Photo of a senior man's hands holding a cane

Depression and anxiety are becoming increasingly hot topics as the importance of mental health is being emphasized in our culture. Many people don’t realize the extent to which seniors experience depression and anxiety due to debilitating loneliness. Many seniors feel incredibly lonely after the death of a spouse, best friend, or special confidante. However, there are ways to help lift your spirits! If you’re a senior trying to cope with loneliness, keep reading for some tips and strategies that can help!

Pick Up New Hobbies

If you’re feeling lonely, picking up new hobbies can help you stay busy and distract yourself from negative thoughts and feelings.  There are a myriad of activities from which you can choose.  If you enjoy the creative arts, you might try crocheting, knitting, writing, painting, drawing, or playing music. Other hobbies that might interest you include singing in a choir, practicing tai chi, walking or hiking. Many seniors enjoy taking social dance classes, as these can be great ways to meet new people and make new friends.

Get a Pet

Pets are great companions for anyone, especially seniors. Pets can help reduce depression and anxiety by giving you physical companionship, social interaction, and a chance to develop a new relationship with another living being. However, getting a pet can be a lot of responsibility. For example, getting a dog for the first time can require a lot of patience and time training them to follow basic commands. Therefore, it’s important to know yourself and gauge what you’re ready to handle.

Maintain Social Routines

Another way to combat loneliness is to attend or schedule regular activities where you have the chance to be social and interact with others. For example, if you are a regular churchgoer, the weekly connection you receive when attending religious services will help you maintain relationships with others who care about you. Scheduling regular activities that allow you to be social can also help. Consider having regular meals with other seniors or friends who understand you. This will not only help you avoid loneliness, but can help you maintain a healthy and nutritious diet.

It’s important to actively seek out ways to cope with loneliness. It is far easier to manage loneliness and depression if you have a specific plan of things you can do when you are feeling down. Trying new hobbies, getting a pet, and maintaining regular social routines are three great ways that you can prevent and cope with debilitating loneliness.

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