Why Loneliness Is Bad for Men’s Health

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Why Loneliness Is Bad for Men’s Health

When you think of health issues that plague men in the silver years, you most likely think of diabetes, various forms of cancer or obesity. But the one thing that’s nowhere near your list, since we live in the world of almost complete connectivity, is the one problem that men are most affected by – isolation. Why Loneliness Is Bad for Men’s Health…

According to various studies, loneliness shouldn’t be underestimated in terms of its impact on an ageing man’s health. A lack of socialization can be a tremendous factor in causing cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and other dangerous diseases. Luckily, there are many things you can do to prevent and overcome isolation, long before it takes a toll on your quality of life.

Take up a hobby

Why Loneliness Is Bad for Men’s Health

But not just any hobby that will keep your mind or hands occupied for a portion of the day. It’s essential that you find an activity that you can share with a friend, a spouse, a community in your neighbourhood, or a whole new club f friends. A brilliant way to keep your brain and body young and socialize is to take up dance lessons.

The tactile element of an embrace in any dance also means less stress, since it will reduce your cortisol levels. You can also expect better mobility, laughing to your own clumsy slip-ups and of course, the learning process keeps your mind and feet nimble – in the company of like-minded folk.

Make a difference

Why Loneliness Is Bad for Men’s Health

Once upon a time when you were working hard day in and day out, you naturally had that feeling of contributing to your family, city and country. But as soon as retirement sets in, it’s difficult to retain that feeling of being useful, and it’s natural to wish to find new ways to give back to the world, and make use of our talents.

Since you have both time and skills on your hands, what better way to bond with your community than to take part in a charitable event? Whether it’s tutoring, starting a DIY club to sell arts and crafts and donate the proceedings to a charity, or spending some time in a homeless shelter, you’ll be able to give back and spend quality time with people in your community.

Adapt your lifestyle

Why Loneliness Is Bad for Men’s Health

There are exceptions, of course, but most of us are fairly set in our ways once we arrive to the moment when our kids leave the nest, we lose our spouse, or when we retire. It’s difficult to even think about moving to a different location, let alone act on it immediately, so it’s necessary to plan and prepare ahead.

Consider moving to a more social neighbourhood or a retirement community, or even hiring an in-home care professional to help you deal with loneliness. As we age, it’s natural that the people that were once an integral part of our lives have moved on in one way or another, but having someone to help you, to talk to, and to provide you with emotional support is vital for ageing with dignity and in comfort.

Up your fitness game

Why Loneliness Is Bad for Men’s Health

This could be the last thing on your mind now that you’re leading a slow-paced life, but being active grows more important with every day you spend on this planet. As you age, you need to work harder to keep your body as vital and healthy as it should be, and dieting is equally essential to fuel your regular workouts.

Even if it means getting a pooch, having daily walks and gardening from time to time, you can work up to a regular gym routine of resistance training combined with cardio, stretching and mobility work. Add to that those dance lessons, and you’re all set!

Schedule some dates

Whether it’s with your old high-school friend you haven’t spoken to in years or your fishing pal whom you see only twice a year, it’s important to nurture your friendships all year round. Make it a coffee date to spend every Wednesday afternoon with your neighbour, or go grocery shopping with your best friend every Saturday morning.

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you take the time to rekindle your bond and spend quality time with your friends on a regular basis. Even just sitting in silence on the porch while reading a good book with a glass of wine can be your go-to cure for the loneliness blues.

Olivia Williams Jones

Olivia is psychologist from Brisbane. She is passionate about writing and always inspiring her readers to be clever in their lives.

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