The emotional support provided by social connections helps to reduce the damaging effects of stress and can foster a sense of meaning and purpose in life, which we believe is vital to a happy and healthy life, both mentally and physically. So please see below for some ideas that we have put together for you on how you can interact, both with people you already know and with new people who may foster new interests. The internet is integral for this and is a fantastic way of developing new and existing connections.
While the telephone is a fantastic tool for staying in contact, the internet has helped a basic phone call move onto a whole new level. Why not arrange video calls with your friends and loved ones, either one to one or as a group? You could organise quiz nights, book clubs, wine tastings or just a group catch up, all while being able to see the smile that this puts on everyone's faces.
Online Book Clubs
If reading is your thing but not many people that you know are that interested, why not take the opportunity to reach out and join an online book club? There are many existing ones, so you're sure to be able to find one with people that you enjoy talking to and with a similar interest in books to you. You can get recommendations for new books, discuss ones that you have already read, or you can always take the initiative and start up your own book club!
There are many games that you can play online, plenty against people in real life which incorporates a chat function if you would like to. So why not think of your favourite board games and get online and find somewhere to play them? But be careful; while there are plenty of reputable sites there can also be ones who are not so reputable, so make sure you never provide any personal or financial information.
The Silver Line
The Silver Line is working in partnership with Age UK to offer weekly calls to people age 60 and over, who would like to receive regular weekly telephone friendship from a friendly and supportive volunteer. This is a lovely way of chatting with someone who is keen to make a new friend and will also help to bring a little sunshine into their lives as well.
Facebook will help you stay up to date both with people that you know and help you find new people with similar interests. There are many groups for every interest that you can imagine on Facebook and is a lovely way to be able to talk to like-minded people about things that interest you or challenges that you face and get support, advice, information and a whole host more. So sign up, get searching for your interests and join a few groups!
If you would like to be more involved closer to home, why not reach out to your local community centre or church and see what they have set up, or suggest starting a phone network for those people who don't have access to the internet? You could help them to set up a call on The Silver Line, or just ensure that everyone has the opportunity to hear a friendly and interested voice once a week.
While this may not be something that involves other people, exercise is also vital for keeping your mind and body active. Join 1980's ‘Green Goddess’ Diana Moran for over 70s exercise sessions on BBC Breakfast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6.55am and 8.55am. The famous fitness guru, who is now 80, is hosting front room fitness classes using household objects including chairs and stairs for props. If you don't catch her live, then sessions a