Try to meet more people, build a network of friends and get involved in activities. Social contact and being involved in your community makes all the difference for your mental health. It takes courage to meet new people, but it can make a big difference to how you feel.

How do I get started?

Think about the hobbies you enjoy or the things you have always wanted to try. Doing something you enjoy will help make you feel well and learning something new can be good for your confidence.

Where do I find out about activities?

Libraries, local VECs, parish newsletters and notice boards in shops are good sources of information about what’s happening in your area. You might also want to check the Golden Pages or search for community/ local news websites. Once you start looking, you will probably find lots of social activities in your community.

You might decide to join a group, a club or get involved with a community activity. You can go back to education or learn something new by signing up for a course. Taking part in a local action cause or political group is a good way to have your say and others may benefit from your contribution.

If there is nothing happening in your area, then perhaps you can start something?

What about the cost?

Getting involved doesn’t have to cost money – you can join or organise walking groups, encourage friends to join you for a quick game of football, get together with neighbours for a clean-up of your neighbourhood. Have a ‘best tea maker’ competition with your whole family! 

The power of helping others

By supporting and helping others, you are more likely to feel good about yourself. There are lots of simple ways to help others - from volunteering, to visiting an elderly neighbour who lives alone, to helping a friend with work in their garden or house. Go to the Volunteer Ireland website for information on things you can do throughout the country. 

Keep it going

It’s important to try to regularly spend time with others – seek out company not only when you need it, but as a part of your daily life. Try to make a regular arrangement to meet friends or family. It will be something to look forward to and will enrich your life over time.

TED Talk: What makes a good life?

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? Findings from the longest study on happiness show that good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Watch this inspirational TED Talk below.

Here on the site, lots of people have shared their tips on connecting with others. Explore and share wellness tips.