Volunteering makes a difference and can improve your life. Don’t think so? Read on and realize the 6 ways volunteering can help you.
Do you constantly complain that you’re overscheduled and too busy? Maybe you’re bordering on burnout because of all the running around and tasks on your list. But, maybe it’s because you feel like a hamster on a wheel. Have you ever considered dropping some of the obligations and spending some of your time giving back?
Volunteering has dropped significantly, making it difficult for non-profits and associations to stay afloat. Have you ever considered lending your skills and talents in exchange for the feels? There are countless organizations looking for help. If you’re feeling uninspired and bored with your life, burning out at work, or feeling empty, it will truly help you to find a way to give back. Volunteering can make a difference in your life in many ways. Read on to find out more about how volunteering could change your life and lead to self-improvement.
1. Volunteering Improves Self-Esteem & Connection
Self-esteem comes from many areas of your life. One of the best ways to boost your own esteem is to do things that feel good, challenging and make a difference. Volunteering has a number of different benefits both personally and professionally, it can help create more meaning in someone’s life, as well as develop new skills that could be handy in the workplace. Not only that, but volunteering is also a great way to connect with people and make a helpful contribution to your community. In your spare time, you’ll meet new people from all walks of life. When you volunteer with others, you all lend your discretionary time together. This sense of giving unites you with others who share your values. Volunteering together builds familiarity, expands your relationships and contributes to a sense of stability. Expanding your connections is a great way to make a difference, overcome stagnant feelings and experience a sense of self-accomplishment, connection and satisfaction.
2. Volunteering Motivates Action & Rejuvenates
Scientific studies show that volunteering increases overall brain activity. Therefore doing good for your community is not only rewarding, but it increases motivation in all other areas of life. As a result, volunteering makes a difference in your life because when you give your time, you’ll be more energized and enthusiastic. This enthusiasm transfers to more productivity at work. When you volunteer, you’ll experience renewed motivation which positively affects other important areas of your life. Researchers have confirmed that helping others makes us feel happier and more fulfilled. Therefore, the more often we volunteer, the happier we feel. Building meaningful connections with others relieves stress and expands your support network.
3. Develop New Skills
Volunteering provides an opportunity to develop new skills or enhance those you already have. When you volunteer you use your skills. Communication, project planning, time management, and teamwork are just some of the skills you will hone as a volunteer. Enhanced skills benefit your performance and career as the skills used are those that are often highly valued in the workplace. Volunteer opportunities expose you to new challenges which in turn can develop new skills and abilities which help you in other areas of life. You may even discover hidden talents and renew your perspective. If you’ve always wanted to learn some technical skills, like web development or graphic design, lending your time as a volunteer can help you explore and develop new skills.
4. Work-Life Balance
When you volunteer you meet people with common interests and values. Even volunteering once a week can improve your work-life balance. It will expand your social circle and enrich your social life. You’ll often make new professional connections which can expand and develop your working life or give rise to new opportunities.
5. Volunteering Supports Your Health & Well-being
According to Harvard public health researcher Eric Kim: “There’s a growing body of research showing that volunteering is associated with better physical and mental health outcomes”. Therefore volunteering can make a difference and help counter the effects of stress, anger and anxiety. Those emotions (associated with burnout) take a toll physically as well as mentally.
Additionally, if you work with pets or animals, volunteering makes a difference to improve your mood, reduce stress and lighten anxiety. Often, volunteers become more physically active. Enhancing opportunities for more physical activity supports your overall health and well-being.
6. Better Routines
Have you ever heard the saying: “Give the task to the busiest person, she’ll get it done”? Often you’ll meet volunteers who seem to be able to juggle more tasks and commitments than anyone else. Why is that? Because having ongoing commitments on your agenda helps you develop ways to better manage time. And routines make your life easier. Volunteering makes a difference by encouraging you to build systems and sustain better routines.
Please share your thoughts and comments
Do you feel that volunteering has made a difference in your life? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below. We love to read inspiring stories.
This post was written in collaboration with our guest writer Jess Walter.