So, instead of sitting in your back garden to get some fresh air, switch to your front garden instead. You can enjoy a sit down, a cuppa and watch the world go by. And if someone wanders by going for a walk or exercising their dog, take a moment to smile and say hello. If they slow down, you could ask them how their day is going and strike up a conversation.
It’s these little gestures that keep communities connected and a smile, wave or a few words from you could make a huge difference to someone’s day.
- You could bake a batch of muffins or cookies and offer one to passers-by – a delicious way to break the ice.
- The weather – an oldie, but a goodie!
- Ask about their sporting team.
- Current news items
- Don’t hold people up for too long or they might avoid you next time!
- Avoid politics!
4 benefits to staying connected
There are many physical and mental health benefits to living in a connected neighbourhood:
- It promotes overall higher levels of physical and mental health
- It can make you feel less lonely and less socially isolated
- You are less likely to have high blood pressure and your risk of heart attack is reduced
- People who live in a connected neighbourhood are less likely to report symptoms of depression and older people are less likely to be admitted to hospital.
Being a friendly neighbour may not solve every problem, but you might make a significant difference to someone’s feelings of wellbeing.