
51
Report
Contributor

Loneliness causes the brain to atrophy. Even if we keep reading and engaging the world through screens, we evolved to be social animals and we need the interactions. Also, physical contact improves our immune system. 

I am not a social butterfly but I loved interacting with people to learn and grow my knowledge… it is different from reading thoughts on the internet. Unfortunately for me, life happened and I was forced to be isolated for a long time and now I do not know my way back… energy is scarce and silence and I became good friends but my brain wants to rebel… this is today and tomorrow may be something else… or so I hope.

Contributor

I have a dog and I watch TV a lot.  Some for years, so the characters kinda feel like old friends.  I have had a lot of doctors appointment lately too.

0 Kudos
2,846 Views
0
Report
Trusted Contributor

i am alone. i have no family period! i do have family members all across this nation but i don't have contact with them. never did for years. i never knew my mother's side except my grandmother & uncle. they're long since dead. I had plenty contact with my father's side while growing up but for past 20+ years nothing. my parents also long dead, my oldest brothers also, younger ones want no contact period! so yes, i am alone to say the least but as i stated before i love being alone as i can do things i could never do with someone else around i have my books, t.v., & i do get out of the house once in a while so i do have a life. i can come & go as i please with no mention of time. don't have to answer to no one but oh how i miss the days of thanksgiving of childhood when the family gathered around. now, holidays are just another day to live through.

0 Kudos
3,335 Views
0
Report
Contributor

I enjoy being alone a lot of the time, but I do have my dogs (pets are wonderful company).  There are also a ton of volunteer opportunities in my small community, such as Meals on Wheels, food pantries, calling lonely senior citizens (lists available from local Senior centers usually), reading to kids in the library.  Most organizations really need volunteers, especially now with so many people reducing in-person contact.  And many of those use Zoom, telephone, etc.  There are also a lot of groups on Facebook and I'm sure most people can find one or more that they like.  

Newbie

I use messenger, FaceTime or messenger video. I call occasionally. I also while waiting in line will greet a person or see something i like that have such as purse, shoes, etc and strike up a conversation. May not take home a friend but its pleasant to converse with people.

Social Butterfly


@SandraI163293 wrote:

I use messenger, FaceTime or messenger video. I call occasionally. I also while waiting in line will greet a person or see something i like that have such as purse, shoes, etc and strike up a conversation. May not take home a friend but its pleasant to converse with people.


💥 @SandraI163293 I too like to chat with folks while in line. Angela 💥

0 Kudos
4,415 Views
0
Report
Regular Contributor

For several years I've relied heavily on online friendships. I've found that while a lot of real world friends and family have busy lives and aren't always available when I need them, online friends are. Most of the folks that I'm facebook friends with lead lives very similar to my own. So if I need someone, there's always someone there, even if it's not always the same someone. And they relate with living in solitude. So it works out well for all of us. Although it's always being said, "If we lived closer...." It would be really great to even get to meet one of these people in the real world 😊

Social Butterfly

Hi @MonicaLBP yes, I agree, it would be awesome to meet some of our online connections 😁

0 Kudos
5,540 Views
0
Report
Regular Contributor

Hi Angela, the books I enjoy reading are mysteries as well as biographies.  Enjoyed President Obama's latest.  As far movies, I enjoy romantic dramas, i.e., The Notebook.

Regular Contributor

I do much of the same that has already been written.  I retired about 2 weeks earlier than when the pandemic occurred. I live in Louisville where restrictions were fairly severe in the beginning.  Things are slowly returning to normal.  I'm an only child so Ive spent alot of time alone but never lonely.  Im an avid reader so Im always reading a book.  I have a Bible study group that meets for a meal as well as study.  My church always has some activities as well.  I do enjoy going to a nice restaurant and eating even by myself.  I do miss having people around to have a nice conversation.  The movies are now opening up as well as plays and concerts.  I would have to say I have missed music and concerts.

Social Butterfly

June 10, 2021

 

Hi @BettyS487482 what type of books and movies do you like? Thanks, Angela

0 Kudos
6,044 Views
0
Report
Periodic Contributor

I still work Full-time at home since last March. Crazy busy! Tend to do more at home than at work. Dishes be damned! Lunch, Breaks-what's that? I go in occassionally to get what I need, but rare. The office is not opening 100%

Abt the only time I get out is to go shopping (food) or pic up a Target drive up order. Wish I had more than 2 friends (far away), lots of family, kids, grands (also far) - difficult. Have lots of co-workers, but all in their own world. Seems people don't want to make friends anymore. Been wanting to join a Book or Hiking Club but can't find one. Don't get outside much. Glued to pc chair most of the time. Lonely? No, but it would help my sanity if I had a few people to shoot the bull with.....

Contributor

@DeeEdwards Have you ever tried joining a group on meetup.com? It's a website filled with groups that enjoy social activities such as hiking, going to movies, and trying new sports like pickleball. Best, Margaret

Periodic Contributor

Am still so busy w/work I haven't given it much thought. I have heard of it. 

