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The Importance of Connection with Like-Minded People

Creating an Online Group

· Insights

Over the past few months, online connection has been a huge part of many people's lives. It's taken many different forms, in many different settings - work, family, social and education for a start. Experiences have been many and varied. People have reported suffering from 'zoom fatigue'. It's been a huge change in how we have been used to connecting and relating to people.

Living alone, and physically isolated from others for such a long period, could have been a huge challenge to my mental health but, what I am appreciating is just how important the online relationships I have developed over this time have been, and continue to be.

I am a member of a number of small groups, each started with a particular intention, which meet every week using zoom. The depth of the relationships we have developed has been amazing. It has taken time and commitment for this to evolve, and it feels today like I have true friendships across the world with people I have never met in 'the flesh'. There are even some people who I have been fortunate enough to meet in 'real-life' as a result of our on-line connection, and that is really wonderful.

I also successfully experimented with using Zoom for Time and Attention sessions, and discovered that the potential for connection in this way is as effective as in person. That wasn't what I was expecting.

And, on a social side, I set-up short Coffee with Alison zoom calls first thing in the morning for a while as a way to start the day with real connection with real people. That was another wonderful experience. I got to have chats with people I hadn't spoken with in years in many cases and to introduce my friends to each other too.

It sounds simple now but when I think back to my first experience of a zoom call it was really challenging. To then become a person who initiates new groups and dares to invite people to join me, I really didn't know that could happen.

With one group, I knew for at least 9 months that I wanted to be a part of something like it but was waiting for someone else to create it, or give me "permission" to do it. Finally, I got to the point where I just had to do it myself. It was really scary. What if no-one wants to join me? What if my offer is rejected? But, I went ahead anyway and invited the people I wanted to be a part of it to join. They all said yes! And, it, like the other groups, continues to go from strength to strength.

Could you benefit from some peer support from like-minded people, whether it's work, leisure or life experience related? Who would you like to be hanging out with each week to inspire, motivate and support each other? If you can imagine it, then I really encourage you to take a first step and begin to make it a reality. If you'd like to know more about how I have done it, and what I've learned along the way please do get in touch, I'd be very happy to share.

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