By: Braelyn Smith
It’s been a year since lockdown—a year of sparse social interactions outside the home, and now that life is getting back to some semblance of normal, we’re itching to reconnect and thrive once again. But let’s take with us one of the biggest lessons that lockdown taught: to slow down and live with intention.
Perform random acts of kindness
After a year of lingering apprehension and pandemic anxiety, the clouds are finally parting. While it will take time to heal and grieve this era of uncertainty, we can work together to spread joy. There are countless ways to uplift others, and doing so will not only make you feel good, kindness and connection will flow throughout communities. From thoughtful sidewalk-chalk messages for nursing home residents, voicing gratitude to essential workers, to volunteering time to help clean up parks, expressions of goodness are popping up everywhere. Reaching out and serving others is an incredible way to cultivate community.
Support local business
Due to various restrictions put in place to limit the spread of COVID, a multitude of small businesses had to restructure how they operate, which unfortunately for many meant closing their doors for weeks or months at a time. Now that communities are beginning to reopen, we can finally get back to patronizing our favorite local shops and restaurants. By shopping locally, we directly support families close to home. When we do that, we’re doing our part to strengthen the whole of our neighborhoods.
Reach out to your neighbors and check-in on loved ones
After a year of limited social interactions, now is the perfect time to reach out to others and start rebuilding a sense of community. A quick hello and a friendly exchange with your neighbors can go a long way in lifting spirits and feeling more involved. And with summer finally here, outdoor neighborhood block parties are a fantastic way to get everyone reacquainted. Kid-friendly park events are always a hit with children, who can finally get together and play. And remember to check in on loved ones, especially those who live far away; staying in touch with those dear to you is worth treasuring and sustaining.
Find ways to create new things with new people
After being mostly confined to home for a year, creative pursuits likely took a back seat for most of us. But now that we can begin connecting with others again, it opens the door to many opportunities to flex our creative muscles. Check for local events in your area that host artistic workshops, or sign up for that culinary class you’ve always wanted to try. It’s a great time to seek out new contacts and make connections with new people. Here at Thrive, we host a number of events. Don’t miss them!
Join some new online communities
Online communities are excellent for connecting with people who share your same interests. Fairygodboss, an online community for career-minded women, brings women together and fosters a community that provides career guidance, advice, and camaraderie. Ellevate is another wonderful online community that redefines networking for women. From virtual roundtables, webinars and workshops, to virtual mentoring meetups, Ellevate is a perfect online community for women who want to empower one another to do their best in their careers. Avil Beckford, a member of Ellevate, says: “There is something about the culture of Ellevate that makes it very different from other women’s associations. Women go out of their way to help other women and that’s the way it should be.”