#parent | #kids | 13 Low-Cost Ways to Deal With Loneliness as You Age

Expand your circle

7. Reach out to strangers. Never mind that you were long ago taught not to talk to strangers.

Tiny Habits author BJ Fogg suggests visiting a park at the same time each day. Note the other people you see around. If you feel comfortable, strike up a conversation with folks who appear approachable.

Eldera’s Griffin also suggests reaching out to people you don’t know personally. If you enjoy an article, newsletter or book, let the author know, she says. You’ll make their day better and reap your own benefits. She also recommends saying hello to someone you come across in your neighborhood, at the store or library. Ask them about their day. 

8. Play video games. Multiplayer video games and electronic sports, now known as esports, can be extraordinarily social. You might compete against other avid gamers or play more casually for fun.

Either way, you can bond with players in gaming communities or on streaming sites such as Twitch and YouTube. You might even become a rock star with your kids or grandkids.

9. Host a cocktail party. “We’re all lonely after COVID, and [now] we’ve got to dust off the COVID cobwebs,” says Nick Gray, author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party: How to Build Big Relationships With Small Gatherings. He recommends hosting a casual cocktail party, complete with name tags, reminder messages and a little bit of structure to break the ice.

“You’re going to help your friends make new friends and then … you’re going to be the center of attention,” he says.

The most obvious question: Whom should you invite? Gray suggests reaching out to neighbors you may know only a little.

“Everybody wants to know someone who brings people together,” he says. “Whenever you invite someone to an event, it’s like a little gift you get to give them.”

One theme Gray recommends for a party: a book swap. You and your guests lay books you no longer want on a table, free for anyone to pick up. But it’s less about the books and more about the inevitable mingling that occurs. It might even lead to a regular book club.

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