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 http://myexpatgermany.com/loneliness-when-living-abroad, 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?