What I see as a mental health nurse, so often, is people coming in needing help because they are depressed and disengaged. Of course every situation is unique, but I’ve noticed a theme. It seems many, if not most people falling into a depression experience two things;
We live in an extremely individualistic society here in Canada. We are taught at a young age that we are here to accomplish our own personal goals on our own- but this is not the case!
We are meant to be with people! We are meant to work together. Interactions with people keep things interesting and they keep us sharing new ideas and progressing, helping one another using each persons strengths along the way.
If you are lonely and bored how to do you make community?
1) Go to community events. Especially this time of year there are a ton of community events to attend outdoors, and many for free. Go! And talk to people while you are there. Make plans to meet them somewhere in the future doing something, possibly a healthy activity that you both enjoy.
2) Learn something new. Attend a night class to learn something new. If you are trying to learn something new you will have a goal and a way to spend spare time. Also, this is a great place to meet people and studying is a good reason to get together with someone new. Plus learning keeps your brain active and also it builds further self esteem and confidence.
3) Search for likeable people. Do you work with someone who seems like a good personality fit for you? Is there someone even online via Facebook that you have been wanting to spend time with? You have nothing to lose, just ask them to hang out.
4) POTLUCK. My favourite! Something we all have in common is that we all eat! Invite everyone you know to come have dinner at your place, let everyone meet one another and before you know it, some your friends will be friends with each other! Share food and stories and spread the love!
5) Give. The thing about giving is that you often get more out of giving than you do out of getting! Giving is getting Giving is one of the most rewarding things you can do. No matter how little you have, there is always someone who has less. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee, give your cans to someone in need, send a letter to someone letting them know you are thinking of them and that you love them. Then sit down and feel good about yourself. Everybody wins.
Last year I moved to Lasqueti Island, a small community of 400 people (in the winter) and no electrical grid. What amazed me about this place was of course the natural beauty of the gulf island, but even more so the cohesive community. When I moved there, the locals greeted me saying “Welcome home!”. Living remotely with no electrical grid is one commonality that has brought many of these colourful folks together. It goes to show that many times, less is more.