Social contact is an important part of your health and well-being.
By Katrina Caruso
Social isolation and loneliness bump up your risk for—among other things—heart disease and mental health problems. If you’ve decided it’s time to make some new friends, it might also be time to broaden your horizons. Here’s a list that might help you get started.
- Get moving.
Get fit while making new connections. Joining a sports team or a club (for example, running, walking, ultimate frisbee, tennis or pickleball, etc.) is a great way, but you’ll also meet new people if you start going to the gym or take up an individual activity such as tai chi or judo.
- Take a class.
Whether it’s pottery, dance, cooking, or learning a new language, taking a class will help you meet new people who have similar interests.
- Join a book club.
If you love to read, why not do it with others? Some bookstores and libraries have book clubs that you can join or you can search online for local opportunities—or start your own!
Do you love animals or the environment, or do you want to fight poverty and homelessness? Volunteering brings people together and makes a real difference. Visit Volunteer Canada’s website to learn how to get started and find volunteering opportunities.
- Try MeetUp.com.
MeetUp can be a great way to meet people with a wide range of activities. Whether you’re keen on board games, camping, or watching movies, there’s probably a MeetUp group that will catch your eye and connect you to others.
- Join a local Facebook group.
One of the social media company’s strengths is its groups: there are groups for all kinds of things, and some of them can be very active. Just type your city’s name into the search bar to get started.
- Get involved in politics or join a board.
If you’re passionate about a cause, this could be a great way to exercise that passion while meeting other people: volunteer with a political campaign or apply for an open seat on a non-profit’s board of directors.
- Try Toastmasters.
Toastmasters is meant to improve your public speaking skills, and it’s done in an interactive group setting that can boost your confidence. Many interesting people of all ages and backgrounds meet through the organization.
- Take a tour.
Do you like art or history? Sometimes it can be fun to book a group tour in your own city—there may be other locals doing the same thing, or you might meet some interesting tourists.
- Start singing.
If you love music, why not join a local choir or volunteer for the one in your faith community? You’ll get to polish your vocal skills and celebrate song with new friends who are keen to do the same.
Photo: Fotolia/Monkey Business.