And You Thought Friends Drove You Crazy...
Just because you are working, or are over 50 or barely have any free time, doesn't mean you shouldn't have a social life. As a matter of fact, it might be better for your future (and current) mental health if you did.
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health reports that elderly women with more social contacts were 26% less likely to be diagnosed with dementia—the most common form of which is Alzheimer’s— than women who had fewer contacts. Marriage didn’t appear to be a factor. It was the social network that made the big difference, even if contact was by email or telephone, not face-to-face.
The question then becomes, does the social contact stop the dementia or do those developing dementia interact less with friends? Regardless, make an effort to socialize, even when you are a little tired. In more ways than one, friends are the people who will be there in your deepest time of need. Make a daily effort to get in touch with at least one person that might need to hear from you, or who you'd like to hear more from! Soon you'll find that connecting, whether in person or across the miles, is one of life's great little pleasures.