Periodic Contributor

@margarets789345 I was just going to suggest the same! Meetup is awesome!

Social Butterfly

June 9, 2021

 

Hi @DeeEdwards are you going to be working from home even after pandemic leaves? Yes, society seems to this old gal to be distant. I hate drama and I rather chill by myself. But like you said, would be nice to have some human interaction. Angela

0 Kudos
8,036 Views
2
Report
Periodic Contributor

Yes for a while yet; office (CA) not mandating shots. Since I am elder (I got my shots) am still not comfortable. Don't have to pay daily toll & gas. So that's great! We've been on Zoom too.

Social Butterfly

June 9, 2021

 

@DeeEdwards I am in Virginia, but still wearing my mask and social distancing in spite of being fully vaccinated. Today at Walmart I was amazed at how laid back everyone was. Nope, in my 60's and not about to forget pandemic is still with us.

Info Seeker

My recent retirement occurred just a bit before COVID hit, and I found that the following activities really helped me keep a positive attitude, even when I could not get out and join friends for lunch, a movie, or golf.

  • Bible Study over Zoom - great discussions relevant to what is going on in our lives and how we are managing situations that arise
  • Reading about a Favorite Hobby
  • Trying and Studying a New Hobby
  • Short Outdoor Conversations with Neighbors - briefly discuss what is going on in each other's lives and offer encouragement
  • Personal Time in Bible Study - either a book regarding Biblical principles as applied to life situations OR actually time reading The Bible - (every single time, I felt better afterwards than before I started)

It is amazing how the Holy Spirit can speak through us and through our neighbors when we reach out in concern for others.  As most all religions say, "Love your neighbor as yourself."  If we do, God's love and peace comes back at us.

Social Butterfly

June 9, 2021

 

@SteveF506793 what type of hobbies?

0 Kudos
8,239 Views
1
Report
Info Seeker

Whatever might interest you.  Maybe something you used to do but set aside.  For me that would be using the billiards table down in the recreation room.  Maybe something you have never tried, but you think might be interesting.  Maybe bicycling or seeing a "movie in the park".  Maybe skydiving.  Just anything, small or big, as long as it kind of grabs your interest.

Contributor

I not only talk to myself and answer myself, but I also talk to my cats and they answer in their own ways. However, I always win every argument! Also I think a key for me in being alone so much is having my faith.  I may be lonely once in awhile, but I’m never really alone. God is good and speaking of good, if you’ve never tried volunteering, I highly encourage it. Now that I just retired, I volunteer at a senior facility working in a little grocery store they have for the residents. The people are great, a lot of them are alone, so it’s good for them and for me. Otherwise, I just try to stay busy. In good weather, I am out for a walk in the fresh air or gardening, and all year round I love to read. Much more entertaining than the TV! 

Periodic Contributor

I do too! 2 cats: Nyla & Deacon (he's a talker!)  Dee

Social Butterfly

June 9, 2021

 

@333Kim333 luv your post 😁 What are the names of your cats?

0 Kudos
8,285 Views
0
Report
Gold Conversationalist

I talk to myself (and answer)!

Social Butterfly


@2Papa wrote:

I talk to myself (and answer)!


💥 Lol @2Papa 🤣😂 💥

0 Kudos
8,790 Views
0
Report
Social Butterfly

June 9, 2021

 

Great post @AARPMaggie 😁

0 Kudos
10,251 Views
0
Report
Regular Contributor

I write and participate in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org). I have made friends all over the world. I also participate in the local write-ins to male friends with local writers. (It's free.)

 

Before Covid, I organized a meetup group of game players. We met every Sunday afternoon. When Covid started, we began meeting online using websites like boardgamearena.com. It's free, but become a premium member for $20/yr and it opens up more games and lets you invite players. We use zoom so we can talk while playing. Because we were playing virtually, we could invite friends from all over to play with us. I also made some friends on the site. You can jump on anytime, learn how to play the games wither through written rules, watching a video, or observe an actual game. I love it.

 

I don't mind being alone. I read or write. I'm also going through my things in efforts to downsize and sell off or give away things I no longer want/need that my son isn't interested in.

10,955 Views
6
Report
Social Butterfly

June 9, 2021

 

Hi @jezebellydancer sounds like you keep busy no matter what. I am also going through my things since retiring last year July 2020. Lol, now with things returning to normal, I have lost interest and heading out my front door every chance I get 🤣😂

0 Kudos
10,346 Views
5
Report
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Announcements

Try the new AARP Perks browser tool! Get timely reminders about AARP resources, discounts, and other member benefits as you browse online. Install AARP Perks now.

AARP Perks

Members Can Play More

Membership unlocks free online games and puzzles including classic Atari Games. Join today for just $12 per year with Automatic Renewal.

AARP Membership

AARP Rewards

Activate AARP Rewards to earn points for games, quizzes and videos. Redeem for deals and discounts. Get started with AARP Rewards now!

AARP Rewards Badge

Music and Brain Health

From soft jazz to hard rock - discover music's mental, social and physical benefits. Learn more.

Music and Brain Health