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.
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…
Welcome to another installment of my “living like a millionaire on a retirement budget” series. No matter what our financial situation, we all have budgets. Living beautifully — or luxuriously can hinge on changing a perception or making an attitude adjustment.
Einstein said, “I live in that solitude which is painful in youth but delicious in the years of maturity.” I live there too, these days. It’s new to me, brought on by shifting circumstances and changing times…
Much has been written about loneliness in recent months – and not just about the elderly who find themselves alone in later life.
There’s no question that having a support system and a sense of community is important as we get older. Face-to-face friendships matter. Study after study report that friendships are vital to longevity, and to our physical and mental health.
“Why do I feel lonely in a group?” This was the question that one of my friends asked as we sat in a coffee shop after a trip to the gym. She explained that, since she was still working, she was always surrounded by other people. But, she still felt lonely most of the time.
Loneliness is a complex problem. For starters, being alone is not the same as being lonely. Our feelings of loneliness come from how we interpret our situation, not from the simple fact that we are by ourselves.
A recent 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.