Human beings are social creatures, and we feel much happier when we are part of a group. It’s from our interactions with other people that we gain a lot of our sense of meaning and purpose. As we get older, maintaining a sense of community can become more difficult as work lives change, children leave home, and people move away. It’s important to make an effort to maintain a community feel to get the most out of our lives.
Pick up an old hobby
If you were once passionate about something that you haven’t looked at for a while, why not pick it up again? Not only do hobbies give us something to focus on and a sense of purpose in our lives, but they also give us the opportunity to be part of a community. You can get great satisfaction from teaching your hobby to other people, or perhaps even joining a community group dedicated to it.
Learn something new
Learning something new will help to keep your mind engaged and it will also bring you into contact with a whole new set of people that you wouldn’t have met otherwise. If you’ve always wondered about learning a particular skill, then join a class and do it! Learning is a great way to meet new people and improve your self-esteem by gaining a new skill. Attending a class is also a great way to reconnect with the people who are already in your life, as it gives you a shared experience and goal.
After we stop working, it’s really common for us to struggle to see what our place is in the world, or where our value comes from. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to experience a sense of purpose, while at the same time knowing that you are positively contributing to your community. It’s also a great way to meet new people and feel as though you are part of a team, which will positively impact your well-being.
People who volunteer tend to take better care of themselves and are also at a lower risk for depression and anxiety.
Assisted living communities are specifically designed to allow older people to feel part of a community, by actively facilitating their involvement in community activities and helping them to meet like-minded people. If you have been considering assisted living, the opportunity to feel part of a community is a huge selling point.
For example, residents at Brightview assisted living in Rockville MD say that one of the biggest factors in choosing an assisted living community/facility is the overall community feel and connection to other residents.
Reach out to new friends
It can be daunting to try and make new friends as an adult, it’s hard to know what to say! Helpguide recommends that if you are finding it difficult to talk with another person, a great way to take the pressure off is to shift the focus to them.
Try asking questions about their life and really listening to the answers. Not only does this make it easier to carry out a conversation, but it will also probably make people like you more.