Friendship is an integral part of life at any age. However, as an adult, it can be more challenging – especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that requires us to practice physical distancing.
July 30 is National Friendship Day in Canada. To highlight this day, this article will share tips on how to make new friends and include tips on how to maintain current friendships while practicing physical distancing. Here are the different ways you can grow and maintain friendships as an adult, even during challenging times.
Pursue your hobbies and passions
Hobbies and special interests are what make a person unique. A hobby can be something active, such as playing sports, or a more relaxed activity, such as bird watching. As well as building contributing to our self-identity, pursuing a hobby has been proven to reduce stress and depression. If you already have a hobby that you haven’t enjoyed lately, why not dive back into it?
Not only do hobbies keep you healthy and busy, they also serve as great ways to naturally connect with others. Forming new friendships is much easier when you share similar interests with others. It allows you to engage in meaningful conversations and opens up the possibilities of meeting others who share the same interests as you.
If your hobby allows you to keep a safe distance from others – such as painting, yoga, photography, crafting, or sewing – consider getting together with friends to enjoy the activity together, or arrange a regular meetup in your community to meet new individuals.
Put yourself out there
Making new friends as an adult is not as easy as it was when we were kids. Kids tend to be more bold, self-assured and fearless when creating new friendships. Instead of overthinking, curious kids approach others to talk or play.
This is the mindset you need to channel if you want to connect with new people. You have to put in the effort and prioritize making connections with others by simply getting out there. That might mean you should finally participate in new activities or classes you’ve always wanted to try. At the moment, many activities are self-directed or virtual, but in the future, you can easily meet new friends this way.
Be a great listener
Maintaining quality friendships requires strong communication from all parties. Communication doesn’t only refer to just speaking; an important part is listening, too. Think back to all of the times when you told a story, and the other person missed at least half of the interesting details you shared – it feels disappointing, right?
Just like in any relationship, you should strive to be a great listener to all of your friends. Friendships strengthen when both parties feel that they can give and take. When you ask others about how they’re doing or feeling, try to really listen and mindfully engage. It’s common for people to ask these questions out of habit without the intention of truly hearing the other person’s response.
When meeting new people, ask them questions about themselves to get to know them. Find out what they love to do or encourage them to share interesting experiences they’ve had. People enjoy talking about themselves, so try to be an active listener. Pitch in with your thoughts on their stories and opinions to show that you’re genuinely interested.
Consider moving to a retirement community
One of the many benefits of moving to a retirement community is that you will have ample opportunity to meet interesting, like-minded individuals and build rewarding friendships. Retirement communities organize a range of classes and activities that are fun and take the pressure out of meeting new people. Some options include fitness classes or community excursions – these are all great ways to mingle with others. Research retirement communities near you, schedule a tour when available, and consider whether this option is right for you.
Even though we’re practicing social distancing, that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with others. You can organize walks with people while maintaining your distance. You can even walk together in different directions and have conversations on the phone as an extra safety measure.
While making friends as an adult can be challenging, it’s totally possible to meet like-minded people to spend time with. The COVID-19 pandemic makes socializing more challenging than usual, but the situation will improve in time. In the meantime, you can continue to connect with others and build friendships in a safe and responsible way.
In retirement communities, seniors can remain active and socialize with others through a variety of activities. Contact Seasons Retirement to learn about the services and activities they offer.