Don’t you wish you had interesting and enjoyable people to hang out with? Covid-19 has left many people feeling isolated and alone. Perhaps you were feeling disconnected even before the pandemic, wondering how to grow a network of loyal comrades.
Ever since your partner’s homegoing ceremony, you’ve been feeling listless and passive about taking the first step to reconnect with others in a meaningful way. You’re looking for one positive shift to lift you up and out.
Your empty nest, once bustling with activity, is uncomfortably quiet. Visits during holidays are the social highlights of the year. But you’re bored to the core and want more.
Before retirement, you looked forward to engaging with colleagues and attending company events. Now you’re missing the social interaction and are not sure how to build connections on your own.
As we get older, we learn that change is inevitable. When loved ones pass on or relocate, it can be challenging to enjoy the type of social life we want. However, know that what you are experiencing now does not have to be a permanent condition.
Whatever your situation, if you want to cultivate relationships, you’ve got to become proactive! The pandemic has significantly altered our lives, and it is up to us to invent creative ways to produce light during these unprecedented times. Know that you can transform your circumstances into something worth celebrating.
In order to realize the positive change you are seeking, you must become the positive change. In other words, when you are focused on making a difference in the lives of others, you begin to see a difference in your own life.
One of the reasons I started my holistic wellness business in my early 60s was to inspire mature women to reclaim their health, confidence, purpose, and power so they can live the life of their dreams. However, at a deeper, more personal level, my motivation was to build a community – a family of like-minded people with whom I could connect.
I am divorced, don’t have children of my own, and am an only child. Many of the close colleagues from my public school teaching career have either passed on or have moved far away to be closer to their children.
And when my dear, sweet mother made her transition, I became an architect of reinvention—discovering creative ways to remain socially connected. I knew that, for me, being of service would attract the socially conscious individuals I was seeking and fuel the fire that had been ignited in my soul.
If you want to solve the issue of isolation, it’s imperative that you devise a plan to make the connections you need. Reflect on what you want your community to look like. Why is it important for you to develop meaningful relationships? How much social interaction do you want?
These are unusual times, so be open to exploring unconventional opportunities. In your situation you have the opportunity to build from scratch the types of loving relationships you want.
Unlike the family you were born into, you get to select the members of your new, chosen family. These individuals will help to enrich your life and add a unique dimension to your daily experiences. And conversely, you will add a special flavor to theirs.
Don’t linger in the past. This is a new season, and you are a different person. Embrace the idea that at this important juncture on your journey, your social life can be juicy. Remember, you have the power to design the rest of your life.
Expect to be delighted! Paint a vision for your relationships. Move forward by taking actionable steps. Shifting your thoughts from your personal circumstances to blessing others will produce amazing results.
So, how do you transform a life that’s blah and bland to something grand?
If you’re not a member of a spiritual community, arrange to visit several during the next few months. You don’t have to commit to membership while exploring your options. Invite a member to a virtual tea, express your intention, and ask questions.
Participate in a few online events to see if this is the right fit for you. Building a stronger spiritual life will help you connect to your higher self and to the world around you.
Are you interested in public policy? Get involved at the local level. Joining forces with those who share your commitment to an honorable cause will elevate your level of participation and help to establish lasting and meaningful relationships.
There are many choices and many needs for your skills and interests – health and welfare of women and girls, services for those with special needs, animal rights and wildlife conservation, climate change and global warming, and more.
Be a blessing to others. What personal and professional skills would you like to share with your community? These could include mentoring, construction, legal services, counseling, and photography, to name a few.
Community service presents opportunities to engage in interesting conversations with like-minded individuals, showcase your talents, and forge friendships. Did you know, for example, that online tutoring is huge right now?
Even though Covid-19 has forced travel restrictions, that doesn’t mean you can’t begin planning your next excursion. Take advantage of discounted deals and local opportunities. Sign up for culinary classes at a famed resort or join a guided architectural walking tour in an historic city.
Whether you are a gardener, baker, painter, writer, singer, decorator, antique collector, or website developer, you can find new ways to share your gifts with those who will appreciate your talent. Are you an artist? Your tribe is looking for you!
Consider starting an online meetup or networking community for landscape painters. Not only have you set the stage for polishing your passion and performing your purpose, you will meet others who share your interest, talk your language, and from whom you can learn as well.
Do you love to learn? Due to the pandemic, in-person classes may be temporarily suspended, but online courses provide an opportunity to interact with people who have similar interests. You might get a chance to work on shared projects or compare notes on the subject you’re learning.
Are you interested in art history, interior design, upholstering, shoemaking, beginning guitar, or martial arts? Check out offerings at your community college, art school, music studio, library, craft stores, local specialty shops, and adult education classes at your local school district.
Take advantage of various platforms, like FaceTime or Zoom, to stay in touch with loved ones. Don’t wait for them to call you – initiate the call yourself! Now that you are busy engaging with your new, extended family, you may want to establish a schedule for communicating with relatives. Reach out to a different loved one each day and chat for a few minutes.
Sometimes we forget that when our lives appear bleak and bland, we have the power to make the positive changes that will promote satisfaction and well-being. Rejoice! You have a voice! “Choice,” the act of making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities, is a potent principle.
You can make a conscious decision to choose connection over isolation. Allow your heart to lead the way. Make life-affirming choices for how you want to continue showing up in your golden years.
Soon you’ll be so connected and regularly interacting with the new family you’ve created that you will cherish your quiet times. Isolation will no longer be a part of your experience. Instead, you will develop a new appreciation for the moments you spend in solitude—restoring your energy, nurturing your spirit, and preparing for your next adventure.
How are you staying engaged with others during the pandemic? What challenges are you facing in connecting with people? How has pursuing your interests led to positive interactions? In what ways have you reached out beyond family and friends to build new and rewarding relationships? We would love to hear about your experiences.