Nextdoor partnered with leading researchers on a first-of-its-kind global study looking into how small acts of kindness can reduce loneliness in neighbourhoods over a four-week period.
Participants were asked to perform (COVID-19 safe) acts of kindness such as:
Have regular contact with a neighbour
Show care and concern for a neighbour
Help a neighbour
Provide advice or helpful information to a neighbour
Contribute to a larger neighbourhood effort, action, or activity
Knowing as few as six neighbours reduces the likelihood of feeling lonely and is linked to lowering depression, social anxiety, and financial concerns related to COVID-19.
Even the smallest actions, such as saying hello to a neighbour, increased neighbourhood unity.
Performing small acts of kindness for neighbours reduces the likelihood of feeling lonely and socially isolated.
What can you do to combat loneliness in your communities? Here are some simple, actionable tips from mental health experts and advocates:
Adrian Michael Green, Educator
Silvy Khoukasian, Relationship Coach
"Practice kindness always. You never know who is having a hard time."
"Community matters, it matters a lot and for many of us, our neighbours are literally our community right now."
Join Nextdoor and connect with neighbours to share your ideas. The possibilities nearby are endless...
Neighbours around the world remind us that having a neighbourhood to rely on is important. Connect with 6 neighbours today and start feeling the benefit now. Don't believe us? Check out these stories from neighbours like you:
Shreya and Saffron - Boston, MA, US:
Throughout the pandemic, 18-year-old Shreya Patel and her 16-year-old sister, Saffron, realised that many senior citizens may be feeling alone during this time of isolation. They wanted to help, so they began sending handwritten letters to seniors in assisted living facilities and care homes. That’s when they started Letters Against Isolation to match volunteers with seniors in elderly care facilities across the country. The group recruited over 600 volunteers on Nextdoor and in just 5 months Letters Against Isolation has sent 50,000 letters to seniors in the US and Canada!
Juan - Madrid, Spain
Juan is passionate about writing and considers himself a very social person. He joined Nextdoor and when the pandemic broke out, he didn't hesitate to create the group "COVID-19: You're not alone, let’s talk" so that his neighbours could find a place to express themselves, share feelings, offer and find help, etc. In the group, he published poems and words of encouragement for everyone, and the group now has over 170 members. There are now people from all over Madrid, and also from other cities like Cadiz or Alicante utilising the group.
Shannon, NSW, Australia
Shannon is in her 30s and moved to Sydney recently with her husband. She had no family in the area and quickly realised the hardship of having no friends either. At the time, Shannon was also going through IVF. She was at a loss for connection. After two years of feeling lonely, Shannon joined Nextdoor. She put herself out there and organised a ladies lunch. Shannon says, "It was a real mix and everyone had a great time. Since then, I’ve formed deep friendships and I’ve met my best friend on Nextdoor, she lives around the corner! This app has completely saved my life!” .
Dr. Lim is a leading expert from Australia who specialises in the impact of loneliness on mental health.
Dr. Holt-Lunstad is a leading expert from the United States who specialises in social isolation and the influence of social relationships on long-term health.
Dr. Qualter is a leading expert from the United Kingdom who specialises in child and adolescent loneliness.
Has your neighbour done an act of kindness for you lately? Share your story here...
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