Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people around the world are experiencing feelings of isolation. In America, 36% of people have reported “serious loneliness.” If you’ve just moved to a new city, like Chicago, this may be especially true for you.
The loneliness and isolation are not just mental and emotional, but can manifest physically as well. For example, loneliness and smoking are equally dangerous risk factors for heart disease. That’s why making friends in Chicago is so important for people who’ve just moved to the Windy City.
To learn about different ways to make new friends, check out the ideas below.
1. Citywide Events
There was a time when practically all citywide events across the world were shut down, but things are slowly returning to normal. Of course, when attending an event, wearing a mask helps keep everyone at the event safe.
Some citywide events that are opening back up include:
- Music concerts
- Sports games
Decide which Chicago events align with your interests and attend them with an outgoing spirit. Make sure you’re ready to engage in conversation with other like-minded event attendees.
2. Apps and Online Forums
MeetUp is a popular app used around the world to make friends in new locations. The best part is that each MeetUp group has its own theme, so you can easily find people who share the same interests as you.
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3. Volunteering Your Time
Volunteering is an altruistic way to not only make friends, but benefit your new community. Some places that often need volunteers include:
- Homeless shelters
- Animal shelters
- Habitat for Humanity
- Nursing homes
Of course, Chicago may have its own unique volunteering opportunities. Spend some time researching it on your own to get to know the city better.
4. Sports Clubs or Exercise Classes
Sports fans bond easily over their shared interests. Whether you actually want to play the sport, or just get together to watch it, there’s a club out there for you. Additionally, local fitness groups often meet up to do various forms of exercise together.
If sports are too competitive for your taste, you can also look into more relaxed physical activities, like a yoga class or dance class.
5. Miscellaneous Methods
Some other miscellaneous ways to make friends may include visiting a local dog park regularly, joining a book club, or checking out the trivia nights at local bars and restaurants.
When trying to make friends, it’s important to keep an open mind and get creative.
Making Friends in Chicago and Keeping Them
Nobody said making friends in Chicago during a global pandemic is easy. Luckily, this is not the Spanish flu of the early 1900s, so we have technology to help us make and keep connections, especially a Chicago social life. Make sure to follow up with new friends regularly to make the friendship stronger.
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