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Why I Volunteer?

Before becoming involved in any volunteer work, check out safe volunteering during COVID-19



“I wondered why somebody didn’t do something. Then I realized, I am somebody.”– Unknown


The holiday season has arrived!! Although it looks a little different this year, many of us are trying to keep our traditions alive as much as possible while still trying to stay safe. This may include volunteering.


The beauty of volunteering is when you help others, you are helping yourself. Helping others often creates a chain effect of kindness. When others see acts of kindness, they find themselves wanting to do the same. Studies have shown additional benefits in giving back to the community, such as reduce depression rates and longer life spans. So, if you are having a case of the blues, get out there and find a way to be of service.


Additional benefits included:


· Having a sense of purpose

· Skill building- Not only do get the opportunity to build your own skills, but you may have your own special skill to share with others.

· Helps you build new relationships

· Keeps you physically and mentally active

· Puts things into perspective and give you a positive outlook on life.


Giving back can be as simple as giving someone a smile or compliment, I cannot tell you how many time hearings something kind from a stranger has made my day. Often times world change does not come from one big moment and a single person. It is the small multiple acts of kindness that add up. The people that say, “This is what I can do today.”


Be sure to do something you enjoy. So often in life we must do things we do not want to, so when it comes to volunteering why not enjoy it. I am not saying do not do anything hard or avoid getting dirty. Think about it this way. When you complete the task how do you feel “tired but rewarded” or “tired and Miserable”. Remember the people you are meant to be helping will notice if you don’t want to be there and that potentially will make all involved feel bad, which kind of defeats the purpose.


“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”– Sally Koch


Small opportunities, that do not cost a thing:


· Call someone you know that is experiencing isolation

· Give someone a compliment

· Give someone a smile

· Tell a joke

· Listen-be present

· Write a letter

· Help some with a task


If volunteering is a standing tradition for you or you are just getting started. Be mindful of your own needs. What we pour into ourselves overflows into those around us. Your health needs are just as important. Be sure not to burn yourself out and it is okay to take a step back if you need to.


A few good practices to keep the balance between lending a helping hand and being mindful of you own needs:


· Drinking lots of water

· Getting your you time in

· Eating foods that makes you feel good

· Reap the benefits of a nice hot cup of tea

· Enjoy a book you have always wanted to read

· Get in some good stretches to start the day

· Speak kindly to yourself

· Enjoy time with loved ones

· Do a puzzle


“Whatever you did today is enough. Whatever you felt today is valid. Whatever you thought today isn’t to be judged. Repeat the above each day.” – Brittany Burgunder


However, you decide to give back to the world we share, big or small. It counts, it is enough. You are enough.


References

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/71964/7-scientific-benefits-helping-others

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/students/news/2020/apr/10-benefits-helping-others

https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/helping-people-changing-lives-the-6-health-benefits-of-volunteering

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week/kindness-matters-guide

https://www.calmsage.com/benefits-of-helping-others/

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/health-benefits-of-helping-others_n_4427697


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