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To continue celebrating Healthy Aging Month this September, let’s move our focus onto an important aspect of our mental health — socializing. Interacting with others is a great way to keep your mind stimulated and engaged. It can also have a positive effect on your mood.

As we grow older, we may find it difficult to stay as involved as we once were. Here are a few tips that might inspire you to get out there and socialize!

Reconnect with old friends. Is there someone from years ago that you wish you would have stayed in contact with? The Internet has become an amazing tool to reconnect with or find people from your past. It’s a great place to do research and discover what old friends might be up to now. If you’re not computer savvy, find a family member or friend to help!

Keep a Calendar by the Phone. Sometimes talking over the phone is the best way to keep in touch with those who don’t live nearby. Keep a calendar of everyone you want to keep in contact with and write down when you will call them. This will ensure that you don’t realize one day that you haven’t spoken to someone in over six months!

Pick a Day. If there’s someone you want to make a point of seeing frequently, make a recurring date with them! Go to dinner and a movie every Friday evening. Or always watch Monday Night Football. Or get coffee at your favorite spot on Wednesday mornings. This way it will be easy for you both to remember when you’ll see each other.

Schedule the Next Time. Sometimes recurring dates don’t work with our hectic schedules. In this case, just make a point to decide on the next time you’ll spend time together when you’re with each other. It’s nice to be able to look forward to the next time you’ll see someone.

Make New Friends. All of the tips so far have been about socializing with people you already know and love. But that’s not the only way to engage with others! Making friends can be difficult in adulthood, so the best way is to put yourself out there. Join clubs or classes that interest you. Go to festivals or events or plays at the local high school. You will find similarly minded people there!

Talk to People. You don’t even have to go out with the purpose of making friends. Just talk to people in line at the grocery store. Or at the cafe. Or at church. Even simple interactions with a waitress or the mailman will add a richness to your life!

As we honor Healthy Aging Month, make a conscious effort to make good decisions for your health. Stay tuned for more about Healthy Aging Month. In the meantime, check out our blog last week.