People who never get lonely as they age usually adopt these 9 daily habits

Ava Sinclair by Ava Sinclair | March 30, 2024, 4:10 pm

There’s a vast difference between feeling alone and embracing solitude as we get older.

This disparity often comes down to habits. Those who never feel lonely have usually adopted daily practices that keep loneliness at bay, while still enjoying their own company.

These are not people who fear aging or isolation. Rather, they’ve found a way to love their own company and fill their days with meaningful activities.

Interestingly, there are certain daily habits that seem common among these individuals. Let’s delve into them, and see how they can help us age gracefully without the burden of loneliness.

1) Embrace routine

Ever noticed how some older folks seem to have the same routine day in and day out?

There’s power in that consistency. It’s a comfort, a sense of control, and it’s one tool in their arsenal against loneliness.

Routine doesn’t mean mundane or boring. For these folks, it’s about having familiar touchpoints throughout the day that bring joy and stability.

It could be a morning walk in the park, coffee with a friend, or a favorite TV show in the evening. In fact, the activities themselves are not as important as the consistency they bring.

This isn’t just conjecture – research shows that maintaining a routine can help older adults feel more secure and less lonely.

By adopting a routine, they’re setting themselves up for a day filled with expected pleasures. It’s like having an old friend who’s always there for you.

2) Staying connected

I’ve always admired my Aunt Lucy. Even in her late 80s, she never seemed to get lonely.

One habit I noticed was her commitment to staying connected. She was never the most tech-savvy, but she learned how to use video calls to keep in touch with family and friends across the globe.

Every Sunday, like clockwork, she would have her “virtual tea parties”. We would laugh, share stories, and for that hour or so, we were all in her living room despite the physical distance.

Aunt Lucy taught me the importance of maintaining connections. It’s not about being surrounded by people all the time. It’s about nurturing meaningful relationships, even if it’s over a screen.

And studies support this. Researchers have found that older adults who maintain social connections have lower rates of loneliness.

Here’s the bottom line: no matter how far apart we are from our loved ones, technology has made it possible to stay connected. And that connection might just be the key to warding off loneliness as we age.

3) Lifelong learning

One common trait among those who never get lonely as they age is their insatiable curiosity. They have a love for learning that keeps their mind sharp and their days filled with purpose.

Whether it’s picking up a new hobby, studying a subject of interest, or even mastering a new recipe – they’re always in pursuit of knowledge.

And this isn’t just about keeping busy. Engaging in cognitive activities like learning can actually stimulate brain function and improve mental health.

4) Active lifestyle

It’s no secret that physical activity has a plethora of health benefits. But did you know it can also help combat feelings of loneliness?

Those who maintain an active lifestyle as they age often report feeling less lonely. This could be due to the endorphin boost that exercise provides, creating a sense of happiness and well-being.

It’s not about running marathons or lifting heavy weights. Simple activities like walking, gardening, or even dancing can have a significant impact.

Moreover, being active often involves getting out of the house, which provides opportunities to interact with others and feel connected to the community.

5) Mindfulness practice

You might be surprised to find mindfulness on this list. But cultivating a regular mindfulness practice can be incredibly beneficial in managing feelings of loneliness.

Mindfulness is all about being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.

Practicing mindfulness can help us develop a stronger connection with ourselves, which in turn can make us feel less lonely.

Whether it’s mindful meditation, yoga, or simply taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breath, incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can make a significant difference in how you experience solitude as you age.

6) Giving back

There’s something deeply fulfilling about contributing to the well-being of others. Many people who age without feeling lonely have discovered the joy that comes from giving back.

Volunteering, helping a neighbor, mentoring a young person, or even caring for a pet can offer a sense of purpose and connection to the world.

It’s not about seeking recognition or rewards. It’s about the simple act of kindness, the shared smiles, and the knowledge that you’ve made a difference, however small it might be.

This act of giving doesn’t just benefit those on the receiving end. It fills us with a warmth, a sense of accomplishment, and a connection to others that can buffer against feelings of loneliness.

7) Embracing solitude

I used to fear the idea of growing old alone. The thought of spending my later years in solitude seemed daunting, even depressing. That was until I met a remarkable woman named Edna.

Edna lived alone, but rarely used the word ‘lonely’. She had mastered the art of embracing solitude. She filled her days with things she loved – painting, gardening, and even bird-watching.

Instead of seeing solitude as an enemy, she saw it as an opportunity. An opportunity to know herself better, to enjoy her own company, and to do things at her own pace.

Edna’s perspective changed mine. I realized that being alone doesn’t have to equate to loneliness. It’s all about how we perceive and utilize our time alone.

If you’re worried about feeling lonely as you age, try shifting your perspective on solitude. Embrace it as an opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth. It might make all the difference.

8) Regular check-ins

Staying in touch with loved ones is a simple yet effective habit that can help combat feelings of loneliness. This doesn’t mean you need to be in constant communication or have lengthy conversations every day.

It could be as simple as a daily text to a friend, a weekly phone call with a family member, or even an email to an old acquaintance. These regular check-ins help maintain a sense of connection and remind us that we’re not alone.

These small interactions can have significant emotional benefits and provide an ongoing sense of community and belonging.

9) Self-care

Above all else, prioritizing your physical, emotional, and mental well-being is non-negotiable. Self-care often takes a backseat, particularly as we grow older, yet its impact on combating loneliness cannot be overstated.

This encompasses a myriad of practices: from nourishing your body with a balanced diet to prioritizing adequate sleep, indulging in self-care treats, and even seeking professional support when necessary.

Let’s be clear: self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s an absolute necessity. By placing our well-being at the forefront, we not only bolster our health but also amplify our ability to savor life’s moments and forge meaningful connections with others.

So, don’t underestimate the power of self-care—it’s the cornerstone of a fulfilling and connected existence.

Reflective conclusion: Embracing the journey

The path of aging is a unique journey for each of us. It presents its own set of challenges and joys, solitude being one of them.

The daily habits we’ve discussed are not a magic formula, but they offer a guide to embracing solitude and turning it into an enriching experience, rather than a source of loneliness.

Remember, it’s not about trying to replicate someone else’s life or routine. It’s about finding what brings you joy, what keeps you engaged, and what makes you feel connected.