Why should your community matter to you? Read about the benefits of engaging and bonding with your local community to improve your mood and wellbeing.
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