As we come into the darker days of the year, it's important to remember those who live alone and have no one to keep them company.
With the cold nights drawing in, remember to check on the elderly and see if they have everything they need. Especially during these times, those who have no one to turn to would likely appreciate the kindness.
But it's not just the elderly who may be lonely. Think about -
- University and college students
- Those who have recently moved to the area
- Someone who has suffered the recent loss of their only close family member
- Couples who have separated
Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us ended up being alone because of lockdowns, even though we may have had friends and family nearby.
This has a knock-on effect on our mental health as well as physical health, in some cases.
But, leisure activities, as I'm sure you already know, can help. Not only does it introduce people to new groups, but it can help keep their skills sharp and bring happiness and joy too.
So, what should be considered, and as a leisure or activity centre, how can you help?
Do an activity that you enjoy
We're always told this when thinking of careers and future job paths, but it's important to do what you enjoy.
If you never enjoyed walking, it's unlikely you'll enjoy it now.
Doing something you enjoy can be difficult at first - what exactly do you enjoy doing? There's no harm in trying a few different things and giving each of them a go.
Find out what fits you - don't just settle for activities you've already tried, what about trying something new?
Physical and Mental Fitness
Keeping in a fit state at any age is important, but at all stages of life, we can fall foul of becoming unfit.
Whether this is caused by a desk job, lack of exercise, or just not being in the mood to do anything.
But activities can help keep you fit both mentally and physically.
And chances are, when you find an activity that you enjoy, you'll be surrounded by others who may even have been in the same situation as you.
Tackling loneliness with new friendships
The benefits of some activities don't stop with the activity itself. The positives can extend beyond this in terms of time and people.
As an example, some activities require a team effort, and by pushing your boundaries and becoming a part of a team, you can help forge new friendships.
Suddenly, you may find yourself not only doing an activity that you enjoy, but building a friendship through trips, conversations, and meet-ups, all outside of the activity itself.
How can you help as an activity centre?
You're likely to already be running groups for beginners but think of targeting those who may be at risk of being lonely.
How about a beginner's session for the elderly?
Or a taster session for new university students in the area?
How about something that's mindful for those who have suffered a recent loss?
The opportunities are endless and can help benefit both you and the individuals taking part.