Our mental health significantly impacts our quality of life, so it makes sense that we would want
to do all we can to improve it. This may include things like eating healthy foods, exercising, and
getting enough quality sleep each night.
But there is something else that greatly influences our mental health and that is a community and
a sense of belonging. Human beings are wired for connection. When we feel connected to others,
we feel loved and supported. Friends can often help alleviate the stress in our life because our
friends are there for us to lean on.
If you have been feeling alone and isolated, here are some ways you can find your own
community and begin to connect with others:
Go with What Interests You
What activities and hobbies do you have? You may want to join a book club or take a painting
lesson. If you’re athletic or used to playing a sport in school, maybe you could join a local team.
You’ll no doubt find it easier to connect with others who enjoy doing the same things you do.
Being of service to others is highly rewarding, and volunteering is also a great way to connect
with others who share similar values. What causes do you feel passionate about? What charities
do you support? Check out their website or give them a call to see what volunteering
opportunities they may have available.
Connect with Something Bigger Than Yourself
Do you have a particular religion or spiritual practice you connect with? Maybe it’s time to get
back to your church or try taking that meditation class you’ve been thinking about. Is there a
political cause that speaks to your heart? Helping others reach a meaningful goal can be a great
way to find purpose in your own life.
Humans are not meant to be alone. We need to socialize. If you have been feeling down, now’s
the time to go out and make some new connections.
And if you’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety for some time and could use someone to
talk to, please give me a call.
Written by Sherline Herard, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern
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