A lot goes into building safe, strong communities and research has shown that social connections increase happiness and lead to improved overall health and even longer lives. That’s especially so for adults who have recently relocated to new areas. Reaching out to neighbours can be a great way for adults to build new relationships that can benefit them as individuals and strengthen their communities. So here are a few tips on how to meet your new neighbours.

1. DON’T BE SHY People often want to know who’s living next door, so adults who have recently moved need not be shy about introducing themselves to their new neighbours. Introduce yourself and share what inspired you to move to your new neighbourhood.

2. ANSWER & ASK QUESTIONS Neighbours will no doubt ask questions when you introduce yourself, so be ready to answer these questions. Questions may focus on your career and where you grew up. If you grew up in the area where you recently moved, some of your neighbours likely did as well. Sharing stories about your school days and/or local hotspots can be a great way to break the ice. Don’t hesitate to ask some questions of your own as well. Asking questions might reveal some common interests that can serve as strong foundations for budding relationships.

3. VOLUNTEER Volunteering with community-based organizations is another great way to meet new neighbours. Volunteering with an organization whose mission you identify with may be even better, as you’re likely to find like-minded neighbours who share your passions when working with such groups. Strong communities are built around people. When moving to a new community, adults can overcome the challenges such relocations present by taking steps to connect with their new neighbours.