Like many determinants of health and wellbeing, we quickly assume anything to do with Community means helping someone else. Spending time at a food bank. Beautifying a local park. Visiting the elderly. The list goes on.
Modern lifestyles have obliterated our sense of Community. Researchers have even labeled Loneliness a new epidemic in the US. The UK has recently named a Minister of Loneliness to help combat this new threat to their health and wellbeing.
For better health and wellbeing we need to include a connection to Community. Like so many other social determinants of health, we can lower risks of lifestyle diseases like hypertension, heart disease, oxidative stress and more. This is a far better than a lifetime of pharmaceuticals and medical procedures. We all also get the additional benefits like helping others, maintaining our common spaces, spending time with others who share our interests.
You need your Community and it needs you!
Think About Community And Your Wellbeing
Community Is Diversity
There is so much conversation about Diversity and Inclusion. Community is about what unites us, not what separates us. We learn so much and achieve so much when we work together. Let Community be a source for bringing together all races, genders, creeds, sexual orientations, and more. This is a common good for Society that benefits your personal health and wellbeing. Win Win!
Have you considered the benefits of volunteering in a Community organization? Aside from a better place in which to live and meeting other people, there are real health benefits. Research has shown that those who have social interactions enjoy lower risks of many lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure. Promote your health and wellbeing and volunteer!
What is the opposite of Community? Perhaps Loneliness. This is no longer a "social situation". Loneliness is a leading contributor to poor health and wellbeing. If you are lonely, reach out to resources who can help connect you with others in the Community. If you are fortunate enough to not be lonely... become a resource to help those who are.
Community Thought For Your Wellbeing
“You need involvement.”
–Lucy from Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.
In the 1960’s Christmas cartoon, Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, there is an especially relevant scene. Budding psychiatrist, Lucy, collects her nickle and offers this insight, “You need involvement”. Perhaps that’s it. Involvement offers so many benefits, both personal health and wellbeing as well as promoting Community with others.
HealthCare Too Articles on Community
There are so many benefits from a your community. HealthCare Too has put together articles to help you explore the benefits of your Community and ways to achieve them. Enjoy these articles with our blessing!
Wyoming’s Radical Openness to NADA Ear Acupuncture: Community Healing Model for Anyone with the Blues? | John Weeks, Integrator
Setting Goals For Community In Your Wellbeing
A common framework for goal setting is the SMART goal. Each letter in the acronym represents a component of a good goal.
Specific: A goal should help you focus on something specific. Instead of setting a goal for “get involved” you can break it down into components. This is an opportunity to focus on more than resolving to “get active in the Community”. Look at your total wellbeing and pick something specific that would make you happy. Perhaps a goal to help plant a community garden? Learn about real food with real people! A specific goal can become a mastered behavior with practice!
Measurable: Once you have a specific goal you can establish a way to measure it. The measure should be easy to use; otherwise, you won’t use it. Following the earlier goal to plant a garden, establish how often you want to tend it. Don’t pick something beyond your control like “20 pounds of carrots”. Find something that contributes to success and measure that like “weed and water with at least 2 other people 5 times per week”.
Achievable: New Year’s Resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep. One of the top reasons is that they are so distant that we give up. Make your goals achievable so that they stretch you but not break you. If you are just starting to become active in the Community, don’t pick “Get elected president of the Chamber” as your first goal. Start with simply getting involved.
Relevant: Your goals should be relevant to everything else in your wellbeing. It makes no sense to sacrifice your overall wellbeing for a single Community goal. You are a total person and your goals should support you… Mind, Body, and Spirit.
Timely: Put a time frame around your goals to which you can commit daily. A goal that is months or years into the future is more like a wish. Set your exercise goals for something you will do daily or at least weekly.
In addition to our articles you may find these resources useful: