Many of my clients tell me that as they transition in life, they feel more and more isolated. While it’s often not what we intentionally strive for, it’s a natural occurrence as we age. In our teens and 20s, we have plenty of free time to get out, socialize and engage with others. Parents and working adults can more easily get stuck in a routine. Tackling the day-to-day tasks alone is overwhelming! So, we draw inward toward family and sometimes lose touch with the outside world … and often part of who we are.
Maintaining a connection with our community is one key part of wellness and feeling satisfied with our lives. When we’re connected, we reap many benefits and give benefits to others in return. Is it time for you to get reconnected?
Benefits of Being Connected
Remember that feeling when as a child you were part of a club, whether it was a “no boys allowed” backyard group or the student government club through school. You felt like you belonged. That sense of belonging is key to feeling rooted, safe and happy. Connecting to your community can provide this for you.
When you feel connected, you also feel supported, less isolated, and you’re involved in give and receive relationships. You’re counting on others, and they are counting on you. Being engaged in your community gives you opportunities to learn new things — to grow personally and professionally. You can also teach and mentor others, have a network of resources and try things you might not have on your own.
How to Get Connected to Your Community
If you don’t know where to begin on your mission for connection, try one of these approaches … or a few!
- Use technology. Tap into local Facebook groups. There may be walking groups, quilting groups and playgroups. Try Meetup.com to find special interest groups. And check to see if your area uses Nextdoor.com to connect in your immediate area.
- Volunteer. Choose a cause that’s near and dear to you and volunteer locally. Some great places to start are:
- Friends of libraries groups
- Local political groups
- Food banks
- Animal shelters
- Assisted living/long-term care facilities
- Take a class. If you’ve wanted to take up knitting, painting or gardening, sign up for a local class. Parks and recreation departments have a multitude of affordable offerings. You can also check out nearby art centers. What’s better than landing in a class of people who you already know share an interest with you?
- Get active. Sign up for a fitness class through your gym, yoga center, or parks and recreation department. You’ll meet people looking to get fit and active just like you.
- Attend a conference or retreat. Search around for locally-sponsored mini retreats or women’s conferences. You’ll renew your spirit, learn something new and forge new relationships.
There are so many ways to get rooted in your community, but it all begins by taking action. What will your first step be?
A nurse for more than 25 years, Karen David is a Certified Wellness Coach and Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist. She brings her passion for well living and calm presence to empower others in health and wellness. Karen is CEO of Live Life Well, LLC.
This article is for informational purposes only. Practices, services or products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.