Activities for connection and engagement
In times of isolation and seclusion (that can be caused by various factors), individuals may have difficulty satisfying their social needs. A way to meet these needs is to ensure a sense of belonging and purpose. Below are ideas of activities that can be fulfilled if you come across a loved one who may be experiencing a level of loneliness or discomfort from lack of socialization.
Love and belongingness needs are the third level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. If you have not learned about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is something worth doing more research on, and possibly a topic we can discuss in future posts! Love and belongingness fall under psychological needs. With the people that we encounter, oftentimes they have the physiological needs met – whether these individuals are in a care home, staying with a loved one, or living independently. If someone does not have a need met, there is a likely chance for the individual to come across illness, be that physically, mentally, etc. thus a lower quality of life. Here at Assisted Living Training School we aim to teach and meet needs so that individuals can flourish, perform their best, and continue to share their experiences with others. To focus on love and belongingness, we must be intentional with the thoughts we allow ourselves to ponder on and we must be intentional with the activities we engage in.
As humans, we naturally desire connection because we are designed to share our experiences, feelings, and life with a community. When we are involved in a relationship, a friendship, or a community, it allows us to fulfill that sense of belonging and purpose we crave. Activities that may strengthen connection and engagement may consist of activities that involve our family, friends, and even strangers.
Here are a few activity suggestions we encourage:
Volunteer at a local charity or church
Not only will you be able to help others in your community, but you will also be able to benefit from volunteering. Getting yourself involved will allow you to get connected to strangers and boost your social skills. Volunteering is also a great stress and anxiety reducer due to its ability to improve your overall mood because helping others delivers pleasure to us.
Or have volunteers come to socialize with your residents – whether it be a phone call or a visit, making a new friend can increase cognitive functions.
Gather your family and celebrate life
There are a few times in the year where we are able to get the whole family together to celebrate such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. But why limit get-togethers with your family when we can create a gathering that celebrates specifically your family and the life that you have created together? This will allow the connection to strengthen and allow for your family members to practice gratitude for their loved ones and life.
Host an event
Helping host an event or even creating an event can be another activity that strengthens the connection between you and your inner circle and/or your community. It will provide you with a sense of purpose and knowing that you are doing something to bring people together. This event could be as simple as a picnic at the park with three close friends or an event that can bring awareness to the greater good.
These three suggestions have a few powerful commonalities. It gives us an opportunity to spend intentional time with our loved ones and also an opportunity for us to create new connections and impactful memories.