Every now and then, it’s nice to eat alone. Perhaps it serves as a brief respite from an otherwise hectic day. Maybe you just want to relax in silence and simply enjoy a meal without company. There’s nothing wrong with that and, in fact, it’s probably necessary from time to time.
However, eating by yourself all the time or very frequently isn’t particularly healthy, nor is it a lot of fun.
In fact, several studies have revealed that eating alone oftentimes results in a less nutritious diet, leading to obesity and a higher risk for diseases such as diabetes and cancer, especially for individuals over the age of 50.
Other recent studies state that loneliness also has negative effects on your health. Campaign to End Loneliness, an organization based in the United Kingdom, says that loneliness is as detrimental to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day and is worse for you than drinking alcohol and lack of exercise. Their findings also indicate that lonely men and women are more prone to dementia, depression and cognitive decline.
Eating meals can – and should – be a social activity. If you’re fortunate enough to have a spouse or significant other to share meals with, that’s excellent. However, if you find that you are alone, it’s important to find others whose company you enjoy and who you are able to dine with on occasion. It can be one or two friends or a group of people…the more the merrier. You can also have multiple dining “groups” or “partners.” This will likely prove to be more enjoyable over time and will also help avoid feeling that you (or they) are “wearing out your/their welcome.”
Dining with friends is fun and, apparently, a key step to maintain and/or improving your health and well-being. At Lourdes Noreen McKeen, there’s no shortage of friendly faces, and our dining areas are wonderful gathering areas for our residents – true social hubs.
If you find that you spend most meals alone, wishing there was someone across the table to talk to or laugh with, it’s not too late to make a change. Dining can and should be fun. Also, dining with others is good for your mind, body and soul.
So, don’t dine alone. And, remember, at Lourdes Noreen McKeen, you never have to.
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