Join us in celebrating International Neighbour Day
March 24, 2023
On 26 March 2023, Australians will celebrate International Neighbour Day. This special day is to bring awareness to the importance of social connections and neighbourly good deeds. Although the official Neighbour Day falls on the said date, people are encouraged to practise neighbourly kindness every single day.
You may think that people are already closely connected to their neighbours and have good relationships, but surveys prove otherwise. According to The Happiness Institute, 77 per cent of Aussies don’t talk to their next-door neighbour. Furthermore, more than half of the people surveyed didn’t even know their neighbours’ names. And, approximately one quarter of them reported that if they saw them, they wouldn’t recognise their face.
In the past, people knew much more about their neighbours and interacted more, too. Even in the 1980s, Aussies knew about seven people in their neighbourhood and felt comfortable asking them for favours. However, by the mid-2000s, this number had significantly decreased.
This is just one reason to take International Neighbour Day to heart this year.
Why are relationships in the community so important?
Having social relationships with your neighbours is vital to you, and to them. There are so many benefits when you get together with neighbours and enjoy your time. Oftentimes, it means you will be engaging in a physical activity, which promotes your good health. Even if you’re not doing a physical activity, coming together with others improves happiness, provides a sense of wellbeing, and can extend your life expectancy. People who are isolated are known to be more unhappy and don’t live as long.
How you can connect more with your neighbours this year
You may be wondering what is keeping people from connecting with their neighbours. Research found that people fear rejection from others if they make the first move. However, it was also discovered that most people would have a positive response if their neighbour was more outgoing with them. So, this means it just requires one person to take the initiative and reach out to the other. You could start with International Neighbour Day. It could be an icebreaker conversation. You could ask your closest neighbour to come over to the porch for a snack and coffee, or you could plan a backyard activity that is more active. There are plenty of ideas to start a connection with your neighbours. Once the connection begins, it has the potential to blossom.
Another way to develop a relationship with your neighbour is to make a baked good for them or offer to help with a project they are working on. For example, if you have extra time and they are busy working all the time, you could offer to mow their lawn occasionally. That would greatly help them out and show neighbourly love.
Celebrate International Neighbour Day this year
This year, the theme for International Neighbour Day is ‘Every day is neighbour day.’ This means you can strive to celebrate neighbour day all the time, not just one day in the year.
Encouraging social connection is the essence of Neighbour Day every day. Take time to reach out to someone and notice how much happier and relaxed you’ll feel. Social connectedness is a cure for many problems. It can ease stress and tension by boosting your mood, and it makes you feel part of a greater whole. When you and others feel valued, there is more joy and less pain. Plus closely knit neighbours watch out for and protect one another. This enhances safety in the community.
Go on, take time to say hello to a neighbour today!
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