As the United States begins to lift many of its COVID restrictions, most of us are beginning to reach back out to our social group. After a long year and a half of social distancing and isolation, it’s wonderful news to be able to enjoy seeing friends and family in person again.

For some of us, spending so much time at home this year made us realize we don’t actually know the members of our own neighborhood very well. While the pandemic made it difficult to connect with the person next door for safety reasons, as restrictions lift, it’s the perfect time to start learning more about your community.
Not sure how to go about meeting people in your town? We’ve got some tips for you!

Organize a Backyard Cookout
You’re ready to get back to having a social life, and chances are, your neighborhood is, too! Why not organize a community cookout? Whether you decide to fire up the grill or host a potluck dinner in your backyard, food is always a sure way to get people together. Have fun creating invitations for your neighbors and spend an afternoon going door-to-door delivering them with your family. Keep in mind any gathering restrictions currently in place for your area.

Start a Volunteer Team
Do you have a park, river, or other community-shared area near your home? Start a cleanup day initiative in your neighborhood. You can reach out to neighbors and invite them to join you. If the thought of knocking on your neighbor’s door unexpectedly is a bit intimidating for you, do the first cleanup day alone or with a friend. It’s true what they say about kindness being contagious. You’ll likely have people coming up to you to ask you how they can start volunteering, too! You’ll have a neighborhood cleanup team before you know it.

Offer to Help a Neighbor
Are there any elderly neighbors in your area? If so, they may appreciate a little help with yard work, or even something as simple as taking their trash can to the road for the collectors. Similarly, if there’s a single parent nearby, they will likely be thrilled if you ask to help them with a task like mowing the lawn or trimming their hedges. The next time you need assistance, you’re likely to have several willing neighbors to help out!

Attend Community Events
This option is the easiest way to socialize. The next time you receive a community event invitation, go! The planning, costs, and work has already been done for you. Whether it’s a community fair, a bake sale, yard sale, town meeting, etc., make a conscious effort to be open to trying something new. You’ll get to meet the people in your town while likely coming away with some delicious baked foods, vintage goods, or other items.
While alone time can great (and healthy), it’s equally important to develop a sense of community. Spend some time getting to know the people around you, and you may find yourself making unexpected connections in the area!