How does one leverage their network to build a community of care?
In times of need, it is critical to have someone, or a group of people, to rely on. Building a community of care not only provides you with a sense of security but will also help you connect with people on a deeper level. So how do you reach out to friends and acquaintances and build a solid caregiving community?
This is the most important aspect of expanding your network and figuring out if someone you know can be a pillar of support for you. Attending workshops, joining clubs and support communities, and hosting (virtual) events are all great ways to bring people you know together and give you a sense of who they really are as individuals. A research study published by NIH reveals that the involvement in social relationships positively impacted mental health, health behavior, physical health, and mortality, with some of the top findings showing that low social interaction led to an onset of specific health conditions such as cardiovascular disease. With such strong scientific evidence backing it up, the relationship between socializing and health cannot be denied.
Reach out in times of need
If you want people to support you, you should be ready to support them in times of need as well. Frequently check in with your friends to make sure they’re doing well and let them know that you are there for them in case they ever need a helping hand. In a social experiment, a group of chronically depressed women showed major improvements in mental health after a year of being prescribed “befrienders” who visited them, went out with them, and became confidants for within a span of 12 months. When you regularly check in with your friends, they learn to know that you’re a reliable and trustworthy resource to support them in times of need.
When looking to build a community of care, it is also important to be transparent about who you are and what you want. Be open with your circle about the type of environment that you wish to foster in your community. If you are clear and honest to others, they will feel comfortable opening up to you as well. This will create a positive, healthy mindset in your circle and set the stage for strong future support.
Especially in today’s times, it is all that much more important to foster your very own community of care.