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How Can Community Impact Mental Health and Well-Being?

Over time, I've seen the transformative effects of music. Whether it's going down memory lane or manifesting that everything is just fine, music is healing and it's powerful. This month is Mental Health Awareness Month, and of course, it seems like I have had to be extra intentional and gentle with myself this month. From unlearning generational habits to some serious radical reflection. The one thing, well two things that have been a constant source of peace for me are, God's word (amen) and music.


My mommy and I are always using music and its lyrics to describe how we feel in a moment or to reflect on a time that we have been through. We also talk about the sense of connection and healing that music brings. For our family of Southern Black folks, music has always been a huge part of our gatherings and love pops with each other.


My granny dancing at a family function
My granny dancing at a family function

Something that I have always valued and treasured is community. From my own personal village(s) to my global neighbors and friends, community means everything to me. It's in good times and bad, when we pull together, that not only are we empowered to keep going, but we are comforted in knowing that we are not alone.


For over ten years, I have been active in my communities, locally and abroad. In fact, it is one of the driving forces that allows me to travel and build relationships no matter where I am. Over the past five years, I have lived in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and now I am making my mark on the East Coast. It's the friends, mentors, and friendly neighbors that have helped me when I have missed my own family and things that were familiar. It's also these communities that teach me about others and myself.


 

Merriam Webster defines community as:

Community

com·​mu·​ni·​ty kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē 

plural communities

often attributive

Synonyms of community

1

: a unified body of individuals: such as

a: the people with common interests living in a particular area

broadly : the area itself

the problems of a large community

b: a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society

a community of retired persons

a monastic community

c: a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society

the academic community

the scientific community

d: a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests

the international community

e: a group linked by a common policy

f: an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (such as species) in a common location

2

a: a social state or condition

The school encourages a sense of community in its students.

b: joint ownership or participation

community of goods

c: common character : LIKENESS

community of interests

d: social activity : FELLOWSHIP

3: society at large

the interests of the community


If you don't have a copy of my book, Radical Self-Love: A Self-Love Workbook, grab your copy now, and if you have, grab a few copies for your community. In my book, we do these activities that I have deemed, "Radical Reflections." Radical Reflections allow us to dig deep and to unpack some of the things we have experienced, will experience, and who we are evolving to be and do in this world. Sounds complex (and it is), but it is easier and way less daunting than I made it sound lol.


So, first I like to take a few deep breaths to center and ground myself. Deep breathing has many benefits like calming the nervous system by eliminating stress and anxiety, increased focus and even improving digestion. Use the gif below to take a few intentionally deep breaths.



Then, use the prompts below to answer some questions surrounding community, your role in it, and ways that your community has been a source of comfort, healing, and transformative power.


RADICAL REFLECTION:

When you think about community, what comes to your mind? Who are some of the people that make up your communities? What are some ways that you can serve others in your community? What are some causes that you are affected by or impacted?


Enjoy this playlist of some songs that remind me about community.



With lots of love and grace,


Image is of the text "Teryn Denae" with red lips behind it










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