Many of us midlife women and/or women over 50 are now finding ouselves single after being married for x amount of years. Some by choice, others not. Whatever the case may be, many of us are lonely. Today we’re going to talk about how to overcome loneliness after 50.
I remember after I left my last relationship, a toxic one at that, I needed some downtime to do a little inner healing work. When I was done, I was ready to date.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be.
Eventually, I left Canada and moved to Guatemala which made dating that much harder. I’ll be 60 this year and find myself pretty lonely at times but I have found many ways to deal with my feelings of loneliness.
9 to be exact! And I’m going to share them with you here.
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How to Overcome Loneliness After a Breakup
This one is tough, right? We’ve been with our person for so long and they are all we’ve ever known and now they are no longer a part of our lives, loneliness and depression set in.
The tips I share in this article about how to overcome loneliness cover all forms. Whether we are divorced, just lost a loved one or simply just feel alone in life.
I think it’s important to learn how to enjoy time alone and how to love yourself again.
The 7 Stages of Grief
I think we should touch upon the 7 stages of grief in this article because it comes into play while we’re learning how to overcome loneliness.
The seven stages of grief are another popular model for explaining the many complicated experiences of loss. These seven stages include:
- Shock and denial: This is a state of disbelief and numbed feelings.
- Pain and guilt: You may feel that the loss is unbearable and that you’re making other people’s lives harder because of your feelings and needs.
- Anger and bargaining: You may lash out, telling God or a higher power that you’ll do anything they ask if they’ll only grant you relief from these feelings or this situation.
- Depression: This may be a period of isolation and loneliness during which you process and reflect on the loss.
- The upward turn: At this point, the stages of grief like anger and pain have died down, and you’re left in a more calm and relaxed state.
- Reconstruction and working through: You can begin to put pieces of your life back together and move forward.
- Acceptance and hope: This is a very gradual acceptance of the new way of life and a feeling of possibility for the future.
The above excerpt is from Healthline.com. It really puts loneliness and grief into perspective for us.
How to Overcome Loneliness-9 Things You Can Start Doing Today
Now, before I share with you how to overcome loneliness, it’s important for me to mention something first.
If you feel you have, or are suffering from, mental health issues that have been brought on by your loneliness, or maybe you feel you need professional help or more emotional support, here are some additional resources for you:
If you aren’t in the United States, please check out this link < it’s an international help site.
Please reach out to any of these services if you need more help. You don’t have to go through this alone. There is always someone out there to talk to.
I really needed to get that message out.
So without further ado, here are 9 simple ways on how to overcome loneliness. If you have any other ideas please drop them down in the comments below and share with the other readers!
The first step in overcoming your feeling of loneliness is recognizing that there might be a problem and it’s up to you to handle it. You can spend the rest of your days just being sad and lonely but why would you want to?
That’s no way to live.
1 Spend Time With Someone You Love (family member/close friends)
Reach out to someone you love whether it be your close friends or a family member and let them know how you’re feeling. Remember people aren’t mind readers. No one will know you are sad and lonely if you don’t tell them
And I know you’re going to say “Oh I don’t want to bother anyone”. Trust me. You aren’t. People genuinely care about you and want to help you. Don’t forget that.
Go hang out with your sister and her fun grandkids. Play some silly video games with them. Young people are fun to be around and make us feel young again too!!
Go for a coffee or lunch with a sister/cousin/aunt/old high school pal. Or maybe just hang out in someone’s backyard talking about the good old days.
Make that phone call and reach out today.
2 Take a Break From Social Media
Now while this may sound counter-intuitive, hear me out. Social media is a great way of making us feel sorry for ourselves by looking at everyone’s pictures of their fun life, only to realize that ours isn’t.
First of all, stop comparing your life to other people’s and second of all, people will only show you the good things, and when they’re having a good time, on social media, never the bad.
I bet you a million dollars Margaret experiences loneliness too, just like you. So do yourself a favour, take a little break from social media so you don’t get too sad looking at everyone’s happy pics.
3 Go For a Walk-Take Care of Your Physical Health
It’s so important to keep moving and maintain your health and it’s never too late by the way. Some ways to do this are:
- join an exercise class
- eat more nutritious food
- start a healthy diet
- try to get enough sleep at night
- quit smoking/drinking (if you do)
When you take care of your physical health, it really does make you feel better about yourself and life in general! It makes you feel happy too which is always a good thing.
If you want to prevent health problems (especially Alzheimer’s disease) when you are much older, the only way is to start now and take better care of your health!
4 Connect With Like-Minded People
Surely you must know other women around your age who are lonely too. Or maybe you have a fun hobby like bird watching or hiking or whatever. Check out groups in your local area (yes they exist!) and connect with others.
If you can’t find a group, why not start one yourself? There are probably other lonely people who may be too shy to do something like this. You be the one!
5 Find Support Groups-Meetup Groups
And speaking of groups, find one and join it. I”m pretty sure there is a group of women your age who share common interests. What a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
Book clubs and your local library are two great places that probably have weekly meetups.
If you have social anxiety and have a hard time in social situations like support groups or meetups, you can also meet people in online groups too so you don’t have to leave the house but you’re not alone either!
Either way, you can see how easy it is to make social connections whether you’re an introvert or not.
6 Take Time For Yourself
I know this also probably sounds counter-intuitive but being lonely and alone is one thing. But taking time to truly appreciate who YOU are and what you have in your life is really eye opening.
Take yourself out on a picnic. Go for a road trip alone and blast your stereo and sing at the top of your lungs. Give yourself a spa day. Do whatever.
Or maybe instead of watching mindless TikTok videos why not check out some inspirational videos on YouTube (like mine!).
7 Attend More Social Events
Stop saying no when people invite you to places. Start saying yes for goodness sake. How on earth are you going to meet new people or make new friends if you’re always hiding in your house alone?
Can’t find anyone to go to an event with? Go alone. You’ll meet people with similar interests. I know you will.
Social isolation can be very damaging. You will eventually become so withdrawn you won’t ever leave the house. Please don’t do that to yourself.
8 Go Volunteer
Oh this my favourite thing on the list and should have been first! If you’re a dog lover, you can check out your local animal shelter to see if they need volunteers.
Have a heart for homeless people? Check out your local homeless shelter (by the way, they usually always need help). Some of the local treatment facilities also take volunteers to do random little things.
Or maybe you like hanging out with elderly people. Go see if any of the long term care facilities are looking for volunteers. A lot of elders are suffering with chronic loneliness because many don’t have anyone to visit them.
Find the one that calls to your heart and go. In my opinion, this entire blog could have been written how to overcome loneliness by volunteering! Ha!
9 Write Out Your Feelings
Sometimes it’s just a really good idea to write things out. If I’m having a bad day, I’ll write out all my negative feelings and then release them. It just feels good. After I’m done that, I’ll write out some positive things in my life that I am really grateful for.
When we keep things in, they eat at us and tear us apart. When we let things out, we feel freer. Please don’t bottle up those negative sad thoughts. Let them out.
You’re really not alone
While you do feel lonely, the fact of the matter is, that you’re really not alone. There is so much help available and people to reach out to in person or online.
It’s up to you to reach out and seek help and support. This is the first step and while it may feel hard, once you’ve done it, you’ll feel so much better!
Learning how to overcome loneliness isn’t impossible
I hope you liked these 9 ways on how to overcome loneliness. They are all really simple and anyone can do them.
But the key is, you have to do at least get started and do one or two (or all!!) This is your one and only precious life. Just because you are alone right now, doesn’t mean you have to be lonely and depressed.
If you want to overcome that, it’s up to you and I know you can do it.
ox iva xo