Summer is the time when people jet off on a holiday and the long balmy evenings mean you can enjoy evening strolls, while sporting and musical events come in a flurry. On paper, summer is a fun and social time to get out and about, but if you don’t feel like you have plans or anyone to enjoy activities with, it can be a very lonely time.
Indeed, seeing those around you packing more in or enjoying adventures can make you feel more isolated. In 2017, one UK based charity reported that it receives 3-4,000 more calls from lonely over 55s during the summer months of July and August. So, whether you’re dreading a hot summer that’s dry of social interaction or you’re feeling excited about the potential the summer months brings for getting out and about more, here are a few ideas for building yourself a bucket list for a more social summer.
Do some dating
If you’d ideally like someone to chat to over drinks on these lighter evenings or you’d like another person to enjoy a concert or watch a game with, dipping your toe into the dating scene could change your entire summer experience. If you’re worried about finding individuals that are close to you in age and interests, try an over 50 dating site. To get started, build a profile that highlights your hobbies, values and some of the things you hope to do this summer and you could soon be talking to someone who wants to make more of their summer too.
Plan a trip
It can be so frustrating to listen to your colleagues get excited about their family holidays and then be treated to their holiday highlights when they get back from the trip too. If you don’t have a partner, friend or family member to accompany on travels, don’t let that stop you from spending the summer exploring. There are lots of holiday companies who plan group trips for people who share the same interests – from art history and hiking through to gastronomy or pottery – could you spend a slice of summer learning something new in a different part of the world?
If travelling abroad isn’t your thing – how about spending some of your time taking day trips in the UK? An English Heritage membership is a great summer investment for history buffs while a National Trust card could help you unlock time exploring some of Britain’s beautiful outdoors.
Take a class
If you like the idea of trying something new, you don’t necessarily need to stray far from home to get started. Many local colleges run both day and evening classes over the summer months. Have you always wanted to perfect your cake decorating or brush up on your poetry writing skills? Perhaps you’d like to be better at handling simple home plumbing jobs? Learning a new skill could prove to be a very satisfying way to spend your spare time this summer and give you plenty to focus on and talk about when you are in company.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to use their time productively, why not put some volunteering on your summer to-do list? The NCVO.org and Gov.uk are good informational websites if you’d like to explore volunteering opportunities open to you and what you may be able to give and get from time spent volunteering. Many charitable organisations need extra help over the summer months to help organise different projects and activities. You may discover a chance to put the skills from your day job to good use or to try something completely new.
Reach out in real life
Social media is great for helping us all to feel more connected but it can sometimes have the opposite effect too. When we see friends or family sharing how busy they are, we might assume that they don’t have time to visit or plan activities with us. Where once upon a time we may have phoned or called someone to invite them to visit or spend time with us, now we may find ourselves writing a quick ‘hello’ message on their Facebook wall or liking their holiday photos. This means that while we may be having more ‘social’ interactions, the quality and depth of them isn’t always so good.
Don’t rely on social media for interaction this summer. Instead, why not reach out in real life to try and organise some fun? Pick up the phone and ask that old work colleague if they fancy a coffee and a catch-up, knock on your neighbour or ask when a friend is free. Start planning things in your diary now so you can shape your summer schedule to include things you enjoy.