Federated Health Charities’ mission is to improve the health and quality of life of all Ontarians by supporting 21 different health charities providing critical services to those experiencing, or affected by, illness. We believe education and prevention are key parts of supporting the health of our communities, so our weekly Health Hint series strives to provide tangible and easy to implement hints and tips on how to maintain your health, prevent disease, and enjoy increased quality of life. Check out our latest Health Hint on the importance of community. We hope you find it helpful. If you would like to join our efforts to support the health of Ontario, please consider a donation to Federated Health Charities.
We hear the word community thrown around and are often told how meaningful it is to be a part of a strong community, but this became evident to each one of use over the pandemic when we experienced the impacts of being separated from our communities. Going without that sense of belonging, connection and togetherness made us all realize just how critical it is in our lives.
A community is any group of peoples with something in common. This could include neighbours, church groups, sports fans, shared hobby groups, etc. Communities can share interest, location, faith, lifestyle, profession, passions, or relations. The most important characteristic of a community though is that its members feel a sense of togetherness, belonging, trust, connection and caring.
Communities are important because they provide social connection, a feeling that we belong somewhere, and that we are valued. The absence of community can lead to loneliness and isolation, which can have seriously negative impacts on physical and mental health.
Benefits of Community:
-Collective Wisdom: we all have different experiences and knowledge and being able to learn from others provides much needed answers.
-Sense of Purpose: being a part of something and having people rely on us makes us feel we have purpose and are needed.
-Acceptance: being embraced for who you are and being accepted can also lead to greater feelings of self-acceptance
-Motivation & Accountability: sharing your goals and ambitions with others can garner encouragement, support, and accountability.
-Professional development: fostering a professional-based community can lead to job growth, development, and important networking.
-Improved Emotional Processing: having a group of people who understand you and have shared experiences can provide a safe space to process and deal with life’s challenges.
We all need to feel a part of something, to feel we are valued, to feel we belong somewhere and are needed. Community provides that. We hope that the time away from community, throughout the pandemic, has encouraged you to deepen the communities you have or to seek out new communities to foster.
We hope you enjoyed our latest Health Hint!