9 Tips to Fire Up Your Social Engine

IMG_2080With the holiday’s bright lights and festive parties quickly dimming into sepia-toned memories, the dark winter days send many of us scurrying to warmer quarters behind closed doors. But too much time without connecting with friends can hamper an otherwise cheerful spirit. Add a little glow to a dreary day by finding ways to connect with new friends or gather together some old pals.

Here are a few ideas to spring yourself out of the frozen trap of isolation.

  • Check around your neighborhood, church, child’s school, “mommy and me” programs, the children’s section of the library or online to find moms’ groups in your area.
  • Talk to membership directors for various moms’ groups to find out about each organization’s activities and ways members support each other.
  • Attend a meeting as a guest to get a feel for a group’s philosophy and personality.
  • Ask if the group offers an online component. For many moms, an online chat room or Facebook page is easier to swing between in-person get-togethers, especially when stuck at home due to sick children, bad weather or other factors.
  • Send out a text to a handful of friends and schedule a mom’s night out at a new restaurant.
  • Complement off-line groups with an online moms’ group. Some online moms’ groups also have local chapters that have in-person meet-ups. (For a positive, resourceful online moms group, check out my Facebook group “Confidently Connected Moms.” If you are interested, simply submit a request to join.)
  • Get to know other parents by volunteering at your child’s school or participating in the PTO/PTA.
  • Follow an interest by taking continuing education classes, participating in bible studies, fitness classes, cooking clubs or book clubs. If the group you are looking for isn’t around, start your own!
  • Gather a couple of families together to go ice skating, roller skating, bowling or to the movies.

Research shows time spent with friends can provide much-needed emotional nourishment, effectively reducing stress and providing a buffer from situational depression. And when you feel more balanced, you’ll be a happier parent.

What do you do to build community?

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