When I think of July, I think of so many outdoor gatherings with friends, family, barbeques, and fireworks. Thinking of these gatherings brings a smile to my face because I know that all of those memories are associated with such joy and a sense of belonging. It is that belonging and connection that also makes me sad to think that it might not happen this summer.
I am reminded of how important engaging with my family and friends can be for the sheer fact that it brings me happiness. I know this longing to be with my people is not an isolated phenomenon. In fact, many mental health studies show that belonging to a group or community improves the quality of your mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Having people you can call on when you’re going through something difficult or even when you just need to talk can be immensely beneficial on your overall wellbeing. Having these core people in your life can protect you from isolation, deep sadness, or even hopelessness.
If you are still in physical isolation due to COVID 19, then try and think of a handful of people who you could call in a moment where you need support. The act of identifying these folks can make you feel less alone and give you a sense of community—even if you are still not able to be with them in person.
Like I mentioned earlier, being a part of a community can fuel a true sense of belonging. Really fitting in with a group can make you feel like you do not need to conform or go against your values to be accepted by others.
In fact, a true community will embrace you for everything that you are—seeds and all. That authentic sense of acceptance raises self-esteem and also chips away at those feelings of loneliness or helplessness.
Can you think of a role you might play within your community? Perhaps you are the shoulder to cry on, the person by the grill during summer barbeques, or the one someone can come to for a creative brainstorm session. Whatever your role may be, embodying some type of role within your community can give a sense of purpose in not only seeking support for yourself, but also in providing support for others. This can ultimately give a richer meaning to your life, which can then combat those feelings of isolation or sadness.
So, if you are still feeling that sense of loneliness because it has been a while since you were able to physically connect with your community, remind yourself of that purpose and think of what you might want to do with it in this current state and/or once we return to gathering with the ones we love. Also, reminding yourself of where you fit in your group will remind you of those happy times.
However you might connect with your community this month, know that you always have a sisterhood with Jubilance.