We are all familiar with concepts of self-care as an important practice to take time for attending to our emotional, psychological, and physical health, wellbeing, and needs. Engaging in self care has often been highlighted throughout this pandemic to bring attention to strategies connected to managing our stress, isolation, and extreme changes associated with COVID-19’s impact.
Beyond self-care however, is the value of community care and its importance in taking responsibility and accountability to collectively care for one another, especially showing up in the hard times of distress and struggle. Community care is also examining how we can use our privilege to be present and of help for another person or a group of people in ways that activates support and commitment not just on an individual level, but as a collective consciousness dedicated to caring for others in our communities and world. For example, people have been hand sewing and making masks for healthcare workers, loved ones, and community members to help protect everyone from COVID-19 infection. Our mask wearing, physical distancing, and handwashing hygiene to mitigate COVID-19 is a responsibility we can all practice for the health & well-being of those around us.
We have also witnessed a form of community care throughout US cities and beyond in other countries coming together to collectively support Black Lives Matter in unprecedented ways to denounce the murdering of African Americans at the hands of the police, shed light on the realities of systemic racism, and through acts of demonstrating, protesting, creating public & street art in response, as well as the use of digital activism through social media to amplify messages of support, solidarity, and anti-racism.
Community care has been an important component of taking care of each other during these difficult times. Read this recent post from YES! Magazine to learn more about how community care is showing up in this “next normal” we are trying to make sense of for ourselves and more importantly, others.
If you are interested in exploring the concept of community care with art therapists, below is an artist trading card exchange focusing around this theme that you are invited to participated in– what does community care look like to you?