Community matters. Whether you live in a city, in a town with a population of a few thousand or a few hundred thousand; community matters. We’re supposed to be more connected than ever with cell phones, apps and rapidly evolving technology; but we’re not. We’re more disconnected than ever. You want to feel less isolated? Do you desire to connect more with humans and disconnect from devices? Let’s look at five ways to get more connected to your community. It’s a game changer.
Go places, but leave the phone behind.
This may be a massive step for some of us, but try it. Go to the post office, the coffee shop or to the farmer’s market without your phone. Make eye contact with people. Say hello. Observe the universe around you. Have coffee with a friend and both of you keep your phone’s in your bags. Watch engagement increase and awareness of what is going on around you kick up a few notches.
When you can, shop local.
In a society inundated with immediate everything, it’s massively easy to resort to shopping for everything from toilet paper to couches from our homes. Scroll, click and order. Find a balance that works for your lifestyle that incorporates investing in local business. That may be hitting up the local coffee shop vs a chain, buying frequenting the side stand selling flowers or vegetables or using the family run business to do snow removal instead of the big guys up the road. Support local.
It’s easy to fall into making purchases where it’s more convenient. Target, Walmart, Amazon… all great places, but these big guys can knock the wind out of the family run businesses that are becoming harder and harder to keep in business.
When we are intentional where we shop, put our money and know it’s coming back to our home town it’s a good feeling. Shopping local reinforces the awesomeness of being part of a community. Community is powerful if we allow it to be.
Venture out to community events
In today’s day of social media it’s more than likely there’s a community Facebook page for your town, city, village or wherever the dot on the map is that you call home. Hop on, follow it and frequent events designed to bring the community together. It can range from a parade, food truck event, weekly farmer’s market, a holiday celebration, pancake breakfast, etc. Check it out and bring a friend or two while you’re at it.
These events are designed to bring people together as well as provide a platform for local businesses to be promoted. It’s a great time to check out that bakery you’ve noticed, but never visited. Support local. It goes far and reinforces us not feeling so separate and disconnected. Sometimes we have to go after the community feel even when we’re not exactly enthusiastic about it. It’s worth it. I promise. One more step towards us becoming connected to our community.
Yelp it. Say it. Support it.
You want to make a small business owners day? Let them know that ice cream was awesome. Relay to them that jacket you bought is one of your favorites. Inform them that you look forward to frequenting their establishment. Bottom line: provide some positive words that make someone’s day. Being a business owner is hard. Really hard. Most local businesses don’t make it, so those who venture out are risk takers. Support the risk takers. Let them know you appreciate them and their business.
If you don’t like a place, it’s your right to convey your opinion. What I say is, be kind. Nasty reviews and mean spirited comments can do massive damage to a small mom and pop place. Before posting anything unsavory on social media conveying your opinions to the manager or owner is always a good first step. Just my two cents.
Getting more connected to your community will have us focus more on being loyal. What does that mean exactly? Frequent the local shops more than once a year. Design investing in your community it a way that fits your lifestyle, but maintains a level of loyalty to your local shops. Loyalty, in a day of cut throat sales marketing and overhead for small businesses is a dying trait. Be loyal, it’s an awesome and admirable attribute.
Lessons for loyalty and community
When we connect with our community and hold it as a priority in our lives its significance is relayed to our children. It’s a message that holds tremendous benefits. The domino effect is massive impacting our community as well as how we view ourselves and the connection we have to others. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
So how is your community connection? I’d love to hear from you and ways in which community is part of your lifestyle. If it’s something you plan on strengthening, let me know ways to plan on incorporating some of these strategies into your own life. I love hearing your thoughts and personal feedback!
Wishing you a day of peace, love and community connection!