“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.”
– Henry David Thoreau
Friendship is something that we all need at every stage in our lives. Our friends give our lives meaning, comfort, and joy, helping to prevent loneliness and isolation. Dear friends aren’t just good for the soul; they’re also good for our health.
Having close friendships is associated with positive health outcomes, including lower blood pressure, stronger immunity, and reduced stress. Best of all, the health benefits of friendship seem to increase with age. Research indicates that having positive social connections can lower the risk of cognitive decline and may even help us live longer.
There’s no denying that friendships are valuable. However, as we get older, our social circles tend to become smaller and smaller. After retiring and leaving the working world, it takes a little extra effort to maintain or grow your network of friends.
Wondering how you can meet new people and enjoy a vibrant social life throughout your retirement? We have a few ideas for you! Here are some great ways to make meaningful, lasting connections:
Follow your passions
Making new friends is easier when you find others with mutual interests. What makes you happy? What hobbies do you enjoy now? What new activities would you like to try?
You can find groups for just about every activity, whether your passion is arts and crafts, bird watching, gardening, music, cooking, reading, or anything in between. It feels natural to strike up a conversation with others when you’re doing something fun together!
You know that exercising is good for your health, but did you know that staying active can also help you make new friends? Consider joining a fitness class or walking club, or participate in a low-impact sport like golf, bocce ball, or pickleball. You’ll have more motivation to maintain a consistent fitness routine when you know your teammates or workout buddies are counting on you!
Volunteering is a wonderful way to form new connections while helping others at the same time. Participating in volunteer activities is also known to help boost mood and reduce feelings of stress. Theatres, museums, schools, community centers, and animal shelters are always in need of volunteers to share their time and talents.
New friendships blossom in independent living
Life in an independent living community presents endless opportunities to meet new people and form friendships with peers who have similar interests. When you’re never more than a few steps away from friendly neighbors and fun, engaging social activities, you’re bound to build strong connections and grow your friendship circle!