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Socialization is Good for the Brain and the Heart!

The month of July is rapidly approaching! A month of festivals, fun, and family. This is a very social time of year and that makes it a great time for the brain. Research shows that keeping an active and healthy social life is key to maintaining brain health and function.

Unfortunately, for many people, growing older tends to put a damper on the social life.  Especially after the year we just had with COVID-19 keeping us all in isolation, we need to get out and enjoy life again. It is important to continue to be social as you gracefully age so that your brain continues to get a workout.

Here are a few suggestions for getting out and being socially active:

  1. Have a family gathering or reunion: Call up your close family and have a dinner “party” or help plan a fun family reunion with all of the extended family.
  2. Go to birthday parties, weddings, etc.: Try to accept as many invitations to these events as possible.  If you are invited, your presence is desired, so do not feel like you might be too old or outdated to come to these things.  You will make wonderful memories and your brain will get a work out while you enjoy yourself with people you love.
  3. Attend events at the local senior center or in your retirement community: Many senior centers and retirement communities have classes and events for seniors to participate in.  They can range from knitting circles to book clubs to Zumba classes.  Take advantage of these opportunities to make new connections with people. These activities are set up to help build friendships and entertain the mind.  Some may seem silly or may seem like something you would never enjoy,  go anyway!  Step out of the box once in a while and explore new things, who knows you may find something new that you enjoy doing.
  4. Reach out to friends: Check in with your friends, give them a call, make plans to meet and visit.  Go out to lunch or invite them to lunch with you at your home.  Keep in touch as much as possible.

Remember, staying socially active keeps the brain active and stimulated.  Just because we are growing older doesn’t mean we have to stop having fun.

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