Mental Health Wellness - Tips & Activities to Stay Grounded. Being Social, Part II
In the previous post on mental health wellness, we talked about the need to meet with a friend face-to-face, either just talking or eating together. However, some people have only a few or no friends. In this post and the next, we share recommendations on how to be social even if you don’t have many friends.
One way to start to be social is simply to be around people. Go to a park and sit where people are milling around or walking. Walk-in a shopping center and enjoy just being there. If you happen to live close to or near one of the shore towns, take a walk on the boardwalk. I knew a woman who was recovering from an abusive marriage. She did not have any friends and was having a hard time trusting people. Once a week, she would head down to, as she called it, “walk the boards.” She never interacted with anyone or tried to start up a conversation, she just wanted to be around people, and she loved it. She was always disappointed if the weather prevented her walk. I always noticed that she seemed brighter and happier after her walk.
Another simple way to become more social is to sit in on religious services. Just being there is also an excellent way to be social without having to do any interactions. Most places of worship welcome new members. While it would be great to join the choir or a group, many people might find that overwhelming in the beginning. Best to start small. Attend a few services, and notice if people begin to greet you. Once you feel comfortable, you might want to participate more and more.
The following advice is a bit odd but fun. Get more haircuts. Hairdressers are natural talkers. You can practice your social skills and begin to make connections. Plus, hairdressers tend to know activities and stuff going on in the area, so you might even make a connection. On the same token, rather than shopping at the large grocery market where no one knows you, try shopping at a trying a small store, butcher shop, or small vegetable stand. The more you come in, the more they will know you and start up conversations.
Are you interested in talking one-on-one with a professional? Call the Center For Family Services’ Access line at 877.922.2377 or email or email [email protected]. Access will work with you to set you up with a professional counselor who can help.