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3 Ways to Meet New People

How to Make New Friends

Click to play audio. Listening time: 4 minutes

Human beings love routines; it’s part of our nature. But sometimes, a routine can turn into a rut — and you might miss a chance to create new relationships.

To remain safe during the pandemic, most of us are spending more time at home. But physical distancing does not mean we should place a limit on social connections. We’ve put together some ideas for finding a new interest or hobby, along with ways to meet people along the way.

  • Volunteer for a Cause You Care About

    Giving back not only lowers stress levels, it can also boost your sense of purpose and increase your confidence. Whether you want to tutor students, send thank-you letters to hospital workers, make outreach phone calls, or translate for a nonprofit, there are lots of virtual opportunities available. Even when you’re volunteering from home, you’ll have a chance to connect with people one-to-one while you’re volunteering or in groups during orientation and training sessions.

  • Join a Group that Interests You

    A good way to test out a potential new hobby is to sign up for a class through your local library or senior center. You’ll find everything from book groups to garden clubs to exercise classes, many of them free to join and offered online. You can search for community organizations offering classes by typing in your ZIP code and using the filters to narrow your search.

    Can’t find a group that interests you? Start one of your own! Whether you’re into knitting, classic movies or wine tasting, a group — especially one you name something fun like the Dazzling Divas — is a great way to explore a hobby and meet people at the same time. Ask people to join by posting on Facebook, reaching out to those you know who might be interested, and hanging flyers in your local coffee shop (another great place to find local groups you can join).

  • Engage Your Brain and Body

    Dedicated to people who want to “age with attitude,” Senior Planet offers free online classes you can do without being a member. In addition to Tai Chi, Chair Yoga, and Morning Stretch classes, there are tutorials for Smartphone Photography, Finding Information Online, and Mobile Health Apps. During online classes, keep your camera on so your teachers and classmates can see and connect with you. A smile and wave to the “room” lets everyone know you’re open to making new friends.

Still stumped on where to start?

If you’re having trouble coming up with an activity or hobby that sparks your interest, write down three things you enjoy or would like to learn more about from the list below.

  • Gardening / Plants
  • Cooking / Baking
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Book Clubs / Reading
  • Knitting / Sewing / Quilting / Crocheting
  • Drawing/Painting
  • Woodworking
  • Playing an Instrument / Music
  • Writing
  • Hiking / Walking / Geocaching
  • Yoga / Tai Chi
  • Meditation
  • Birdwatching
  • Photography
  • Volunteering
  • Podcasts
  • Genealogy
  • Games / Puzzles
  • [Your Own Idea Here…]

friends playing music together

Then use the resources above to find opportunities to volunteer, join a group, or take a class related to your chosen areas of interest. When you introduce yourself to the people you meet, keep it short, sweet, and relevant to the group. Say something like, “Hi, I’m Carol. I love baking and I’m excited to learn how to master homemade frosting.”

Finally, don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back as you continue on your journey to build connections. You’re putting yourself out there and trying new things. Good for you!

Reconnect With Loved Ones

Rekindling old relationships is a great way to widen your social circle. What’s more, catching up with old friends or family you haven’t seen for a while can be a real mood lifter.

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