5 Ways To Build Community In Your Life
Photo Courtesy of Wix
It's normal to feel lonely at times, but it's important to have people there for you to uplift your mood when you're feeling down. Whether you've made a fresh start in a new city, or you've lost touch with friends, here are 5 ways of bringing community into your life.
1. Join a club or group
Joining or starting a club or group is the easiest way to build community. Whether it's a hobby you love or one you want to try (which is great for learning and getting advice from a potential new friend), or an online group about your new city, you're sure to find many accepting people. Make sure the club or group you choose is safe and has good reviews. Try looking on local community websites or Facebook.
There are always local soup kitchens and non-profit organizations supporting people, whether they are local to you or developing nations. If you don't feel comfortable or aren't able to deliver donations, why not join the behind the scenes crew, such as putting together the shoe box donations, or cooking the food that will help so many people!
3. Reach out to old friends
You may not feel comfortable meeting new people yet, and that's okay. Have you tried reaching out to friends you haven't seen in a while? Community doesn't just mean seeing people in-person. It could mean a video chat, phone call, voice note, message, or even a letter. Your chat doesn't need to be long. Sometimes just checking in on each other can satisfy short-term loneliness. You can send a photo or video from a happy memory if you have nothing to talk about. Overall, reaching out to old friends can really help you improve your communication skills, especially with someone you know well.
4. Get to know your acquaintances
Not ready to go out into the world yet? Why not start small? This method is often forgotten by so many people, and it's only really seen on TV. We've all seen the friendly neighbor drop off a casserole composed of strange ingredients you've never heard of, where the main character awkwardly accepts the dish after being told basic cooking instructions they already know. And we also know that they'll never - ever - return that dish. But that doesn't have to be you! So, get to know your neighbors, work colleagues, that stranger you always see at your local coffee shop, even the manager who always serves you at your local grocery store. Give them a cookie, buy them a coffee, or just have a chat.
5. Community events
This may be the scariest option, but we know you can do it! Have a look at your local community website or the newspaper and see what events are happening. Is there a fair, traveling theme park, or wine tasting experience? Bring someone along with you who would be more than willing to help you make new friends, but if that's not possible, try to go out there and have fun by yourself. Casually meet new people by complimenting their outfit, or bond over a common hobby. The greatest thing about community events - you can visit and leave at any time, and there are so many different people just enjoying themselves, so why shouldn't you?
Deanna (or "Nana Barratt") is an MA Creative and Media Enterprises graduate from the University of Warwick. She previously studied Popular Music, but decided to take a different career path into writing. She now writes about music, the TV and film industry, and East-Asian culture, and gives student advice and lifestyle tips.