How to achieve happiness in old age
As we age we will undoubtedly downsize our social lives and we will accept that we will no longer be able to be the centre of attention. This may be a comfort to some of us, but to others it will feel like we are losing our status.
On top of this we will also begin to start experiencing many other losses such as our homes, way of life, friends or even our partner. We will also spend time thinking about what could have been, the things we didn’t do, the places we didn’t go, the people we didn’t meet and it is natural and o.k to feel sad about all of this.
Don’t forget the you are still useful to other people. Perhaps if you feel you have lost your purpose then do some volunteer work at the local charity shop, see how you can help your National Trust, local museums, schools or even people worse of than yourself who can’t manage to get out or look after themselves.
Reach out when you least feel like it because this is the time when you will need it. Retiring and aging will often leave you feeling like you’ve been dropped by old friends but this is a transitional period that will take some getting used to. You will experience far more grief and depression in old age than in other periods of your life and remember that these emotions are strong and often make other people feel uncomfortable and could contribute to you and your friends drifting apart. Often they would like to offer their help but are waiting to be asked in fear of doing the wrong thing.
Make an effort to pick up the phone and call a friend or issue an invitation. Many old people are strapped for cash but it doesn’t have to be a lavish dinner, it can be coffee.Be aware of whats happening in the community and see what services are available for you then ask along a friend. Don’t wait to be asked because in the meantime you could become withdrawn. Be the one who takes the initiative.
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