Have you been meaning to start volunteering for ages, but not actually gotten around to it for various reasons? Sometimes it takes that extra push for you to sign up, and here are some reasons why volunteering can actually change your life!
Connect with others
Although we are constantly connected through the internet, when it comes to human connection in real life, we can be a little lax. Volunteering will help you meet a whole load of people from walks of life different to your own, and hopefully you will find a friend or two in the mix!
Ease stress, anxiety, and depression
Volunteering is almost as beneficial to you as it is to the people you are helping. Studies show that working with others on a volunteering project can positively impact your psychological well-being and relieve your stress. It has even been shown to combat depression through contact with others and a sense of purpose.
Improving your local community
The volunteer work you do can help to improve your local community, which can never be a bad thing! Maybe you will help clean up the beach to make it a more beautiful place to visit, or assist with animal conservation efforts and see the creatures you’ve helped having babies next year. Seeing the fruit of your labor can be really inspiring, and seeing how it affects others around you can be even better.
Finding new meaning
Sometimes in life, we find ourselves a little lost. Perhaps you’ve left college, your child has just started school, or you are an older person in retirement. The best way to combat this feeling is to find new meaning and direction in your life through volunteering.
The great thing about volunteering is that there are so many different roles to suit each person, and even if you have health conditions or disabilities, there will still be a way you can contribute. Research has shown that many disorders, such as heart disease or mobility conditions, actually improve with volunteering. Particularly in older volunteers, the studies showed that they were less likely to develop high blood pressure and heart disease, and their problem-solving skills were more advanced than those who did not volunteer.
When you are volunteering, you are likely to learn new skills, and these can be referenced on your resume and even help you towards your future career goals. For example, if you are looking to become a teacher, volunteering with children will teach you some valuable skills, help you decide whether it’s the path for you, and set you apart from others in interviews.
If you want to, you can volunteer abroad and see the world while you help to make it a better place. There are so many programs that will help guide you through this process, and you can explore new places, immerse yourself in a new culture, and get all the usual benefits of travel, as well as all the benefits that come with volunteering.
So, whether you are going to help clean up a local park, serve food at a soup kitchen, or walk rescue dogs on your lunch hour, volunteering makes the world as a whole a better place, but can also change your own life for the better. If you’ve been on the fence, make today the day you change your life.