Joining in – making new friends and socialising

GroupConnecting with others in your community may seem like a scary or anxiety provoking situation for some, but it generally brings with it many positive scenarios too.

What are your hobbies and interests? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Let’s brainstorm some ideas.

Do you like collecting things? Do you enjoy reading or writing, or being creative and making things with your hands? Does making models or scrap booking take your fancy? Do you have a job? if so what kind of work do you do? Do your fellow workers have similar interests to you? Have you made an effort to find out? Maybe you could join a group of people and go for a walk; not only does exercise help one’s mental health but it will also get you out of the house and socialising.

Getting out and doing things with others is so valuable, especially if you live by yourself. Some pros for connecting to others in the community may include:

  • enabling you to socialise;
  • doing something different and / or doing what you enjoy with another;
  • giving your life some meaning; a reason to get out of bed each morning;
  • helping to stop one feeling so isolated;
  • bringing many people, friends and families together.

Can you think of any others?

How to find groups

You could find out about a group from a notice around your community; perhaps in a shop window, community centre, supermarket, or in / outside thectown hall. Notices may also be found in your local paper, or leaflets that you receive in your letter box. You can also find out about groups by using online resources like Meetup.

When you join a group for the first time you may feel nervous and unsure of what to expect. This is normal and depending on what kind of group you have joined, it may be helpful to make arrangements to meet up with one or two others members before the group begins.

I recently joined a local group in my community and beforehand I was extremely anxious and nervous. I arrived at the group 10 minutes early, so that I could meet the coaches and talk with them about the kind of things I could expect. This helped me feel more at ease and comfortable, and by the time the group started I was feeling like I knew everybody already.

What you do when you first join a group may differ to my experience –  it’s important that you do what you feel comfortable with, and accept that the first few times you go may be hard. If you stick with it though you may just make friends for life and have a really enjoyable time.

So next time you are feeling a bit lonely, how about getting out there and being around people? Not only will you be brightening your own day but you may also help to brighten another’s!


Photo credit: Riley

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