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Midlife MOT: wealth, work and wellbeing
Midlife MOT: wealth, work and wellbeing

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3.5 Social interaction to improve your wellbeing

Mixing with other people is a good way of boosting your mood and general feeling of wellbeing. With the recent pandemic we’ve all been forced to stay at home and have become more isolated. This has been hard for so many and you might feel that as a result your social network has reduced. Social contact is so important so do make a proactive effort to build up your connections and make time for this; whether it’s meeting up with friends or family, or reaching out for new social contacts. This could be planned or spontaneous, whether it’s a walk with a neighbour, dinner with friends or joining a new class at the local sports centre, every connection is valuable.

The image is a drawing of an outdoors social scene. A person plays with their child. Two people, arm in arm, walk a dog. Two people play chess. Behind them is a small hill with trees.

Research has found that high quality social relationships can help people live longer and healthier lives. By contrast loneliness and a lack of brain stimulation has been linked to a decline in mental abilities such as memory loss and even dementia. Social isolation can also increase the likelihood of dying from all causes – a risk that may rival that linked with smoking, obesity and physical inactivity.

You may not be socially isolated when you’re still working but as you get closer to retirement you might want to look at ways to keep your social networks alive. Read more about the impact of social isolation in older age here. [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

You can learn more here about the benefits to wellbeing of social relationships.