As children, we are provided ample opportunity to make new friends. We were more focused on having fun and finding a playmate than real world responsibilities that can keep us from finding community as adults. As we get older developing new friendships seems to become more difficult especially in a world of social distancing.
Here are a few ways to find community and connection:
Join a virtual social group
These days there are a variety of groups online. Recently many different book clubs have turned to the internet to stay connected. If you’re interested in learning more about taking care of your plants, connecting with others who are into art or want to share how much you miss traveling there are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting like-minded people.
Try a virtual fitness class
Fitness classes are often a great place to meet new people and now you can connect with new workout buddies online. Since Shelter in Place began many fitness studios are now hosting virtual classes through zoom. Follow along and encourage others through the workouts like you would at your favorite gym.
Reach out to friends you lost touch with
Sometimes we let life get in the way of our ability to maintain relationships. Now is a great time to rekindle friendships that may have faded over the years. Whether it’s old classmates or your intramural soccer teammates, take time to reconnect with old friends. Often times, things pick up where they left off.
After work zoom events with Coworkers
Staying connected with coworkers is important to maintain community while sheltering in place. Being away from the office means no more group lunch or catch up conversations around the office. To maintain these relationships try organizing events like virtual happy hour with your coworkers. It’s a great way to connect with coworkers that you may not have had the opportunity to get to know before. It can also be a useful way to know and welcome new coworkers and expand the community even more.
Volunteer with a local organization
If you’re open to safely interact with the community there are many organizations in need of volunteers, now more than ever. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities from youth advocacy, sharing your musical talents with others, to meal distribution. These are all great ways to stay connected and give back to the community.
Making friends and building community may take more effort than it has in the past but there are still many opportunities to get involved and connect with others. Start by going down this list one at a time to see which is the best fit for you.
CIRRENA’S APPROACH TO THERAPY
I often incorporate Narrative Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) into my work with clients. In my three years of studying Counseling Psychology at the University of San Francisco, I was able to learn how to use CBT effectively and work to mold it to meet each individual’s needs.