The longer you stay in your own cocoon, the greater the chances that you will slip into an even darker mental state, like depression. Once you prepare yourself mentally for the road ahead, it’s time to define what “friendship” means to you.

After all, as the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” What do you value most in your friends?

The first step to dealing with loneliness is to separate yourself from the feeling so that you can give yourself permission to make positive changes in your life. The fact that you are feeling lonely is not your fault. Once you admit this, you are more than half way to building the social life that you deserve.

No matter what your preferences, it pays to be conscious in your choice of friends. First, and most obviously, when you know what kinds of friends you are looking for, you can choose to engage in activities that will give you an opportunity to meet new people of your choosing.

For example, are there political, religious, sports, social or other groups that you could reengage with?

Having good friends is not just a “nice to have” – it is essential for our health and emotional well-being, as I discussed in this interview with Suzanne Braun Levine.

The good news is that having a rich social life after 60 is absolutely possible – but, only if we take matters into our own hands!

Keep in mind that the first few connections will always be the hardest.

The more people you are able to connect with, the easier it will be to find other long-lost friends.

For all you know, they might be in the same situation as you.

They might be nervous to reach out to you, thinking that you are “too busy” to take their call.

Even if you feel a bit awkward at first, don’t let your feelings hold you back.

Yes, people are busy and there is a chance that you won’t get a response.

Think about the type of person that you’d like to meet and you just might increase your chances of meeting them!