Socialising this holiday without breaking the bank

Let’s face it – as social beings we all need to have some fun from time to time. Spending time with our families and friends to foster good relationships are as important as the air we breathe!
According to the article: The Benefits of Socialising, it is important to ensure enough socialising vs. sofalising.
The Free Online Dictionary defines socialising as a form of interaction with individuals and a frequent participation in several social activities. It’s simply associating or mingling with people socially.
While sofalising is simply staying at home and talking to loved ones via electronic devices rather than in person. This mode of interaction involves: e-mail, text, instant messenger, twitter, skype, wall posts or status updates on a social network such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.……..
Why do we need to socialise?

  • It gives you so much fun and enjoyment.
  • It allows you to connect and interact with people with a view to forming or establishing various social networks.
  • It aids in reducing the level of stress experienced in your daily activities.
  • It builds constructive and positive relationships as a result of the networks formed.
  • It lifts your mood and you receive so much encouragement from friends/family when you go through difficult moments.
  • It provides the opportunity for you to explore new areas, such as different personalities, mannerisms, etc.
  • Socialising also improves your personal growth and development.
  • According to Bupa (2006), socialising with friends and family can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • In certain instances; socialising increases your self-confidence and esteem by kicking out your shyness in a gathering.
  • It promotes happiness and allows you to stay in touch with friends and family.
  • To some extent, it eradicates the feeling of loneliness.
  • Socialising improves your mental functioning by constantly engaging and exercising your mind (Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin by SAGE).
  • It allows you to promote your brand of business, skills, trade and where social networks are involved, create an online presence.
  • It enhances the feeling of being loved and provides physical, emotional and spiritual support.
  • It increases your sphere of influence as a result of various networks or groups formed.
  • It allows you to experience friendship at its best

Socialising does not necessarily need to cost you an arm and a leg every month. Here are some no-cost and low-cost socialising ideas for you …

  • Go to the park or public gardens and pack a picnic lunch – you can take your family or go with a friend. Throw a picnic lunch together and find a shady spot to enjoy the day with your loved ones. Swing on the swings like when you were a kid. There are lots of recreational opportunities at various parks ranging from walking or hiking to picnicking.
  • Take the kids to the community playground. You don’t have to go to a restaurant with a playground or a pay-to-play indoor park. Many communities have nice playgrounds that are free.
  • Keep cheap entertainment on hand for the kids and invite other mommies and kids over. Avoid rainy day desperation by keeping things like colouring books, activity books, crayons, card games, craft ideas and supplies, DVD’s borrowed from the library or purchased cheaply, unread books, etc. on hand. Invite other mommies and kids over to join in the fun.
  • Camp in your garden with family or friends, watch the sunset and braai marshmallows. If you have a tent and a garden, camp out in your garden and enjoy the sunset while braaing marshmallows.
  • Appreciating the universe at night does wonders for your soul. Telling jokes around the fire is always fun.
  • Board games, puzzles or card games. Bring out the old favourites like Monopoly or Scrabble, or find new board games to play. Invite a few friends over and have a card night. Snap, Uno or other favourite card games can ensure loads of fun and laughter. Jumbo puzzles can take hours to build and are good for keeping your brain activated.
  • Throw a B.Y.O.E. party. This stands of Bring Your Own Everything. Guests are encouraged to bring food and drinks to share. Grill various food options on the braai! Having a braai is always fun.
  • Get ice cream. Enjoy an ice cream with your favourite toppings with friends at your local ice cream shop. You could also have ice cream at home with colourful toppings on a warm sunny day!
  • Make a romantic candlelight dinner at home for your partner. Spoil your partner with their favourite home-cooked dish at some candlelight. Listen to your favourite music together and share five things with each other that you love about each other
  • Grill something new. Try a new recipe. The Internet provides easy access to many wonderful food ideas. You can also try: http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/food-and-drink
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter or community projects via your local church. Organisations like these are always looking for volunteers. This will be one of the most rewarding things you could do and can possibly make a difference on your resume! You could also lend a helping hand to a neighbour, co-worker or friend in need.
  • Read to senior citizens at a retirement home. Spending time with some “greybeards” will surely increase your wisdom levels.
  • Volunteer for something you find fun. Maybe you can volunteer as an usher at a theatre and see the performance for free. Maybe you can volunteer at the senior centre and play cards with other people. Maybe you can volunteer at the library and see the new books before anyone else. Whatever you find fun can probably be turned into a volunteer activity.
  • Go to Zoo. Zoos are fairly inexpensive if you pack your own lunch and avoid the unnecessary extras.
  • Help out at the animal shelter. This is a great place to play with some animals without incurring the expense of owning one. Many shelters need volunteers to exercise the animals, so ask if you can help out. You will be doing something good for the animals while having fun at the same time.
  • Take the dogs to the dog park. If you have a dog park nearby, this is a good chance to get out and get some exercise and bonding time with your pet. You will have the opportunity to hook up with other dog lovers.
  • Host a classic movie marathon. Invite friends over for a movie marathon featuring all the classics you remember from when you were growing up. You could all dress as your favourite superhero or movie star! Everyone could contribute towards the popcorn and drinks.
  • Play some sports together. Get some friends together for a soccer, touch rugby, netball, tennis or Frisbee game. Many communities have sports facilities that can be used by the general public when not in use for league play.
  • Join a club. There are many clubs dedicated to all kinds of interests. Most offer free membership or nominal dues to cover operating expenses. Book clubs, clubs for people with or without kids, game clubs, sporting clubs, business clubs, etc. are just a few examples.

You can find many ways to socialise and have fun without breaking the bank. Remember, the most precious things in life cannot be bought.

Sources:

http://discoveringpurpose.co.uk/the-benefits-of-socialising/
http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend
http://www.savingadvice.com/articles/2008/04/10/102085_free-or-nearly-free-entertainment.html

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