My husband and I arrived in a big South Indian metropolitan from North just a month after our marriage. Nobody’s in a new city, with no friends or relatives here. No-one to go with or party with. Even in the past I have had a minuscule circle and was not extroverted or outgoing by nature. The fellowship is one of the biggest pleasures in life. Why deny that to oneself.
A robust social life boosts happiness for couples. All the more if you live in a town miles away from home. No matter how many the skype calls and tech-enabled proximity to near and dear ones back home, you need people in your life. To rejoice and celebrate. Here’s the recipe that saved our other-wise dull fraternizing.
But with a plan-in- hand our Social life is now exhilarating.
1. Booked and rented an Apartment with club-house facilities rather than an independent house. Apartments boost the chances of coming across people and couples of similar age groups. Making for the greater likelihood of making friends walk with and engage with.
2. Joining established Satsang groups. Visits to AOL Ashrams helped me make friends and a place that accepted me without any conditions or entry payments.
3. Actively pursuing friends who had lots of friends and already established Social networks. These friends introduced me to further groups. Thanks to them. I now have a robust group of ladies to learn, listen, and live with.
4. Taking a Visiting faculty position in an Esteemed College here. Made a bunch of friends there. (With an increased expectation of Degrees, this may not be viable anymore now.) I learned more than I taught, in this highly dynamic institution.
5. Toastmaster’s Club is a speaking Club. I made a ton of friends there. I came across people of all ages and all walks of life here. Artists, lawyers, doctors, students, housewives, actors et al. Some are extremely dear and my go-to people for any help or assurance. Besides, it boosted my self-confidence and speaking skills. Their once in a year Conference’s are great places to Network and Socialize.
6. Joining Book-writing and Creative writing Clubs. The course ran into six weekends. That gave me time to regularly meet like-minded individuals and cultivate a friendship that has lasted for more than a decade now.
7. Communities that were a cultural boost and made me feel as if I am in my homeland. No matter which region of our country you come from, there is definitely a Samajam of them here. Enrolling into it first thing was the best decision of my life, Socially. Festivals are celebrated, Celebrity felicitations, contests and sporting events galore are regularly held. There was always an occasion to dress up and participate in. As I have stayed in a couple of places and my parents come from different backgrounds, becoming a member of different communities further boosted my Social Calendar. Paid Dinners and lunches were held regularly. It was a community home away from my home. So dull, lack-luster moments reduced. The stress and monotony of life taken care of.
8. Actively making friends through the Meetup groups where I learned varied skills in technology, meditation to baking, and more.
9. Joining camping and adventure activity groups.
1o. Volunteering at Schools, Eco-communities, Events etc.
11. Being a part of Ladies groups outside of my Apartment complex. The groups ranged from Cookery and Fashion to Classical Singing and Dance. Activities were regularly organized per event price and zero membership fees.
12. There are options to join various Family Clubs depending upon the affordability levels.
13. My mother and husband often question me about the payments to these events. And here is my standard reply to them :
a. Socializing helps me keep off anxiety issues.
b. Life throws pains and pressures of all kinds. Friends help me deal with it better.
c. Get a lot to learn by being around successful, cheerful, and spirited people.
d. Better networking for employment-related development.
e. Being amidst people helps me de-stress.
Working and searching for options to expand your social life should be high on your agenda. Before loneliness gets to you and affects your mental health, find your friends under the sun lest you feel lost in the crowd. Lack of a healthy social group is the perfect breeding ground for emotional turmoil.