Five activities that could expand your social life

Solo city living: Five activities that could expand your social life.

When you first move to live somewhere by yourself, you’re likely to have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, you might have been dreaming of having your own space after years of either living at home or sharing a place and be looking forward to having things just the way you like them. At the same time, though, there’s a sense of apprehension about being alone when you come home after work.

City life can be paradoxical: although you’re in close proximity to so many other people, unless you have a good social life and range of activities that you take part in outside of work, it can feel really lonely, too. The key, then, to making solo city living work, is to make sure you can access company when you want it, and also enjoy the luxury of retreating to your own private space at any time – which you should remember is a great thing.

Try these suggestions to make living by yourself a fun proposition, rather than a lonely one.

Learn to Cook

There are lots of cooking schools and classes in every city and it’s a great way to combine meeting new people with learning a new skill. For example, at Chilli Cooks in Brighton, it’s Thai cooking that’s on the menu. On a day’s cooking course, you’ll learn how to cook two Thai dishes from scratch and you then have the choice of eating what you’ve cooked with your classmates, or taking it home with you.

Once you’ve attended a couple of different cooking courses, you’ll have a repertoire of dishes you can try out for all those dinner parties you’ll soon want to host with the new friends you’ve made.

The Social Side of Online Gaming

Sometimes after a long day at work, you might not want to go out in order to be sociable. It may seem counterintuitive, but staying in and playing online games such as bingo can be sociable. By joining a bingo site, you have an instant connection to other people in online bingo chat rooms. As the game of bingo is so straightforward, you don’t really need to focus on playing, which leaves you free to get involved in the gossip and banter that’s going on. Bingo chat rooms provide players with other people’s company on tap, there to draw on whenever they need it.

Source: Fabulous Bingo via Facebook

In a similar way, if you have a console like a PlayStation 4, not only can you play by yourself, but you can also connect to millions of players online. With the PS4, once you’ve set up your online PSN (PlayStation Network) profile, you can join in other people’s games (with permission) or challenge another player to a new game. There’s also the possibility of linking your PSN profile to your Facebook account, so you can challenge your Facebook friends to games, too.

Get into a Sport

If you have a favourite sport, consider joining a local club and enjoying the social side as well as the fitness benefits. Netball, football, badminton or hockey; a quick Google search will find clubs in your local area.

Alternatively, if you enjoy running, joining parkrun is a great way to get fit and meet new faces. All over the country, people meet up for parkrun 5k runs every Saturday morning and you run against the clock so you can see how much your stamina builds from week to week. The Brighton & Hove parkrun takes place in Hove Park at 9am on a Saturday morning. It’s free, but you need to register before turning up for your first run. Not only will you improve your fitness, but you’ll also get to meet a group of like-minded people. Many runners stay for a post-run coffee at the park café.

Give Up Some of Your Time for Others

Get involved with the community you live in by giving up some of your free time to volunteer. There are all kinds of local volunteering opportunities; the generous offer of your time will be snapped up! What kind of volunteering you do depends on where your interests lie – you could help schoolchildren learn to read, be a leader at Scouts or Guides, or befriend an elderly person, to name but a few volunteering opportunities. Not only do you get to meet a group of people you otherwise might not do, but studies have shown volunteering increases happiness levels, so you benefit too.

Join a Social Club

If you’re new to an area, or even if you’ve lived there for a while and want to find new people to go out in the evening with, then joining a social club is a good idea. You might pick which group to join based on an age range or a particular interest such as going to gigs or having an interest in books.

Whatever kind of socialising you’re looking for, it’s not hard to find when you live in a city. You just have to metaphorically throw your hat into the ring and let people know that you want to get involved. You may find the prospect of living on your own a little daunting to start with, but pretty soon, you’ll be so busy that you’ll start to hanker after some “alone-time”.