Living alone is hard; humans are made so that we coexist and create many relationships throughout our lives. These relationships will allow us to forge our personalities and make us how we are. We will be able to discover ourselves through others and build up piece by piece, just like a puzzle; social contact keeps us going; it allows us to interact and thus halt our downfall into depression.
Even if social contact and interaction feel like a human need, more than 20 % of U.S. citizens from 60 years old and above life alone. In contrast to other countries, this number is surprisingly high. Especially when compared to eastern countries where the elderly are treated with much consideration and live with their adult children when they reach a certain age.
Reasons Why They Are Alone:
- Personal choice.
- Death of spouse.
- No children.
- Children move-out.
Living alone does not have to be equal to depression and sadness; you can be alone without loneliness. You should note that being alone is based on physicality, while being lonely is more linked to feelings. If you feel lonely, that means that you are interacting enough with people around you…and there are many ways to address this issue.
As I mentioned above, loneliness is a feeling that is very recurrent among older adults. Loneliness can moreover turn into social isolation that has a lot of health conditions attached to it;
- Premature death caused by diabetes, stroke, or heart attack.
- Depression and anxiety that most of the time lead to suicide.
- Heart problems.
- Sleep problems cause a lot of health issues too.
How To Beat Loneliness
Now that you know some of the drawbacks of loneliness, you will want to beat that feeling to avoid the health issues that come with it.
Search For The Cause
You may notice that you feel lonely even when people surround you. Sometimes a smell, something you hear, the weather, or even a specific date may trigger loneliness. If you can point out what makes you feel lonely, you will fill in the void by doing activities and keeping your mind busy.
There are different ways to occupy your mind; you may start a new sport or physical activity. It doesn’t have to be something heavy; you can do golf or go out to ride a bike every day.
Even a walk will do the trick; keep in mind that physical activities have proven good for the body and mind for long, and it also applies to older adults.
There is a certain food that makes you feel more nostalgic and sad. Sugar is among the food that can drag you down in seconds. I recommend that you cook something at home, using fresh and healthy ingredients; look for your comfort food.
Some people like their personal space but may feel lonely. I have the best solution for you; get yourself a pet. For sure, they are no replacement for human interaction, but most pets are very cuddly, and they are very good company when you are not in the mood. On top of that, they are loyal friends and won’t tell you secrets to anyone.
Sometimes when you are lonely, all you need is a good nap—a lot of people who feel lonely feel so because they are tired and lack sleep. On top of that, sleep seems to take away our problem, isn’t it?
Even living alone doesn’t mean you should be alone all day long. Join senior centers, volunteers and take classes, for example, pastry courses.
If this is a persisting condition, you may want to talk to your family about the situation. Let us know in the comments why do you feel lonely?