From girls’ night to late nights at the office, fun vacations to work trips, as we age our priorities evolve and we spend less time nurturing our social wellness. Loneliness doesn’t just influence emotional health but can increase blood pressure, lower immunity and worsen cardiovascular disease. No matter how old we are, social interaction is a vital part of maintaining good mental health.
As we age we are likely to experience life-changing moments such as the death of a loved one, illness, retirement or no longer being needed in the role as caretaker. These factors lead to an increased risk for substance abuse, depression and anxiety, and lead many older adults to isolate themselves from loved ones and avoid social interaction. However, social contact and positive friendships play a major role in keeping older adults healthy, active and engaged in life. Many adults find pleasure in becoming part of their community by volunteering, taking a cooking class, or joining a book club.
Along with establishing healthy hobbies, women may benefit from the love, responsibility and companionship of adopting a pet. Many older women struggle with no longer feeling needed. For many years they filled the role of caretaker, but as their kids and grandkids grow into adults their guidance and support is needed less. Caring for an animal repairs a woman’s sense of responsibility, and boosts her mood and self-worth while lowering anxiety and depression.
Growing old should be celebrated, because the truth is not everyone gets the chance to. Continued happiness and healthy aging is rooted in emotional, mental, physical and social wellness. By leaving no stone unturned, women are able to enter this new chapter of life with renewed excitement, hope and strength.