One of the biggest lessons we continue to learn during this pandemic, is that isolation does not help our mental health.  Isolation is one of the greatest punishments in prison.  To be seen and heard as individuals is apart of our mental health development.  And the best support comes from living or working in community. 

When was the last time you tried anything out again for the first time?  How often do you get out of your comfort zone?  When was the last time you had a conversation over coffee or dinner with someone from a completely different background? When was the last time you were vulnerable with a stranger who held space for you to share yourself? 

This happens almost every day living in community.  Living in shared spaces.  Being accountable for yourself and others.  The many benefits are ample from day one.  What kind of life do you want to live?  What conveniences are you looking for?  So many answers can be found in coliving:

  • built in community 
  • shared interests
  • engagement 
  • professional development 

For many, after school, between careers, between relationships, travelers, people relocating…the world isn’t built in a straight line.  And flexible living options are essential to people’s needs.  

I didn’t know that living in shared spaces where people live, work and play would help shift my mental health from isolation and depression to health, awareness, experience and growth.  Coliving has afforded me a lifestyle I may never be able to live otherwise.  

I won’t own a house in this lifetime.  I’ve been self employed in a creative field too long without experiencing great success.  I had to make new choices in order to find my happiness.  To find my growth.  To feel excitement again. 

I’m writing this post from a shared living property in Cape Town, South Africa.  Even here I can walk the streets, make eye contact with locals, say hello and get a smile.  Something people don’t do in big cities.  Acknowledging each other as humans is so important to the spirit of a city, community and culture.   Neighbours in Venice Beach, California were the same.  Maybe its the sunshine.  Maybe it’s the people.  Maybe its both.  

Sharing living space in a community can help motivate you to try new things like surfing or hiking or new work out routines, ways of cooking and places to go.  

More importantly, you learn about yourself.  We are each other’s mirrors.  So wherever you are in life, good or bad, living in community will allow you to move through those strengths and weaknesses.  

Living in community with shared living spaces allowed for me to share my experience and expertise. My Content Class organically turned into Creatives Anonymous where members were able to share what intentions they had, what was holding them back and what resources they use.