For the longest time, we’ve been living in a world of greater and greater separation, where you’d walk down the street or into a restaurant to see people staring into their smartphone screens instead of engaging in more meaningful conversation.
But, the current Coronavirus crisis has given us an opportunity to reset, recharge, and reflect on the ways we may have lost our sense of community.
As different countries go about easing stay-at-home restrictions, maybe it’s a good time to consider what actions we can take to build community and meaningful relationships with our neighbors and our loved ones.
Read on as we share creative ideas on building healthy communities that are vibrant, resilient, and healthy.
“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. – Mark Twain
Spend Time on the Porch
One of the easiest ways to create an inviting atmosphere is to just spend as much time as possible outside. This sends a clear message that you’re available for a chat and are welcoming to visitors.
Be sure to place a few outdoor chairs or benches in your front yard to create a welcoming ambiance. Besides, what’s better than chatting with a neighbor in your garden and making new friends?
Plant Fruits and Vegetables
Why not take your free time and use your front yard to plant a vibrant selection of fruit trees, vegetables, and herbs?
The time spent working on your edible garden often presents a great opportunity for neighbors to strike up a conversation, and you might inspire some of them to do the same. Before you know it, you could have a community co-op where you share harvests and preserves, while you improve curb appeal.
You can even use raised beds to plant seeds along the sidewalk or the street if your front yard isn’t large enough. Just make sure to check your local community codes to ensure that the plants that you cultivate are allowed by your local regulators.
Check with the Neighbors
There’s an inspiring story of a young woman in Italy who committed herself to doing grocery shopping and collecting prescription medication for the elderly in her community during the COVID-19 crisis to help protect the vulnerable.
This is just one example of how we can do more to connect with and assist the elderly in our community during and beyond this crisis. Plus, we stand to gain so much more when we connect with the wise elderly members of our communities.
Welcome New Neighbors
This is a tradition that has fallen out of favor in most places due to the advent of large cities, but it’s incredibly valuable to welcome new neighbors that move into your community. It helps to foster a sense of community and togetherness, and it’s super easy to do.
It’s as simple as putting together a “welcome hamper with a home-cooked pie, chocolates, a bouquet of flowers and/or takeout menus from the best local restaurants. Not only are you introducing them to the community but you’re letting your new neighbors know that they’re welcome.
You can even include a nice small note introducing yourself, especially if you happen to deliver the package while your new neighbors are at work or want to avoid contact due to the pandemic.
Is there a local issue that you feel deserves more attention? Why not take the lead in raising awareness about it?
It could be as simple as having a small conversation about it with your neighbor over the fence, circulating a petition, or even organizing a fundraiser to combat the issue.
It’s the key to creating communities that are connected and efficient.
Make a Welcoming Front Yard
If you want to create a welcoming ambiance in your yard, why not bring down the hedge and avoid tall fences? You can still maintain a little privacy without isolating yourself from your neighbors.
You can even plant a few flowers or interesting plants on the side of the road to create interest, maintain a green lawn, and do your part to create a more colorful and vibrant community.
Try Online Connections
If you like any of the ideas mentioned here and you want to try them out, why not put together a little flyer inviting your neighbors to participate in a community event while respecting social distancing regulations?
You can even create a street directory to better connect your neighborhood or create an exclusive community group in an online platform where you get to share important information and interesting facts about your neighborhood that brings people together.
A welcoming community can make a big difference towards your quality of life. Share with us on Facebook what are your thoughts and what you do to improve your neighborhood!