Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Joining groups helps reduce loneliness after relocating

Most of us know that joining groups will help us meet people and help us reduce loneliness in our lives- whether you have recently relocated or not. Perhaps one of the gifts of moving across the country or around the globe is it makes that loneliness more acute, sometimes forcing us to be more creative in our search for ways to connect in our new communities.

In my neighbourhood I saw an ad for a group of women who come together to share fitness. They walk, run, bike and hold boot camps. It took me ages to contact them as I am currently out of shape and my experience is that loneliness affects your self confidence. However, I figured I could keep pace with walkers. After several failed attempts to meet a fellow walker- the runners were friendly and welcoming but I am currently a walker I was going to abandon the group.  After reading Laurel's blog about tips to connect in a foreign culture,  I figured if she can go to a yoga class in German, I would  keep trying to connect with this group. So Monday night I enjoyed a chilly, power walk and chat with a local woman. Thankfully she could navigate all the short cuts in the neighbourhood in the dark.

During our walk and chat I mentioned that I would like to walk during the day. So today we met and enjoyed an exhilarating walk on a cold, sunny day and I have found a new walking buddy. And I know myself, I will need to have a partner waiting to entice me out the door once the thermometers plummets.

In addition I have joined a gym, a yoga studio and a book club but am always looking for creative ideas- what new activity or group have you tried in your quest to connect with others?


  1. Wonderful that you have found people close by! Your question "What things have you tried?" Brought back repressed memories of our move to Calgary. We had 2 children under 3 and my husband and I shared one car. Fortunately (or not) my husband travelled for weeks at a time so I often got the car. I joined The Calgary Newcomers Club. It was fabulous. It is for people who have moved to Calgary within the past 2 years. They have groups for all ages and stages. Hiking, Dinner groups etc, etc. I found that there was a group of Moms - all newcomers meeting once a week in my own neighbourhood. We could walk to each others homes. The support network that this group provided was incredible. I cannot imagine how difficult it would have been without this group. About 15 of us connected each week and many of us who still live here continue to keep in touch to this day :)

  2. I emailed newcomers after I arrived but had no response so did not pursue. But have heard great things about it- key is meeting people at same phase as you & with some you will find common interests. With two kids under three moms are isolated wherever they are until they connect with other moms!

  3. Thanks so much for the mention Sue and great that you joined a walking club and have now found people to walk with during the day. Have you tried (It's not a singles site), and they have groups for almost everything imaginable. P.S. at my last yoga class in German I met another expat and we went for coffee after the yoga class which was nice. You just never know who you'll meet.

  4. You are welcome. So true, you never know who will enter your life if you are open.