Self-care rituals—once akin to an indulgent night in—are evolving. Especially after a year of isolation, there is a growing awareness that focusing on individual wellbeing is only half the picture. According to Thomas Hübl, founder of The Pocket Project, trauma perpetuates a feeling of separation and isolation. Medical experts are now emphasizing the importance of group care formats and fostering a sense of community in order to heal from the emotional effects of the pandemic. They also warn that the collective trauma of isolation will affect communities’ identities in the near future, making collective care essential to both communal and individual healing. In an interview with The Harvard Gazette, Hübl explained that “trauma is seen as a personal issue, and now we are talking about the collective or systemic dimensions.”
In response, new community care formats are cropping up. Community-focused healing and collective care foster a sense of engagement and unity that are necessary to combatting otherwise unaddressed trauma and distress, which doctors note are already starting to manifest in physical ailments.