(NC) Can you remember the days when you knew everyone on your street? Or when you would turn to a neighbour to borrow a cup of sugar or to water your plants?
According to a new study, knowing as few as six neighbours reduces loneliness and is linked to lowering depression, social anxiety, and financial concerns related to COVID-19.
The study, which was conducted in partnership with a team of leading mental health experts, also found that performing small acts of kindness for neighbours reduced the likelihood of feeling lonely.
Looking for ways to safely get involved in your neighbourhood? Here are a few ways to get started:
- Introduce yourself to your neighbours, digitally.
Join a neighbourhood platform like Nextdoor, the neighbourhood app, to connect with the people and places near you. Start with a simple introduction or join a group to build connections with neighbours who share similar interests.
- Check in with neighbours, from a distance or virtually.
See if your neighbours, particularly the vulnerable or elderly, need any help. Consider picking up groceries for them next time you head to the store or helping them with work in the yard.
- Contribute to your local culture and businesses
Whether youre ordering in from your local pizza place or writing a positive review for a nearby business — support the businesses in your community that may be suffering during this difficult time.
As we commute less and stay home more, the role of the neighbourhood has never been more important, explains Christopher Doyle, managing director of Nextdoor Canada. “While for some getting to know your neighbours can be daunting, building meaningful connections with those in your neighbourhood really is easier and more rewarding than you may initially think.”