Studies show that more people are experiencing loneliness than ever. Being around people and building social networks can have an incredible impact on mental well-being, but it’s not always easy to meet new people and make friends. If you’re looking to expand your social circle, or you’re struggling with feeling lonely, here are some ways to stay connected.
Explore your interests and passions
Exploring your interests and passions is one of the best ways to meet new people and establish relationships. When you use your hobbies and interests to connect with others, you find people and groups with shared passions, which makes bonding easier. Make time to pursue hobbies and look for networks or groups you can join to find common ground and enhance your well-being. Some people may want to meet friends through religion and activities like Christian discipleship courses, while others may be interested in joining a sports team or club or signing up for drawing, cooking or dance classes. Whatever interests you, research activities and opportunities online. You can often participate in virtual activities, courses and meetings, as well as attending events or engaging in face-to-face classes or sessions.
Take advantage of technology
We are spending more time than ever on phones, tablets and computers. While this can make meeting people in social situations more difficult, it can open doors, especially for people who find it hard to get out and about. Modern technology allows us to communicate with others no matter where they are in the world or what time of day it is. If you’re looking to connect with others, take advantage of technology. Join community groups on social media, keep in touch with friends, colleagues and family members and find friends who have similar interests. If you’re a sports or music fan, or you’re passionate about history or traveling, for example, you can follow relevant social media feeds, join forums and fan clubs and participate in virtual networking and social events.
Make an effort with friends and family
Spending time with friends and relatives can make you feel great, but many of us don’t have enough time to nourish our relationships and get the best out of them. If you haven’t spoken to good friends for years, or it’s been months since you got the whole family together, try to make more effort. Even simple things like a phone call to catch up or a quick coffee after work during a busy week can make all the difference. Make plans together, set aside more time for the people who matter most to you, and get better at saying yes to social plans if you usually avoid them. If you tend to turn down invitations, except one now and again or attend for a short period.
We are more connected than ever before, but more and more people are experiencing loneliness. If you feel isolated, or you’d like to make new friends or spend more time with people you know, reaching out, devoting more time to loved ones and exploring interests and hobbies can be incredibly positive for mental well-being.