Module 7: Helping the Community

Being of service to the community can help the well-being of all.  This week we'll study community psychology, and explore our own interests and capacities for service and creative outlets for coping. In this module, you will:

  • Identify and enact ways in which you can help your community, even while physical distancing
  • Contemplate and discuss psychological insights related to community engagement, service, and the impacts of emotions on decision making. 
  • Reflect on applications of creativity for coping. 

DISCOVER + ACT: Ways to Help

  • OSU's Digital Days of Service Guide (over 20+ ways to volunteer from home)
  • 7 Cups: Provide emotional support to someone in need
  • Love for the Elderly: Write letters to those in dire situations of social isolation
  • Budburst: Become a Budburst citizen scientist and collect data on the natural world
  • DISCOVER: What are ways to help your community right now?  Do some online research

Jan Michael Looking Wolf Reibach is a Santiam Kalapuya member, a popular Native American flute musician, an OSU instructor, and a person heavily involved in community service organizations that work to serve those impacted by addiction, homelessness and cancer.  Watch this brief OPB feature (10 min) about Jan Michael and his work with music and community in endeavors of healing, coping, grieving, and emotional expression.  He will be a guest lecturer in this class on Tuesday, May 12.  

Note that creativity may have implications for perceptions of post-traumatic growth (Forgeard, 2013) and activities like expressive writing are known to boost psychological and physical well-being.  

  • PRACTICE: Utilize the OPB feature above to consider your own forms of creativity, and how they might be employed for coping, healing and emotional expression.  Do you play music?  Create pottery? Paint? Sing? Knit? Dance? Write poetry? Journal?  Carve at least an hour out of the week out for dedicated creative expression just for the sake of it (small bursts of time throughout the week, or a solid immersion into your creative form, depending on what makes the most sense).  
  • REFLECT: 

    1. What are your preferred creative forms?  Why are you drawn to these forms?  Do they give you a sense of accomplishment?  Flow?  Emotional expression?  

    2. Do you typically give yourself dedicated time for creative pursuits?   If not, why not?  Have there been times in your life when you have dedicated more time to them?  

    3. Based on your building psychological knowledge, hypothesize the mechanisms by which creativity and/or emotional expression might support wellbeing.