Especially around the holidays, we think more and more about being connected with friends and family. But did you know that staying connected to the world around you is vital for healthy aging? Being socially connected enhances your quality of life by providing avenues for meaning and purpose.
"Many people approach aging as if it is a battle to be fought. Those with the best chance of winning this battle are those who remain engaged with others. Connecting with other people provides you with many opportunities to stimulate your brain through conversation and learning and having a sense of purpose. Share meals, play cards, volunteer, or do crafts with others. Enjoy time with your grandchildren or travel to a place you have always wanted to visit. You can still remain active, have a sense of purpose, and enjoy life even if you are moving a little slower." - Kerry D. Olsen, M.D., Professor of Otolaryngology and Past Medical Director of the Dan Abraham Health Living Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
Take Action Now
- Reach out. Call one or two friends you have not seen in a while and catch up. Better yet, go out to lunch or dinner to engage face-to-face.
- Use technology. Connect with your family and friends virtually via tools like Facebook, Skype, Instagram, blogs or forums like Mayo Clinic Connect.
- Volunteer. Find a local non-profit that you admire and volunteer with them. Make an effort to get to know one or two others who volunteer with the group too.
- Try a new wellness class. Challenge yourself to experience a new wellness offering. Find another person you can attend with, or attend on your own to meet new people with similar interests.
- Plan ahead. Make your transitions easier by giving yourself adequate time to adjust to new goals or changes in your living environment.
Make new social connections in Mayo Clinic Connect Groups. Share your health goals, experiences, ask questions and find support from people like you.