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Making friends & hobbies..

What a long winter! We seem to have been a long time waiting for some brighter weather and a long grey winter also means a lot of people start to get the "winter blues". Some might call it depression, others SAD, but whatever you call it - it can mean people don't feel very happy. Because I enjoy being out in my garden or walking through the nearby woods or by the sea, I have found the long cold winter a rather miserable time and am really looking forward to some sunshine - even if it is not very hot.

March has been a sad time for me as, for the first time since I was 20, I spent my birthday on my own and, as I was not able to have children, Mother's Day is not a day when I get spoiled! As we get older we have to contend with the loss of family and friends and this can mean we feel isolated from other people.

I try to be as active and outgoing as possible and am lucky enough to still be working and have friends to socialise with, but many people are retired and are faced with day after day on their own. If you have hobbies that fill your time and you are happy with your own company, then that's fine, but if you need to have people around you it can be daunting to start trying to make new friends.

Depending on your interests, there are usually community centres that have get-togethers or your area might have a gardening club, photographic club, film club or similar. Your local Library is a good place to start as they usually have information on local clubs and society's that meet regularly and if the subject interests you, then it is not so daunting to walk into a room-full of strangers and start to talk to someone. One secret is to ask a question of someone and then really listen to their answer - there is no greater compliment than an attentive listener. Whilst the first few people you meet may not become friends, at least you will have broken the ice and once you have attended a club a few times, people will start to talk to you. The most talkative person may not be the person that you find friendly, so how about looking to see if there is someone else on their own - it might be their first visit too. And if you are learning a new skill it is easier if you can be with another new person, as those that are experienced sometimes forget what it was like to know nothing!

Whilst a lot of people these days do not attend a church, it can mean an hour spent with other people with a cup of tea or coffee afterwards. Often there are social events held during the week, daytime or evenings, and this could mean the start of new friendships.

One final piece of advice…try to smile. That is guaranteed to get you a smile back. It's like when someone yawns, it's catching!

Author: Heather Rudge 27/03/06
Part-time researcher with a specific interest in the older generation.

To contact me, Just click here


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