Over the past year, everyone has been encouraged to keep their distance. However, this makes it difficult to stay social and connected, especially with those who live near you. Human connection is very important to mental health, so finding ways to connect with your neighborhood can be very beneficial.
Host a Socially Distanced Gathering
One way to build more connection amongst your neighbors is by being the one to initiate it. Hosting a gathering with your neighbors is a great way to start. Just remember to follow all health guidelines and stay socially distanced. The best way to do this is through outdoor gatherings. It might be more difficult in the winter, but you can get around this by incorporating outdoor heaters or even a fire pit. You can also embrace the season by having a hot chocolate social while the kids go sledding. If you want to add in more fun, you can even do a neighborhood snowman building contest. Get creative with your ideas to connect with your neighborhood.
Use Social Media
Just because you can’t be physically close doesn’t mean you can’t still engage with others. Social media is a very helpful tool for staying connected at a distance. Talk with your neighbors about forming a social group. It could be anything from a group text to a Facebook group. You can also make use of sites such as Nextdoor. This site is intended to work as a social networking service for neighborhoods. Since it is hyperlocal, it can allow you to connect with people in your area in many helpful ways. Nextdoor can be a great resource for seeking out recommendations for local businesses. It is also a great tool for getting updates about your area.
Nothing builds connection quite like serving others. Providing service during these difficult times is a great way to let your neighbors know that you care and that they are being thought of. There are many ways you can serve at a distance. If you’re going to the store, see if your neighbors need anything picked up. This is especially helpful to neighbors who are at risk. Similarly, you can care for their yard for them. If you live in a place where it snows, now is the time to offer to shovel driveways. Other small acts of service including getting their mail, walking their dogs, or taking out their garbage cans. Ask your neighbors what they need and don’t hesitate to come up with ideas to serve them.
Currently, it can be very easy to feel isolated or alone. However, this is something everyone is struggling with. You can be the one in your neighborhood to spark more connection. Talk with your neighbors to see what they are comfortable with and find ways to get connected.
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