Feeling lonely is a common experience for many people in today’s fast-paced world. Despite being more connected than ever through social media, many individuals still struggle to establish meaningful social connections that fill their cup, (especially if they’re busy parents.) What if I told you that there are ways to build yourself a supportive community where you feel connected, seen, and valued? Keep reading and we’ll explore how to cultivate a conscious village even when you’re feeling pretty lonely.
The first step to overcoming that lonely feeling is to really understand what loneliness is. Loneliness goes beyond physical isolation; it’s about feeling disconnected from others on a deeper level, impacting mental health and well-being. Human beings crave social connections – our species is designed to live in community! We survived and evolved by working together as a team, sharing resources and protection. As we’ve evolved, however, that sense of togetherness has shifted. We now live in a world dominated by devices and means of comparison of ourselves to others, rather than inclusion. It’s important to recognize the difference between social media connections and genuine human interactions. While social media can provide a sense of belonging amongst the people you have things in common with, it often lacks the depth and intimacy of true face-to-face interactions.
Benefits of a Conscious Village
Building social connections over time is important for mental health and overall well-being. A conscious village provides emotional support, a sense of belonging, and shared values that can spark collaboration and creativity. Research has shown that strong social connections can lower stress levels, improve self-esteem, and even increase longevity. When a mother is able to surround herself with supportive individuals who share the same interests and values, she can experience a profound sense of fulfillment and belonging.
Creating Your Conscious Village:
Start with Self-Reflection
Before reaching out to others, take time to reflect on what you're seeking in a community. If you’re feeling like you don't belong anywhere, ask yourself what would give you that sense of belonging? Understanding your own feelings of loneliness is the first step towards building meaningful connections. Consider exploring your interests and hobbies to find like-minded individuals who share your passions. Whether it's joining a local club, finding a place of worship that aligns with your personal belief system or attending community events, stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to new social connections and opportunities for growth.
Understand Your Needs
Reflect on what you’re looking for in a community. Are you seeking validation on social media or genuine human connections? It’s important to identify your needs and priorities. While social media can provide a platform for connecting with others, it’s essential to prioritize quality over quantity when building “IRL” relationships. There’s an energetic exchange when you share physical space with another person, and chances are you’re looking for other individuals who provide meaningful conversations and uplift and support you.
Identify Potential Community Members
Look around the company you keep–do they uplift and support you? Start to consider the individuals in your life who share your values and interests. Building social connections with one person at a time can lead to the formation of a supportive village. Reach out to friends, family members, colleagues, and acquaintances who you feel a connection with.
4 Tips on How to Build a Conscious Village
- Be Vulnerable
Embrace vulnerability by sharing your thoughts and feelings with others. Authenticity is key to building genuine connections and moving through your feelings of not belonging. Instead of hiding behind a facade of perfection, allow yourself to be seen and heard for who you truly are. What are the things you’re passionate about? What makes you tic? Becoming vulnerable is one of the most challenging tasks we can face, especially if we’re feeling ‘less than’ or like we don’t fit in. But vulnerability is what creates authentic trust and intimacy. It lays the foundation for deep, meaningful relationships that will enrich your life.
- Practice Active Listening
As the old saying goes, treat others how you’d like to be treated. In that spirit, show genuine interest in others' stories and perspectives, (yes, that means both online and offline.) Having a meaningful conversation that asks deep questions and allows you the opportunity to experience what others are feeling is the secret sauce for deepening social connections and overcoming loneliness. Instead of waiting for your turn to speak, take a breath. Ground yourself in the present, and actively listen to what others have to say. Practice empathy and compassion, seeking to understand their experiences and emotions. Ask questions! When you start engaging in interactions filled with active listening and mutual respect, you can create a supportive environment where everyone feels valued and heard – both yourself, and others.
- Create Rituals and Traditions
Establishing rituals and traditions within your community fosters a sense of belonging and cohesion. Whether it's hosting regular gatherings or participating in shared activities, these experiences bring people closer together over time. Consider starting a book club, organizing potluck dinners, or volunteering together for a local cause. These shared experiences create bonds among members and strengthen the sense of community.
- Offer Support
The best way to get love is to give love. Be there for your fellow community members during both the easy good times and the deeper, more challenging times. Acts of kindness and support strengthen social bonds. Whether it's offering a listening ear, providing practical assistance, helping with a task or simply being present, your support can make a world of difference to someone in need. Remember, small gestures of kindness can have a big impact on someone's life.
Feeling lonely is a common experience, but it doesn't have to define your life. By prioritizing social connections over social media, embracing vulnerability, and cultivating a supportive environment, you’ll start building a conscious village where you truly belong. Remember, it takes time and effort to build meaningful connections, but the rewards are well worth it. So reach out, connect, listen, learn and together, we can create villages where everyone feels welcome, seen, heard, and valued.
If you’re looking for an online village outside of social community, check out The Conscious Mommy Community. It’s a place where parents, just like you, come together to hear each other out, lift each other up, and learn how to become more conscious in their parenting.