Everybody needs good neighbours.
Whether joining a local sports team, enrolling in a course or becoming a volunteer, engaging with your community offers many advantages. There’s the social aspect, of course: getting to know people with shared interests, growing your friendship network and enhancing your sense of belonging. There’s the possibility of learning a new skill or imparting your wisdom to others. Research also shows that civic engagement can improve physical and emotional health, particularly among the elderly.
According to How’s Life? 2015, a review of wellbeing by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, volunteering comes with the added bonus of having a positive impact on life satisfaction and mood. And curiously, people who get to know their neighbours are less likely to have heart attacks! In a 2014 study undertaken at the University of Michigan, researchers found that neighbourhood social cohesion reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Now if that doesn’t encourage a bit of community bonding, nothing will!
Stuck for an idea for your next family get-together or birthday celebration? Want to arrange a meet-and-greet with the neighbours? Consider taking the party to your favourite picnic spot or park, where fine weather, good food and friends make for a stress-free day out. Setting the scene is easy: just fire up the barbecue or BYO hamper—and be sure to bring along a set of boules or a cricket bat and ball to keep everyone entertained. The best part? Cleaning up is as simple as filling a few bin bags; no dish washing necessary!
Family outing checklist
Heading out with the kids? Pack these items and have them handy for an impromptu excursion and you’ll never be caught lacking again…
- Hat and sunscreen
- Spare clothes
- Wipes and hand sanitiser
- First-aid kit
- Water bottles
- Colouring books and pencils
- Small toys