How connection can help us navigate life transitions


How connection can help us navigate life transitions

Change is the only constant in life (Heraclitus was right!). Life comes with its twists and turns no matter our age, gender or social circumstances. We can experience transitions in our work and relationships, changes in our physical and mental health, and new events within our local communities and the world beyond. Sometimes we know a change will occur, other times change comes suddenly and unexpectedly – and can bring disappointment or be a wonderful surprise.

Humans are social creatures by nature. We are hard-wired to live with others around us. As such, we weren’t built to navigate life without the support – and connection – to others

Friendzr believes in the importance of social connection. We’re on a mission to inspire happier communities by connecting people in real-life. We start that journey with our beta launch in London – during UK Mental Health Awareness week, fittingly shining a spotlight on loneliness this year.

We are wired to connect

Millions of us experienced loneliness during the Covid-19 pandemic. But it takes a lot less than a worldwide crisis to find yourself needing connection and friendship. As life transitions through its different stages we can often feel the need to expand our existing social circle, or even start an entirely new one.

So what’s behind our innate need for connectedness? It comes down to basic human needs. We thrive when we have a meaningful relationship with others. Research shows connection has a positive impact on our physical and mental health and longevity. Connection creates a positive feedback loop and leads to higher self-esteem and greater empathy for others. On the other hand, feelings of loneliness (but not solitude!) may have a detrimental effect.

As we transition through life, our friendship circles may need to evolve. Whatever the reason for the transition, connecting with others in real life, sharing in activities and establishing friendships can help us navigate them. Here are a few examples:

Freshers’ friendships

You’re starting out at university. This often means starting afresh: new school, new friends, and frequently a new city. It can be a worry for a lot of freshers – even more so when you’ve been less able to socialise and enjoy your growing independence over the pandemic. Or when you need to meet new people in a city like London. It’s also likely your existing social circle is not readily accessible. Connecting with other freshers and people within your new neighbourhood will help you make sense of the changes, and make navigating your new environment much more fun too!

Navigating parenthood

You’ve become a parent (especially for the first time). This is a whole new territory, and while you’ll get delightful newborn cuddles and first smile, you’ll likely also encounter sleepless nights, endless feeding and millions of nappy changes! Early parenthood can feel lonely, especially if away from your family network like many new parents in London or the big cities. The same feelings can resurface as the children you’ve devoted almost two decades of your very existence to fly the nest. Having a family is undoubtedly a blessing, though one best navigated with the support of others on a similar journey.

Connection through workplace

You’ve changed job, or switched to a new working pattern. Or maybe experienced redundancy. With so many hours spent ‘at work’ in London and the UK, it’s only natural that we should need to seek out connection at work. Being able to find practical and emotional support – and share in humour – makes your days more pleasant and also makes you better at your job!

Shared interests

You’re learning, or perfecting, a skill. Whether it’s knitting, woodwork or learning a new language, you’ll get so much more from your hobby by sharing your journey with others. There’s camaraderie and inspiration or a way out when you are stuck. London and the UK’s bigger cities offer social groups for almost every interest – a chance to meet new people while sharing and perfecting your latest passion.

Travel adventures

You travel. A LOT. Whether for work or pleasure, landing somewhere new means finding your bearings – people, places and experiences that help you settle in your new home away from home. For an authentic experience, your best bet is to connect with like-minded locals and fellow travellers.

Life-altering events

You or someone close to you developed a medical condition. When life throws these situations at us we often want to connect with others who have been there already or are in a similar position. Seeking out the experience of others will help you prepare for and be supported through the journey ahead. Support groups will be easy to find in London and the major UK cities, but social app such as Friendzr may help you to locate and build a like-minded support network closer to home.

Whatever twist your life has taken, the science is clear that it’s the quality rather than the quantity of the connection that matters. You’ll reap all the benefits as long as you get out and interact with the world around you, and you can establish a meaningful connection, even with just a few people.

At a time where so many relationships only exist in the virtual world, Friendzr uses latest technology to help people connect in real-life, through locality, common interests and shared values.

 

One platform, hundreds of opportunities. And all in your control.

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