Laura McAuliffe delves into the struggles of social gatherings and maintaining adult friendships in this week’s Draíocht Healing article.

Since Covid, I have met a lot of clients who have said they struggle a bit with social gatherings and maintaining adult friendships, and even find that they have grown apart from groups they used to spend time with. I noticed that during lockdown, since we were forced to slow down and spend all our time with ourselves, we were forced to realise what we like, what we want to spend our time doing, and what kind of activities bring us joy. We were forced to reach deep within, to get ourselves through that difficult and isolating time. There were a lot of pros and cons to this. One of the big cons being that a lot of people became more introverted and now possibly find it a lot harder to socialise or be in busy places. But I think a lot of it is that people realised what’s important to them, and maybe the people they were spending time with and the places they were going, just don’t bring them joy anymore.

Lockdown allowed us to have a slower pace of living, and although it was in the extreme there are things we can learn from it. In a world that is fuelled by social media, devices, work, busyness, capitalism and everything to do with it, this slow pace brought about some balance. All we could do was go for walks, so it forced us to connect with nature. There was only so much Netflix you could watch so a lot of people turned to yoga and meditation. And within all of this a lot of people discovered new interests.

Coming out of lockdown, there were a lot of people I know that went straight back to busyness, stress, going out to bars/pubs to socialise, and for me that just didn’t feel right anymore. I felt a lot of these environments just heightened my anxiety. I started leaning more towards people who wanted to go sea swimming, or go to a sound bath with me, or do something mindful like a group painting evening. When I began leaning into these activities and doing what I enjoy there were people who seemed to come out of the woodwork who shared similar interests and wanted to experience that connection.

In my opinion, the world we live in is so disconnected. We are disconnected from nature, from each other, and from our true selves. So, I found meeting people I could really connect with and had similar interests to me, felt like “finding my tribe”. In adulthood we feel obliged to hang on to friendships and connections that aren’t serving us because we “should”, but I find that if you feel drained after spending time with someone, that friendship isn’t benefitting either of you, and you need to find people who energise you and make you feel like you can be your truest self.

I love running group activities, especially for women. I try to cultivate a space where women can come and make connections and meet like minded people, and provide a space to socialise that doesn’t mean you have to go out to a busy pub to meet people!

Throughout the year I run women’s circles, I wrote more in depth on these in a previous article called “women supporting women”, and you can read more about them on my website. Throughout the Summer, I hold these circles outside in Ballybeg woods, which allows you to immerse yourself in nature while making these connections. I also run “Moon Bathing Circles”. These are group meet ups at the time of the full moon on Whitestrand beach, Milltown Malbay, where I guide us in a short meditation, we drink some cacao, and we all go in for a sea swim together! I usually bring oracle cards with me so people can have a card reading. I myself have made some new friends through running these circles and I know other women have too. It really has felt like finding my tribe and finding a space where I can just be authentically me.

If you would like to join us this Summer for a “Forest Full Moon Circle” or a “Moon Bathing Circle”, please feel free to contact me on 0833629532, have a look at my website www.draiochthealing.ie, or check out my Instagram page for more details on what these groups entail. Instagram: @lauramcauliffe_draiochthealing.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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