Depression and anxiety aside, there are so many benefits to trying something you’ve never done before, even better if it involves meeting and getting involved with a new group of people.
If you have recently moved house to a new area or maybe you have left home for the first time to go to University, there is nothing worse than feeling alone and isolated so you need to find something that gets you out and meeting people. This isn’t easy, in fact it is really hard and takes a bit of guts and some confidence to give yourself that push. So the first thing you need to do is make a list of all the things you enjoy such as your existing hobbies and interests, and maybe also a list of things you really want to try out. A quick Google of your local area will let you know what clubs, classes and social groups exist. If you’re at Uni, the Freshers Fair and your Student Union will have all this information for you and although it is nerve wracking introducing yourself to new people, there will be several hundred new students in exactly the same position. It all starts with “hi”.
For those (like me) that haven’t got a hundred people in the same boat, you need to be braver. You need to just go for it.
When I finished University (bearing in mind I had gone later than those in my year so I graduated when I was nearly 25), I upped sticks for the eleventh time in my life and moved to Hampshire to be with Ian. It took me a while before I realised I needed to find a new group of people, a group outside of work and those that weren’t Ian’s friends. I needed a group completely unique to me… this is how I ignited my love for playing hockey.
The last time I played hockey was in secondary school (about 10 years ago at the time) but I remember really enjoying it so I figured it made sense to see if this was something I could get back in my life by joining a local club. It didn’t take me long to find somewhere which is how I started playing for Yateley, I had enquired with another club but Yateley came across so much friendlier and more welcoming. Since moving earlier this year I also now play for Windsor but I still play for Yateley when I can as they are such a great club to be a part of.
Hockey for me works on two levels 1. fitness 2. social. I don’t hate gyms, I just don’t find them particularly inspiring and it is a real effort to get myself there. This is the same for hockey training some nights as when it’s cold, dark and clearly raining who wants to leave the house? Not me but you do because you’re going to run around for an hour or so and have a laugh with some people. If I go to the gym I go to classes as a) you’ve probably booked so you’re expected to be there and B) there is a set structure to your workout C) You’re probably with some familiar faces you’re getting to know. Hockey for me is exactly the same which is why it works. It’s also outdoors which I also prefer. Hockey or anything physically active and competitive also releases me of my stresses which does me the world of good.
Hockey here is only mentioned for the sake of an example but see what is unlocked once you have that bit of confidence to go out and join a new club and meet new people! It also doesn’t just need to be sport, it can be anything! Maybe you love being crafty -perhaps there is a local arts club or maybe a theatre group that always need help with sets and costumes? Maybe you like singing -there are local choir groups everywhere! Or perhaps you just want to meet some new people to go out for dinner and/or drinks once in a while? There are groups for this too! When there is a planned activity joining new groups I think is much easier as you haven’t got to worry about thinking up new conversation, it’ll just happen and you’re all there because you enjoy the same thing!
I apologise if I make it sound easy but I think it’s important to remember I have done this all my life. I have moved house twelve times; I went to five schools (four Primary, one Secondary) and the last six moves have been my own doing (as in, not family controlled) so I have had to take the plunge and introduce myself to new people and put myself in new environments time and time again. But that doesn’t make it easier, I’m certainly not used to it. Every time I am presented with this scenario I am just the same as anyone else, I am nervous and if I didn’t have to do it I probably wouldn’t. But what does that achieve? It achieves nothing. Once the ice is broken between people it’s actually fun getting to know some new faces. Life long friendships don’t need to be made from it but at least you know that you have something in common and that for me, is the most important thing.
Be brave my Sweeties!
Until next time x