10 Opportunities for Socialization
Socialization is important to your quality of life, especially as we age. Some studies say it’s important in our length of life as well as quality of life. Socialization is important to your physical and mental well being.
We are not only talking about singles meeting people but couples also need socialization and outside friendships. It is healthy for the marriage. You don’t have to be retired either to benefit from these socialization tips.
So you see the need for socialization, but how do you do it, especially if you are not in the workplace anymore, the usual source of many friendships.
So I researched some ideas and then asked my Facebook friends to add to the list. Below is our group sourced list of socialization opportunities.
10 Socialization Opportunities
1. Churches – Phil, Betty Jane and a number of people mentioned church. Churches are a main source of socialization opportunities throughout life. Many churches have senior and single group activities like pot luck dinners and field trips. Betty Jane says: Bible Study Fellowship is a worldwide organization with classes that encourage discussions and participation.
2. Volunteering – my wife volunteers at the hospital and she has become friends with both the employees and other volunteers. She joined the auxiliary committee and they started having lunch meetings to discuss activities and then continued with social lunches. Now she frequently has lunch with another lady volunteer she has become friends with. Randy says: A lot of nonprofits and charities need all kinds of help. You can help out and make friends too. Kathy suggests volunteering too. Resources: AARP Volunteer and VolunteerMatch are good places to start. Or your local hospital or senior center needs volunteers.
3. Senior Centers – They are absolutely great for socialization with all the programs and activities with friendly people. There are a huge selection of activities for seniors that you can enjoy with others. For the more active, try to find an “active adult” center. Resources: See activities at senior centers.
4. Hobbies – Whatever hobby you have or want to start, there is usually a local group of people who have a passion for the same hobby. Attend local meetings, shows and conventions. The group will need members to help with activities and this a great way to meet people.
5. Clubs – Donna says: Check to see if there is a club for your favorite activity in the area. You’ll automatically have something in common with the other members. Book clubs are popular. Dance Clubs – Every larger metro area has people who like to dance. Take dance lessons and you will meet others who like dancing. Attend the dances and enjoy meeting the friendly people and you may turn into a regular dance club member. We are members of a dance club that meets every Saturday at 7pm. Resources: Meetup.com, just Goggle for your city + activity + club.
- A. Sports events – A group of us have attended the Petit LeMans Race at Road Atlanta every year for the last 5 years. We look forward to this very much and start talking about it a few months before, buying tickets, checking out web sites, discussing etc. This could be a football, basketball, soccer or other games.
- B. Gym / Health Club – Phil says he has a group of regulars that he sees and visits with at the health club. A health club can be a social event as much as an exercise opportunity.
- C. Sports team participation – Join a bowling team, bocce ball team, golf team, walking club, even Wii-games.
The senior games or senior Olympics are great because they have something for everyone and will assign you to a team if needed. I participated last year and went to the awards banquet. We had so much fun getting our gold medal for bocce ball in the beginners level.
7. Move to a Retirement Community – New friendships can easily be made at retirement communities which have programs and activities to encourage socializing, especially at active adult communities.
8. Life long learning – classes of any type stimulate your mind as well as having interaction with fellow students and teachers. Betty Jane says continuing ed classes at your local college. Also I have taken classes at the senior center.
9. Breakfast meetings – senior groups meet at McDonalds or other local restaurants, even some grocery store cafes and other places. Larry attends the morning meetings of regulars at McDonalds.
10. YMCA – Kaye suggest this. I think your local YMCA is worth a visit and tour what’s available. These days the YMCA is very modern and resourceful.
Bonus tip: Part time jobs – work has always been the number one provider of friendships and part time work can too.
If you have any additional socialization tips, please note in the comment section below.
Thanks to Facebook friends for their suggestions for this list: Donna Hull, Kathy Woods, Randy Mitchell, Betty Jane West Reese, Kaye Swain, Phil Miller, Ann Hearn, Robin Murray, Duane Lane Smith, Larry Wehunt