Coming Together: Why we need community now more than ever (& how to find it in this day & ag
If you’re like me, community wasn’t something you thought much about for most of your life. I was in school for the greater portion of my years, I played a number of sports, joined a handful of clubs and committees, and I worked jobs with great co-workers. Fast forward a few years – moving to a new city, starting a mostly solo job with older co-workers, and shifting friend groups – I really started to think about forming community and what that meant. As Dr. Heather ND mentioned beautifully in her article (link here) “A more appropriate definition [of community], I believe, has to do with a group sharing some similar characteristic, belief and feeling a ‘fellowship’ with others based on those attitudes and beliefs”.
In terms of our health (because of course, what would an article by a naturopath be if she didn’t link it back to health!), having a sense of community can make or break us. In the days of social media, addictions to our phones and netflix, commuting to work and always “hustling”, it can be very easy to feel lonely. Our motivation starts to falter, we may choose to stay home more, and notice our moods shifting down. I see this a lot in my patients – unable to get themselves to the gym, choosing glasses of wine and chips as their evening ritual and being simply unhappy.
“But Dr. Margot, where do I start?? How do I make these changes to my lifestyle?” – the simple answer is find your community for motivation! Lets take one of my patients, we can call her Jane, for example. She came to me with low energy, anxiety, and digestive concerns including bloating. After a breakup, she had lost touch with a number of close friends, stopped exercising and was ordering take out each night. We chatted a bit about lifestyle changes that needed to happen, but it was difficult for her to get out of her funk. Fast forward a few weeks and she joined a new gym with a great community vibe. She instantly (I kid you not) was able to make it to the gym at least 3x per week, was cooking her meals and eliminating aggravating foods with ease, and magically started to sleep better. But more importantly, she found a group of like-minded individuals to bond with and inspire her to be the best version of herself.
So how do you become like Jane? Here are a few simple steps to get started (with my own personal examples, because living in a new city, I've tried them all):
Attend events: Search facebook, eventbrite, meetup.com and instagram - I live in #hamont and collective arts brewery puts on a number of cool events on the regular. I attended a womens day discussion panel and met so many amazing inspiring women in less than 2 hours (hi @goodbodyfeel !)
Join a facebook group: Facebook is (un)fortunately not dead. There are many groups that exist in each city for the sole purpose of bringing people together - Ok, I joined these mostly for work purposes, but I found 3 groups alone for women on the Hamilton mountain. Some even request going for coffee or play dates with their children on a regular basis.
Hangout in a location with like minded individuals: That cute coffee shop you always wanted to go to, the new yoga studio down the street, that pretty crystal store.. - Im not lying, I made friends with a girl at a crystal store…and she works at my favourite coffee shop….and we were both having lunch at a new restaurant last week…. Coincidence?
Take a class: Is there an art studio down the street you’ve been meaning to check out? Or a new spin class that looks great? Or a workshop on how to make great coffee or bake fresh bread at home ? (Yes, these last two do exist) - I joined the new yoga studio (East Uptown Yoga) beside my office and love the community vibes it brings with it.
Create your own “club”: - I’ve joined two book clubs since moving back to Hamilton. I also started the “Women in wellness with coffee talk” meet up. Serious, you should check it out. Follow my instagram for our next meet up!
Whatever you choose to do, take this as your sign to take the first step! Follow me on instagram @doctormargotnd . Have more questions about how you can create community? Id love to hear from you. Simply DM me or emails me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Any information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in place of professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care practitioner with any questions or health concerns you may have.