It’s time to move away from individualism and bring back community

Pic: Pexels

Today, we are probably living in the most individualistic society to date. We are constantly preoccupied with our personal needs and wants, regarding work, school, finance, and the relatively recent concept of ‘self-care’.

But can happiness ever be achieved by simply buying new care products, and shutting the people around us out because ‘we don’t owe anyone anything’?

We are gradually losing our sense of community and interconnection, and it’s costing us a lot. Loneliness is a killer, and no amount of face masks at home, or climbing the ladder at work will cure it. It is an undeniable fact that we all depend on the people around us, to care for us and support us. 

Don’t get us wrong, looking after yourself is important. However, the idea of ‘self-care’ has gone a little astray.

Pic: Pexels

Initially, a call to genuinely take care of yourself by exercising, eating healthily, being kind and patient with yourself and taking a break from work when you need to, it has turned more towards a focus on consumption. Often, our first thought when thinking about self-care is what we would need to buy.

Society today also often pushes us to see ourselves as individuals and separate from everyone else. Although it is true that we are all unique and different in our own way, that doesn’t mean we don’t need other people. Humans are social creatures, which means we need to interact with the people around us to sustain ourselves.

It’s about time that we remember the importance of community and the good that it can bring to ourselves and others. 

Pic: Pexels

Why Is Community A Good Thing

  • Sense of Belonging: All human beings need to feel a sense of belonging within a group. It can be your family, friends or even coworkers. Being part of any community helps us to feel loved, appreciated and important. These feelings are vital for mental and physical health.
  • Connection: Being part of a community allows us to connect with other people and form close bonds and relationships, also very important for a content life. Community prevents us from being isolated from others by creating a space where we can share our thoughts, memories and jokes with others. 
  • Growth: Community gives us the opportunity to meet others who have the same passions, interests and hobbies as us. Within a community like this, knowledge and ideas can be shared, and members of the community can grow and excel in their interests with the help of each other. 
  • Support: Being part of a community can provide the support we need when we’re having problems, or just feeling down. We can also offer our support and care to others who need it through a community. There are lots of communities for specific issues that you can join to connect with people who share your experiences and want to help. 
Pic: Pexels

How To Embrace Your Community

The word ‘community’ might sound quite vague, and it is a very broad term. That is because a community can be found or created anywhere by anyone. If you’re looking to engage with the community around you, or to create your own one, here are just a few ideas:

  • Join or create a walking/running club: A great way to get some exercise and meet new people at the same time, you’ll definitely feel amazing after a relaxing walk or a thrilling run with new friends. 
  • Join a class: No matter what you want to learn, there’s probably a class you can go to. Why not try out a cooking class, and share your new recipe with your friends and family. Or maybe join a language class, so you can chat with the locals next time you go on your holidays. 
  • Go for sea swims: Ireland is full of beautiful beaches and friendly people. Embrace both of these gifts and get a group to come sea swimming with you! Sure, the water might be freezing, but it’s a brilliant bonding opportunity and sea swimming has a number of proven health benefits.
  • Join/create a book club: If you love reading, you’re definitely not alone, no matter where you are. Local libraries usually hold monthly or weekly book clubs for all age groups. So why not take the opportunity to connect with fellow bookworms? Or create your own club in the comfort of your own home and invite people to join you.
  • Host dinner parties: Dinner parties are starting to become popular again, so take advantage of this! Spend the day cooking up your favourite food to share with the people around you. You could invite friends, families, neighbours, anyone. Encourage them to bring more tasty treats to share, and maybe some booze!

This is your sign to embrace the people around you and share the love!

Words by Aicha Chalouche


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