In difficult times, the importance of community becomes all the more apparent!
When I use the word community, I am referring to a number of different concepts! Your community can be the support network of people around you, those who live in your local area, those who you connect with due to commonalities, and those who you choose to give your time, love, and energy to.
There are many reasons why you may feel as though you do not have a good sense of community. If you are feeling isolated, lonely, or detached from those around you, then this is something that you can work to overcome.
It is essential to remember that building community is totally different to the idea of networking. Networking is the idea of meeting new people to expand your social or career networks. This can be incredibly useful for a number of reasons, but doesn't have the same emotional or supportive benefits of tapping into your community.
Today I want to share my thoughts and advice on building community. In doing so, I hope to encourage you to experience unity and new friendships!
Find Your Crowd
It can be so easy to give our time to people who actually turn out to have a negative influence or impact on our lives. This can be because it feels natural to build relationships with the people we already find ourselves spending time with, such as extended family members or co-workers.
However, just because you spend a lot of time with someone, doesn't necessarily mean that you are compatible in the sense of having a meaningful and mutually supportive relationship.
Seeking out people with similar interests, ideals, and beliefs, is a much more in-depth way to find your real crowd.
This is something you can do in several easy ways, such as joining a group or club. Looking online for events happening in your area that interest you is a good first step.
Taking this time to go and do something that you really enjoy, and sharing this experience with new people, can be seriously enriching for the soul.
Give Your Time
Having a supportive community of people around you is great in times of personal need. These people will be there to help you, build you back up, and support you as you move forwards in life.
As a part of this community yourself, you should also be present and willing to help others who are in need. This doesn't mean that you should feel as though you have to say yes to everything that is asked of you. However, in the moments that you do have time and capacity to help those in need, then do try to extend this assistance.
Let Go Of Expectations
Some people find that their sense of community lies in their immediate and extended family — and that's wonderful for those people. However, this certainly isn't everyone's experience!
Some people have to work harder than others to figure out where they fit into this world, and who the people they'll share this experience with are.
Letting go of certain relationships — and distancing yourself from people who aren't supporting you in the way that you need — can be incredibly tough. However, you have to always tell yourself that you deserve love and kindness at all times.
Building meaningful relationships can take time. Sometimes you may meet a person and instantly connect with them. This kind of connection will often make for a long-lasting friendship — and that's fantastic. But for the most part these links will take longer to build.
Trying to reach out to too many people at once can be of detriment to developing genuine friendships. You may want to start by reaching out to one person who you feel an affinity to, and then build upon this relationship.
You can invite this person to do activities together, or just to meet for coffee and conversation. Allowing a new friendship to develop naturally over time will ensure that neither of you feel any pressure whilst also knowing that a new source of support exists. It is also likely that you will meet new people through your new friendship, and your circle of community can continue to grow.
Take Care Of Yourself
Building community can be an amazing way to expand your life in a number of ways. It is also always key to remember to take the time to care for yourself and to be alone with your thoughts.
As you meet new people and develop new friendships you will be giving more and more of your time to others. This makes it all the more important that you are taking the time you need to engage in self-care practices and relaxation.
If you already know how to take care of yourself in this way then that's fantastic, but if not then it's a great idea to explore this concept.
Self-care is simply so important and can help to keep your mental health and happiness at the top of your priority list.
If you are running low on ideas for how to give this time to yourself, then check out my past advice on the topic!
As you grow your community, it is important that you work to stay on top of your stress levels. If you feel like you are giving too much, and not giving enough to yourself, then this can leave you feeling emotionally drained.
In order to help you with this process, I would like to share with you my top ten tried and tested tips for keeping stress and anxiety away!
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