Know your neighbours. Love your neighbourhood.
By ATB Financial 29 October 2018 2 min read
A happier home might just start at your neighbour’s house. Here are five ways to turn neighbours into friends.
Neighbourhoods have changed. Gone are the days of knowing the name and favourite finger food of every person on your block. Blame it on long work days or our plugged-in digital culture, but we’re just not connecting with each other—and maybe we should be.
According to Trudi Chalmers, ATB’s behavioural neuroscientist, “Deep social connections have been shown to increase our wellbeing and happiness. In fact, they’re more important to our happiness than money.” Here’s how it works—when we socialize, we tap into our brain’s reward centre, which inhibits the neural systems connected with stress and fear. “So the more we experience positive social connections,” asserts Chalmers, “the happier and healthier we become.”
With that in mind, maybe today is the day you decide to turn off the TV, make nice with your neighbours, and start loving where you live. Here are five easy ways to make it happen.
Spend some time in your front yard.
You can’t exchange hellos over a nine-foot fence. While you do yard work or play with your kids out front, you might be surprised by the number of smiles and waves you get from passersby.
Be the first to welcome new additions.
You don’t have to drop off a fresh-baked pie. (Who has time to bake pies, anyway?) When a new neighbour moves in, pop over and introduce yourself. You can even give them the need-to-know neighbourhood tour, like which bakery makes the best croissants and if the local daycare is a hit or miss.
Organize a party once a year.
Keep it simple. Do up a quick invite and go mailbox to mailbox. Make it a potluck. And do it outside if weather permits. Most importantly, be respectful of the neighbours who choose not to attend by being mindful of how much noise you’re making.
Support and shop local.
Go to the seniors’ residence craft sale. Hang out at the neighbourhood diner. Plant a plot in the community garden. There’s no better way to meet people with common interests who happen to live nearby.
Get involved on a civic level.
If your neighbourhood has a community league, attend meetings. Join the board if you can spare the time. You’ll meet others who also want to make your hood the best it can be.
Knowing your neighbours won’t just make you feel more at home, it’ll connect you to potential babysitters, jogging companions and friends for your kids. You might even meet top notch neighbours who are willing to take in your mail, water your plants and keep an eye on your home while you’re on vacation. We know, because we’re in your communities too.
If you’re considering a move to a new neighbourhood or if your current neighbourhood is looking a little more appealing now that you’ve met a neighbour or two, let’s discuss the mortgage or mortgage renewal options that will make you feel right at home.
Or come in and talk to us—we just so happen to be in your backyard.