From Zoom meetings to Facetime dates and virtual happy hours, you name it — for better or worse, the internet has kept us connected to our friends, family and colleagues during a lonely time.
But as life slowly opens up again, it’s normal to crave human interaction. After all, more time spent with others means enjoying a greater sense of community, which is crucial to our greater well being.
However, many of us might be feeling out of practice after a long time living in our home office bubble - and that’s normal! After so long limiting your social interactions, it’s okay to feel a little unsure about how to proceed with feeling a sense of unity within your community again.
If that sounds like you, read on: we’ve put together five ideas for easy ways to reconnect with your local community without your smartphone, computer or tablet. Not just because we need it – because after this last year, we deserve it.
Enjoy a food tour of your city
If there’s one thing we all missed during lockdown, it’s eating beyond the confines of our couches. That’s why we recommend enjoying a culinary tour of your city — to reconnect with friends over food, and to get to know more of the local businesses enriching your community.
Not only do you get to enjoy a culinary experience outside of your home, it also means you can get to know more of the local businesses in your community, and lend them your support after a tough year.
Do your everyday trips by bike
It might not seem like the obvious solution, but by choosing active modes of transport, you’ll experience more tangibly what is happening in your surroundings. By taking your bike, you’ll get to see more of your local businesses, discover new corners of the city, and generally enjoy sights you would never notice while slumped in the U-Bahn.
Plus, cycling isn’t just good for getting to know the city again – it’s also beneficial for your health, good for the planet, and it’s a little more joyful than your standard commute.
Explore your city and its surroundings on a longer bicycle tour
And of course, if you can experience that unique joy within others, then it’s even more effective for tackling isolation and bringing people together.
Pack some food for a picnic, remember to pack speakers, stop at a minigolf course — the options are endless for making a full day out of cycling. You could even plan a more extensive bike trip to discover the post-pandemic city together.
Commit to weekly local activities
Consider taking part in local activities each week to create connections within your community. You could join pottery classes, running clubs, pilates groups, or even more niche meetups for craft beer lovers, foodies — you know the kind.
Committing to joining in with weekly events will strengthen the sense of belonging to a community, as well as providing some much-needed routine back into daily life (beyond the commute between the bed, desk, and kitchen, of course).
To see what’s on offer, try looking at local Facebook groups, MeetUp or Eventbrite pages
Organize pandemic-friendly bonding events yourself
If your neighborhood is pretty quiet on the activity front, it’s never been easier to take the helm and organize them yourself. Set up an Eventbrite or Meetup account, organize a small gathering (a neighborhood BBQ, backyard movie night, or even a ping pong tournament!) and then prepare to show up and connect. You could also try Venn, a platform specifically designed to build a sense of belonging in neighbourhoods.
Setting up your own meetups might be daunting at first, but it’s worth it — you’ll meet more of your neighbors, enjoy some new pastimes, and truly enjoy a sense of belonging within your local community.
And you won’t need to apologize for forgetting to un-mute yourself once.