Tips to keep your social network strong

As you head into retirement, and reduce the hours you’re spending day-to-day with colleagues and workmates, it can feel more difficult to stay in touch and maintain those networks that you’ve built over time. While staying in contact and socialising with others might feel like a given while you’re working full-time, your social life may also go through a sense of transition along with your work/life balance in your later years.

With time freed up as you leave the workforce, it offers up a great opportunity to spend that time keeping your social networks intact so you still feel connected with friends and the community.

So, how do you keep those social connections strong?

While feeling socially isolated isn’t something only those in their later years experience, it is a concern that we should be aware of because it can be linked to health problems. And if you become less mobile as you get older, it can be harder to get out and get socialising.

Get online

If you are becoming less mobile, or don’t fancy the idea of meeting up with strangers in person, online networking sites are the perfect way to connect with others from the comfort of your couch. If you’re reading this, it means you’re undoubtedly pretty tech-savvy already! Using a networking site like Facebook, or starting your own blog where you can connect with others in the comments section, is a great way to chat with like-minded people without the pressure of a face-to-face conversation.

If you start your own group on Facebook with friends and colleagues, it’s an easy way to organise social events – or even regular catch-ups – in a more personal way than sending out a mass email.

Join a club

For those who’d rather a face-to-face chat, a club or group that meets on a regular basis is even better. Despite how much time people do spend online these days, book clubs, crafting groups and other socialising opportunities are still going strong. A quick Google search or even the noticeboards in your local supermarket will help you find out what’s available in your area. If there isn’t a club in your area that does something you’re interested in, you could even start your own.

Offer a helping hand

If you’ve got time freed up and want to use that to help out your community then volunteering is the perfect way to connect with others and lend a helping hand. Again, your best bet for finding volunteering opportunities near you is a quick Google search, or asking friends and family who have volunteered where they would recommend. For those who love animals, helping at a wildlife rehabilitation centre will give you the chance to socialise with other animal lovers, and share the love with a few furry friends!

Head to the garden

For the green thumbs who are looking to stay active and connected, you could try out something like a community garden where you’re able to enjoy time outside around other green thumbs.

While these things might seem straightforward, as you head into retirement and away from the full-time workforce it’s important to be reminded that it doesn’t mean your social life has to suffer. If anything, hopefully with more free time, you’ll get the chance to try new things and stay connected with friends, family and your community! Maybe it’s as simple as keeping a weekly standing date with friends or family. What’s the best way you find you’re keeping social?

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