We can be sailing along just fine – independent, self-contained, pursuing our own interests, plenty of friends, regular contact with family members, and then boom! – the holidays come upon us and we feel like our ship starts to sink.
The holidays aren’t always a happy time – for some they’re reminders that they are lone, whether they’re widowed, divorced, separated or simply away from family and friends. Add grief to that and it’s even more difficult. Loneliness is painful.
A new study saying that loneliness and social isolation are a major health hazard is no surprise to millions of people who are alone and lonely. Not having the fundamental human experience of connectedness is painful and even dangerous, especially if you are older.
The concept of aging alone occurred to me after helping my older parents with challenges like cleaning the house, meal preparation, shopping, driving to doctor’s appointments and medical treatments, and even managing medications.
As we age, we become more and more aware of our health and what our bodies need for us to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We try to eat better. We try to exercise. We try to take our vitamins and drink more water. But could we be missing out on something that impacts our health even greater?
Women are worriers by nature. We worry about our families, our friends and our future. Those of us who live alone have learned to be independent – but that doesn’t stop us from worrying about the years ahead.
Whether you are starting over because your marriage ended, or because you are a widow or an empty nester, it is a time to refocus your life. And with that new focus, come new possibilities.
So, you are starting over on a new path and you are killing it! You are happy, you are fulfilled and you are living the life you have always dreamed of living. But, no matter how much you keep telling yourself how great your new life is, you are lonely. Yep, there are times when you are crushingly lonely.
If you’re wondering how to feel less lonely, it is easy to feel like the situation is out of your control. After all, we can’t control how other people feel or think.
We know that growing older and living alone is hardest when residing in the suburbs. In urban areas are we have access to public transportation and potentially more people to interact with daily.