When you move across town or to another suburb of the same major city, you may find it easy to maintain your same social networks. If you move back to your hometown, your family and old friends will likely welcome you back with open arms. But what if you’ve relocated to a completely new city, where other than your immediate family and possibly a work contact or two, you really don’t know anyone? As we get older, it’s often not as easy to make new friends, and yet its important not to allow yourself to become socially isolated. We have some tips for making those connections in your new neighborhood.
Get a Head Start
Even if you haven’t moved yet, its never too early to start making connections with your new neighbors. If your new neighborhood has a Facebook group, go ahead and join it before moving. Once you’ve joined, post in the group when you will be moving in and inquire about any interests on which you’d like to make a connection. “Anyone in the neighborhood enjoy hiking?” “Is there a neighborhood tennis team?” “Who has else has a preteen daughter?” You’ll likely find a plethora of welcoming comments the next time you check in on your post.
Once you’ve moved in, you may also want to join the Nextdoor social platform. You can set the radius for which you want to receive posts and notifications, but Nextdoor brings together neighbors from multiple nearby neighborhoods. The platform operates similarly to a small Facebook group, with people discussing common interests, items for sale, babysitters needed or available and nearby community events.
Do Good in Your New Digs
Volunteering your time and talents is a great way to get engaged in your community and meet those who share similar interests and values. If you aren’t sure where to start, the website VolunteerMatch is a great way to get connected with local nonprofit organizations that need volunteers like you. You can also search online for local food kitchens, or contact churches in your area to inquire about ongoing volunteer work being done in the community.
Sign Up for a Class
Check out the classes offered at your local YMCA or community center. Everything from art and music to computer coding languages are offered, often for a nominal fee, and you’ll definitely encounter people with similar interests. You can brush up on a beloved skill or hobby while getting to know people in your community, and potentially make new friends.
Moving can be exciting and fun, but it can also lead so feelings of loneliness until you find your spot in the new community. Take our advice and get out of the house and get involved!