Loneliness is the state of being on your own and feeling miserable about it. It is normal to feel lonely at times, but it is not good for your health and wellbeing in prolonged situations! One survey done by Cigna in January 2020 found that 61% of adults in the US feel lonely.
Sadly, loneliness and social isolation, particularly in older adults, have been linked to conditions like dementia. One study done by Lancet Psychiatry found the link between loneliness and depression among adults over 50 years in the UK. It is not an age issue, though. One survey done by YouGov found that younger adults tend to get affected by loneliness.
Well, the good thing is that you can try to beat loneliness on your own and as a community around you! Here are some of the easy ways to cope with loneliness together in your neighborhood, building, or block:
Way of Coping with Loneliness Together
Do Nice & Fun Things with your Neighbors
One way of coping with loneliness with your neighbors is to try to connect with them a little more. Put simply, try to give them some help, care and assistance.
You can go for a simple gesture like checking in on them once in a while. You can prepare a meal and share it with them.
If you love gaming, then play physical or online games together. You can even connect more on social media with your neighbors.
Another easy way is to offer to put your skills into action to assist them. Perhaps you could even go shopping for the needy or vulnerable people around you. After all, in these challenging times, the elderly in the community are at a higher risk with the COVID-19. You can be a good neighbor by doing things like picking up groceries for them. It will help you connect and beat the boredom.
Tip: Don’t forget to keep yourself and your neighbor safe as you try to connect more.
Host Community Events
Community events are another excellent approach to cope with loneliness together. You can connect with your neighbors, whether physically or virtually simple creative events.
Here are some events you can organize and enjoy together in your local community:
Create a Street Food Market
This is one event that can help you connect and beat the loneliness and boredom as a community. There are not many ways of getting together setting up a great dining experience!
We all miss going out to eateries owing to the restrictions around the pandemic.
Mind you; it can also be a great avenue to raise some funds that can be used to help a local community. You can invite local community members who enjoy cooking to set up their stall, apart from renowned and established food sellers.
It will undoubtedly create an opportunity for the small-scale businesses in the local community to showcase their products and talents. You can get the people in your neighborhood to help plan the event, including picking a suitable location in your local area, obtaining licenses, equipment, raising funds, and more.
Tip: Keep things as simple as possible to make them affordable for everyone.
Host a talent show
Why not celebrate local talent and culture in your neighborhood? Through this avenue, people could do anything, whether it is a ten-minute chat on wine tasting, a version of their favorite song, or a demo of their crochet skills.
This is one of the best community activities to interact and learn more about the people who live around you. It will surely spice up the mood and fight loneliness in the community.
Host a Theater performance
Watching local members of your community put on a demonstration can also be fun to watch. Community members will love the opportunity to watch a theatrical presentation hosted by their loved ones.
You will need to pick a performance that will communicate to your community and perhaps spur discussion about the current problems in your locality. You will also need a cast, a venue for the event, an advertising team, and a lighting operator, a sound operator, among other things. Do it well, and you are bound to create a memorable session that will spur connections!
Community Trunk sale
You can also go the green route! Perhaps, you and your neighbors can organize a trunk sale where you can keep items into the spin instead of seeing them get thrown away. The local community members can buy things that would otherwise not be available on a typical day. Perhaps you can decide to charge the members a small fee to help this community event. People can also donate to the local community. It is one of the best ways to connect in the block or local area.
Holding an escape room is another fun and thought-provoking community event idea for residents to escape their monotonous daily routine. After all, gamification has always been one of the best ways to encourage connections and team building. So, invite community members and place them in groups of around five or six people. Leave them in a closed space with a specific set of hints to figure out how they can free themselves. Time how long it takes for each of the groups to leave the escape room. The group which will crack it faster wins!
Tip: In the era of social distancing, you can also try connecting via virtual escape rooms.
A well-crafted community auction is another clever way to connect and cope with loneliness together. It allows community members to trade their items for a price that others consider fit. It is a fair way of exchanging money and things that help the local economy. One study done by Gretchen M. Herrmann back in 2006 found that neighborhood sales are a great way to build tightly-knit communities. It tends to promote solidarity!
The proceeds from the auction can be contributed to a charitable cause in the area.
Create Gardening Events
You can also beat boredom by coming together to beautify the neighborhood once in a while. Yes, organize a group of volunteers to reinstate a green space that has seen better days to its previous glory. You can dig out weeds, plant flowers, and pick litter together. You can also offer to help out the needy-elderly or disabled community members with their garden.
You will connect and have fun together. It will create that feeling of contentment.
Hold a switch shop
Instead of throwing old or used clothes and furniture in the trash bin, you are better off sharing them with your neighbors. Holding a swap has both social and environmental advantages in your community. Not only does it lessen the number of unwanted items going to waste, but it also assists those in need. Participants can place items in their front gardens or on their doorstep or in a gathering. This will help reduce loneliness among the community members.
Organize an arts and crafts festival
Every community has some promising artists and craft fanatics. Why not allow them to show off their talents? You can hold a local festival for arts and crafts for the talents and fans to engage.
You can work together with a local artist to tour the guests within your local area, showing them places that have influenced their work and conversing where they get their motivation from. You will connect as a local community, have fun plus creatives can earn some cash!
Interactive Quiz Events
You can’t go wrong with a tailored quiz when it comes to community events to connect more. The first step is deciding the category of your quiz questions. You can decide to make inquiries about the history of your local community to assist the commonalities to learn more about your community. This way, members will be able to relate more to the content of the quiz. The beauty is that you don’t need an enormous budget to do this.
You can award the top three winners to make things more thrilling. Doing that will motivate the local community members to participate in quiz community events in the future.
These are just a few ways to cope with loneliness together with your neighbors and the local community. The key is to try to connect, learn and help each other more. It is good at developing binding and social capital in the area. You will build a happier and healthier community that will have a ripple effect on you!