fbpx

What To Do When You Feel Lonely

Guest blog by City On Purpose

Community is one of those facets of life you don’t think about until it’s disrupted. As a child, your community is your family, friends from school, or church. You don’t necessarily get to choose who makes up your community as a kid. Maybe you had a friend move away, you had to change schools, or your family relocated. Your entire world is rocked and you’re not sure how to create that community again. When you’re older, college, work, and other responsibilities can take you to a new city, and you’re forced to start over again.

Throughout this post, I’ve linked to various resources and groups with tons of people who love making friends within each. Continue reading and you’ll be sure to find something that could help you find your community by as early as today. 

How Does Community Help You? 

Community can refer to a group with a common interest or a feeling of togetherness. Your community can be your family, friends, your bible study, or even the people at your local coffee shop. Think about it like The Lord of the Rings: there was the main Fellowship, and the many characters along the way who helped them on their quest – characters like Treebeard, Faramir, or Eowyn.

Now that we understand what community is, why is it important to have a community or be in a community with others? 

The Bible

Community is important because God ordained it to be so. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I wish to make another creature who will be like him.” You might immediately think of marriage. While this passage is often used in weddings, God created Eve so Adam wasn’t alone. God wants us to be with other people in all seasons of life. 

The Church

We are called to foster community; it is vital to our spiritual well-being. In his letters to the Early Church, Paul discusses the importance of community many times. In Galatians 6:1-2, he says, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” The Church has always placed community at the forefront. Monks, nuns, and priests often live communally. Pope Saint John Paul II puts it this way: “We are all one family in the world. Building a community that empowers everyone to attain their full potential through each of us respecting each other’s dignity, rights and responsibilities makes the world a better place to live.” 

The Science

Community is important for humans on an emotional and physical level. During the pandemic, so many of us (myself included) felt lonely and isolated. Being with other people in a community is a deep psychological need. In a study published in the SSM – Population Health Journal, researchers evidenced how connectedness contributed to health across all stages of life. They found that “Weaker community belonging exhibited an association with both poorer general and mental health, though a stronger association was observed with mental health. These associations were observed across all three age strata.” It is essential to our well-being for us to be in community with others. 

Where Do You Find Friends and Community? 

Community is crucial. God wanted us to be in community with others, the Church was made for us to remain in community with Him and with other believers, and community is fundamental to our health. So, where can we begin to look for a community? 

Resources

Consider joining City On Purpose.  While this is a shameless plug, the newsletter offers practical ways to get connected. Each week I share three events involving different young adult groups around the area and three events that are just for fun. I also list rooms for rent and people looking for roommates. It’s a great go-to if you’re looking to take your first steps towards finding community. 

Events 

Find some events to attend.  As an introvert, I understand how stressful it can be to go to events with new people. There are plenty of amazing new people who put on these exciting events and are more than happy to help you find a friend. Of course, talking to people and organically building a sense of fellowship also takes some time. 

Groups

Find people with similar hobbies and interests. Are you a frisbee player? Maybe you enjoy knitting? What other interests do you have? Other people enjoy your hobbies, too! To get you started, here’s a local GroupMe where groups play soccer and frisbee, and another GroupMe for sewing and art. 

How Do You Start Making Friends As An Adult?

Navigating a new group of people can be difficult. Some groups have known each other since childhood, while others shared formative years at college. It can feel like everyone around you knows one another and you’re the odd one out. How do you move through this and make friends with people as an adult? 

Ask Questions

Just like when you were a kid getting to know someone new on the playground, ask people questions (and not just “what’s your favorite color?”). When you meet a new group of people, it’s always good to take an interest in them. How do they know each other? How long have they been going to this event or group? Do they live in the area? You’re not the weirdo for asking questions, you’re getting to know people.

Reaching Out

Keep in touch and reach out to the people you talked to at the event or group. If you met the people in charge, you could offer to help out. If you met people you’d like to get to know better, offer to go to another event, get coffee, or even grab dinner after a Holy Hour.

Helping Out

You get to meet people quickly if you are the one greeting them as they walk in, serving them food, or giving them a talk. When you volunteer to help with an event or group, you’ll get to know the other volunteers and those you’re serving.

Are You Ready To Embrace Community?

Passing through this world alone is hard. Every season of life comes with challenges and you need people you can lean on. Community is key to dealing with the ups and downs of life, it’s how we build a support system of people to do life with. Finding community can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where to start. Below are some more resources to start finding your people: 

City On Purpose – Ready to take the first step towards finding your community? Our newsletter offers weekly events and more.

CTK 20/30 Somethings – Looking for connections at Cathedral of Christ the King’s young adult group?

Catholic Dinner Group – Interested in dinner gatherings and young adult meetups in Atlanta?

Buckhead Catholic: Sports – Love sports, including frisbee? This group might be your perfect match.

Catholic Sewing/Art Group – Are you passionate about sewing and art? Join this community of like-minded 

Embrace the importance of community and take the first steps towards building connections that will last a lifetime.

 

Related Posts

How God Speaks To You

Wouldn’t it be weird for me to follow my wife around the house and watch her without speaking or interacting with her? It would be

Read More