Why companionship matters
We all go through life seeking happiness. This happiness comes in different forms to different people. 'Things' can make you happy, as can places, events, food... But nothing lifts your mood quite like the company of another person.
If there is one thing we learned from the pandemic, it was the impact that companionship (or the absence there of) could have on a person. How simply talking to friend or loved one could make a world of difference to someone's day. Companionship is important for our mental wellbeing. It's nimportant to all people of all ages, although older people are at greater risk of loneliness.
Why is companionship so important?
Companionship allows you to talk through things out loud
The power of conversation is one that cannot be underestimated. This is especially true when we are faced with a problem or feelings of anxiety about certain situations. As we grow older and things change in life, it can help to talk this through with another person. Simply getting your feelings out into the world can make a great difference to how you are feeling.
As the saying goes
A problem shared is a problem halved.
Companionship can prevent loneliness and social isolation
If you have lost special people in your life, especially if you find yourself new to living alone in later life, you might find yourself feeling lonely or isolated. This can be detrimental to your mental health, by affecting your self-esteem and stress levels and even causing problems with your sleep. Having a companion can provide you with a sense of belonging and happiness. You might choose to meet a companion at the same time each week and venture outside of the house.
A relationship with a companion, be it neighbour, friend or family, will also help you to maintain social skills and your independence, whilst building confidence to socialise.
To prevent feelings of isolation our top 4 tips are to:
- Try establishing a routine
- Learn how to feel safe at home
- Learn how to use the internet
- Make conversation
A companion, or companions, can help you maintain a better quality of life
Sometimes we just need a good laugh. Having someone you can talk to about the little things like television or your favourite food can really benefit your wellbeing. The act of smiling or laughing releases endorphins from your body which can relieve feelings of stress, and provide brain stimulation. You might even find yourself being introduced to new things through your social interactions.
And let's not forget the 7 benefits of a hug.
The perfect pastime to enjoy retirement
As you age, you might find that you have more spare time in the day. Having a conversation or arranging to meet a companion, is a great way in which to do fill this. It can also help to provide a distraction or means to talk about and deal with any negative thoughts or feelings. Talking to people on a regular basis can also help to maintain relationships with friends and family.
If you find companionship in someone of a similar age, you are most likely supporting them in the same way that they are to you.
Have you heard about the U-Curve Of Happiness?
A companion can encourage you to venture outside of your home
Growing older often goes hand in hand with less energy and an increasing number of well-established habits or patterns. Not always of course, but one common trend in later life can be to remain in the comfort of your home and, whilst there is nothing wrong with this, a change of scenery can do wonders for the mind. Having a companion accompany you can be a great motivator to leave the house. This might be to run weekly errands or more leisurely activities like having a coffee. Not only can doing so provide a sense of purpose, but it also encourages physical activity and movement which is important to both your physical and mental health.
Exercising outdoors is another terrific way to boost those feel-good endorphins.
What does companionship look like?
Companionship looks different to everyone. It can be a visit from the grandchildren, a telephone conversation with friends or a cup of tea with a neighbour. Any interaction big or small can have a positive effect on your mental health and wellbeing.
Try scheduling recurring events with the special people in your life.
How can I meet new people as an older person?
The idea of meeting new people can be daunting at any point in our lives and is commonly more profound in later life, especially if recently bereaved .
To find a new companion try taking up a hobby or activity, seeking out senior citizen groups in the local area (as off-putting as that may sound, many people are in a similar boat and you'll be supporting them too). Why not consider volunteering for your community or a local charity. You might also consider joining your local Audley health club, where you have the opportunity to mix with other ladies and gentlemen your age in a calm and relaxing environment.