INFOGRAPHIC & INTRO BY ARYN HENNING NICHOLS
So much of the conversation lately has been about taking care of our selves. Exercising and eating well so we keep our bodies healthy and strong. Taking time to do things that go beyond work and the day-to-day stress and grind. Things that speak to our souls, that help us feel alive and like we’re actually living.
But what happens when you don’t have the privilege – of time or money or mental capacity – to do this? Because for many, self care is not a reality.
When I read an article that quoted Nakita Valerio, a Toronto-based community organizer, as saying, “Shouting ‘self-care’ at people who actually need ‘community care’ is how we fail people,” a light bulb went off in my brain. Yes! Community care. This is the phrase I’ve been missing.
Valerio defines community care as “People committed to leveraging their privilege to be there for one another in various ways.”
It can be something small, like reaching out via text to a friend you haven’t heard from in awhile, or something larger, like volunteering of your time or skillset, or cooking some meals or buying groceries.
It’s performing acts of kindness, but they aren’t random.
“It’s about being committed to being there for people,” Valerio says. “And it’s about being there for people without them having to take the initial first step. It’s about adopting an ethos of compassion and very intentionally applying that.”
Plus, when you’re there for other people, it’s comforting to know there is a community of folks in place to support you when you’re down on your luck.
So, if you have the time and/or the money, think about how you can intentionally care for and foster your community – or communities. In honor of Inspire(d)’s 12-year anniversary, we put together an infographic showcasing 12 ways you can care for your community and Show Up for Each Other. We’re all in this together, friends!
Thanks for helping us foster this community of positive news for 12 years! XOX, Aryn
1. Life is give and take
Although we don’t do things just to have something done for us, part of giving of your time and self is knowing that these people will be there when you need it too.
2. Literally show up
Go to a friend’s birthday party, or help with moving day, or a co-workers city election. Sometimes a person just needs someone to sit with them. Be that person.
3. Digital Love
• Send a thoughtful text
• Like and Love posts on social media
• Write kind comments
• Start a social media group that supports each another
4. Cook a meal for a neighbor
5. Buy some groceries for a friend in need
6. Offer up your skillset
Can you fix or build things? Are you super good at organizing? Maybe you’re a graphic design pro? Your skills are worthwhile and important, and can be a huge help to someone in need.
7. Offer to be there when someone might need it.
Often when we need help, that’s the hardest time to ask for it. So pay attention. You’ve got to be vigilant with your community.
9. Support community organizations
That might be through monetary or physical donations, or by giving of your time.
10. Host a potluck
Invite someone new in town to come!
11. Build a community within your community
Book or card clubs, regular friends nights, exercise groups…creating community is an act of care in and of itself.
12. Support local businesses
They’re run by your neighbors… need we say more?