How well do you know your neighbor? Decades ago, strong neighborly connections were common, but today this isn’t the case. This is a shame as a Mindful community begins with a mindful neighborhood.
According to the Pew Research Center, a study found that only 19 percent of American adults knew all of their neighbors. Twenty-four percent of Americans knew some of their neighbors, but that still means that a majority of Americans are unfamiliar with most of the people that live around them. This is unfortunate, but luckily we can do something to change that.
Consider taking the opportunity to renew old friendships in your mindful neighborhood or get to know the new people that have just moved in. Fostering a sense of community increases your overall well-being. Possibilities include the following: lasting friendships, sharing child or elder care, lawn care, volunteer work, and more. You can use this as an opportunity to talk about common issues, as another Pew study shows that only 46 percent of Americans talk face-to-face with their neighbors about problems in the community. You can meet or reconnect with your neighbors personally, or you can organize a mindful neighborhood get together!
5 Block Party Ideas
Fire up the grill and set up an annual neighborhood picnic– potluck style. Listed below is a checklist for organizing a fun neighborhood event.
- Invitation. Print out or email an invitation to the neighborhood picnic. Make sure to put when, where, time and give the neighbors your email address or phone number to respond.
- Food. Let them know it’s a potluck gathering, so make a list of things you might want for the party: burgers, buns, veggies, paper goods, plastic ware, sodas, chips, etc. Include the list in your invite.
- Location. Try to pick a location that has lots of flat space for yard games. Does your neighborhood have a swimming pool and grill area with shade? Finding the right location will determine the party atmosphere.
- Games. Have games ready for children: bubbles, balls, pool floats, hula-hoops, etc. Keep them occupied and having fun.
- Designate a doggie area. Pooches should not be left out of the festivities! Invite your neighbors to bring their dogs. Designate an area for them to play safely–away from streets and cars.