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The Battle Against Senior Loneliness: 5 Ways to Make New Habits That Keep You Engaged

By Maureen Lake February 07, 2023 Health and Fitness

Loneliness is a funny thing; it can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Have you found that you’re not socializing as much at this point in your life?

Maybe you’ve stepped away from your full-time job where people were only a fingertip away, and now you have to stretch much further to make connections. If you’re retired or working independently from home, loneliness is a real problem with significant side effects.

When I thought about loneliness and did research on this topic, I assumed that being lonely would create people eager for connections and wanting to seek friendships. But the opposite is what I found out to be true.

Loneliness is draining, upsetting, and distracting. Loneliness is NOT the same as wanting to be alone which can often bring positive attributes such us solitude, peace, and renewal.

It turns out that loneliness is a significant reason for unhappiness, and it’s important to know why we’re lonely to address it.

In fact, according to Elizabeth Bernstein’s Wall Street Journal piece, “Alone or Lonely,” the rate of loneliness has doubled in the past 30 years. I’m not too surprised by this statistic, especially when you think of how life and communities have changed.

Many Different Types of Loneliness

  • If you just moved to a new city, it makes sense that you’re lonely.
  • If you feel different than other people, you may feel isolated.
  • If you have family and friends but no deep intimate relationship, you may still feel lonely.
  • Maybe you’re too busy or lack trust in others or want some peace after a hectic and full life.

The Solution Depends on the Situation

Luckily there are many ways to change your habits so you can combat the situation. According to a study published in the PLOS Medicine journal in 2010, people with social relationships are not only happier but live more than 50 percent longer than the rest of us!

This alone is a great reason to change some habits! One thing is for certain, they all take a level of motivation, strength, and willingness to break old habits and establish new ones.

Get Better Sleep

Quality of sleep is detrimental. Yes, sleep. One of the most common indicators of loneliness is poor quality sleep, including taking a long time to fall asleep, waking up a lot during the night, and feeling sleepy during the day.

Sound familiar? Lack of sleep makes you grumpy, lowers your energy, and increases your likelihood of getting sick.

Create an Engaging Social Environment

Connect with other people. Join a book club, sign up for Pilates class, chat with the check-out person. Make a people connection during the day, every day.

Make a Difference in Your Community

Nurture others, including animals and plants. Volunteer, teach a class, attend a class, babysit, get a pet, fill your house with plants, tend the garden. There are so many ways to nurture in this world, and the love returned is twofold.

Open Up Your Heart and Mind

Unfortunately, loneliness can make people feel cynical, judgmental, and critical of others. It’s important to be aware of these traits in case you see them developing in you. It turns out that lonely people are less accepting of others.

Try Something Entirely New

Have you considered going to a retreat where you would meet like-minded women? A safe place to explore new ideas and to feel empowered? Why not inspire your well-being through unique experiences designed just for you? There are many events just for women like you.


Meditation is your best friend. The sheer act of meditating makes us feel connected to everything and everyone. Meditation cancels out the mental, emotional, and physical effects of loneliness. Even though our friends may walk in and out of our life, meditation is always here to stay.

Finding a retreat of likeminded women to spend some time with is fun and beneficial. The sheer act of participating with others in activities to nourish your soul will and does change your life forever – not to mention the lifelong friends you can make.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Most of us at some point in our life have suffered from loneliness. Have you found any good habits that worked for you to combat this dreaded feeling? Which habits were easy to achieve, and which required more work on your part? Please share with our wonderful community!

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Beth E Severson

The Amrit method of Yoga nidra meditation keeps ME from wigging out! Can honestly say it changed my life. Free vids on YouTube.

Linda Berkowitz

I too meditate every morning. I am intrigued by your information and plan to check it out!


I do meditation and focus on my Father above, but the physical bleeding being kof my souk is so lonely here and needs physical being friendship in real life. Is there a true friend and God believer out there. And I am not stupid to preditors.


I’ve lived alone for 32 years but always had a furry friend till 3 years ago so I was never lonely…but I am moving now closer to family…but it’s a furry friend I hope soon to add back into my life….thanks for this article..it actually made me feel less alone.

T. Reid

I like this article; it hit a nerve. Please publish more like it.

B L Wenger

I relocated from the mid-west to the deep south nearly 5 yrs ago. Initially it was a great adventure…but I continually got mocked and rejected as a “northerner” until I finally gave up on social clubs. Even at church people are nice, but superficial. They pay their token kindness contacts and run. I had heard that even now there is a deep seated resentment in the deep south of northerners and they are never accepted. I didn’t think it would be true…but…alas, it is. Initially I did try transferring to the local DAR, Master Gardeners, and Newcomers Club. I had positive expectations but quickly got shattered after hearing blatant rude comments. Now, I won’t even try, remembering the story of Pavlov’s dog.

Sheila A Metcalf-Bareiss

This sounds so sad! You deserve to be happy in your community of choice. You sound like the type of person I would love to befriend if I lived in your town. Can you take some weekend trips to a different location nearby with more scope for the imagination,and a more board minded group of people?

Linda Berkowitz

I am so sorry to hear your experience in the south. We went to golf Shores for years on vacation the people always seem so friendly but I guess there’s a huge difference between being a tourist and a resident. I am wondering if you checked out any meet up groups? Since my divorce, I have joined several meet up groups and have met people that have the same interests as I do such as meditation, hiking, plants, etc.Good luck in your struggles.


Ahh, alas, I too am as they call it, “a Yankee that has been replanted into the south!” I would so love to find a true God fearing friend who does not judge me, but finds the compassion to be a true friend with with real feelings.
I am a Navy brat. Moved about every 2 years of my life until high-school, at which point, I still was labeled and moved around but my parents were no longer service dedicated, and I have since lived a lonely and searching for true friendship individual.
I just ask, is there anyone out there who wants a true friendship, no requirements, nosexual requirements, but true friendship and loyalty as a a Christian human?


I find that being single at 64 can be very isolating. I take and teach Pilates. Work full time, have a spiritual community and started a Book Club. I have lots of energy and am often mistaken for age 50-55. However none of my friends are single. I spend the vast majority of weekends alone although I knit, study astrology, and garden. Couples want to spend time together on the weekends
Any advice?


Get out there and find some single friends who want to do things with you on weekends too.


If you like walking, do join a walking club. It is a great way to meet people and get exercise too. Are there any gardening clubs near you? Look for an activity you might enjoy, but one that other people attend.

Marie S

Ditto! Susan I wish you lived close by; I’m in Florida.


Where are you?


Yes where are you located I’m 67 divorced for 10 years, I too find the same thing that you are experiencing not enough or any single friends that want to do things on the weekends or do a 2 day road trip, been looking for one I live in michigan.

Linda Berkowitz

I too have found since my divorce that the weekends are the lonely times. I am lucky that I have several friends that are single and that helps and I always make an effort to schedule something with them on the weekends. Have you tried any of the meet up groups? I have found them an opportunity to meet people of like interests such as meditation, hiking, Pickleball etc.

The Author

Maureen Lake is a holistic wellness coach and best-selling author. She is passionate about helping women improve their health, energy, and happiness, especially after a draining illness. Her purpose is to empower women to find their spirit and value in life.

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