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Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits
Making new friends, learning new skills, advancing your job, and even feeling happier and healthier are all benefits of volunteering.
It might be difficult to find time to volunteer when you lead a hectic life. However, there can be significant advantages to volunteering. Volunteering provides essential assistance to those in need, deserving causes, and the community, but the advantages can also extend to you, the volunteer. You may discover friends, become involved in the community, pick up new skills, and even improve in your profession with the perfect match.
Giving your time can also help you maintain good physical and mental health. It can alleviate stress, keep your mind active, and give you a sense of direction. Volunteering doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment or take a lot of time out of your busy schedule, although it is true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll enjoy.
Giving in even simple ways can help those in need and improve your health and happiness. Read on to find out more about the benefits of volunteering:
Benefit 1: Volunteering allows you to meet new people.
Volunteering has mutual benefits for both the volunteer and the cause they are supporting. By volunteering, you may improve your community and strengthen your sense of belonging. People, animals, and organizations in need can benefit greatly from even the smallest acts of assistance, and so can you! You may increase your social skills, meet new acquaintances, and grow your network by volunteering your time. Participating in a shared activity with others is one of the best ways to meet new people and develop friendships. If you’re new to an area, volunteering is a terrific opportunity to meet others. It improves your sense of community and expands your network of friends by introducing you to local resources, individuals who share your interests, and enjoyable and gratifying activities.
Benefit 2: Volunteering benefits both your mind and body.
Numerous advantages of volunteering exist for both mental and physical health. Volunteering is a good way to combat stress and anxiety. It’s been proven that you feel happier when you volunteer. Researchers have shown that being of service to others makes you feel extremely happy, as people are naturally inclined to help others. Working with and providing assistance to others also involves social contact, which can significantly improve your psychological health overall.
Volunteering gives one a sense of purpose. Helping others can help older people, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, discover fresh purpose and direction in their life. Whatever your age or status in life, volunteering can help distract you from your own concerns, keep your mind active, and give your life more vigor.
You can also maintain your physical health by volunteering. According to studies, people who volunteer live longer than people who don’t. Older volunteers are more likely to exercise, cope better with daily duties, have lower blood pressure risk, and have sharper cognitive abilities. Additionally, volunteering can lower the severity of chronic pain symptoms and lower the risk of heart disease.
I have mobility issues; can I still volunteer?
Even those who have chronic health issues or impairments might gain a lot from volunteering. In reality, studies have shown that persons with impairments or medical illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, or digestive disorders, all improve after volunteering.
Many people decide to donate their time over the phone or the internet because they are unable to in person owing to a disability, lack of transportation, or time restraints. Many businesses in the modern digital era require assistance with writing, graphic design, email, and other web-based jobs. While some businesses might ask you to attend an initial training session or regular meetings, others can be done entirely online. In every volunteer situation, check to see whether you are getting enough social interaction and if the organization will help you if you have any concerns.
Benefit 3: Volunteering can help you enhance your job.
Volunteering might help you gain experience in your sector of interest and network with professionals. Volunteering gives you the chance to practice crucial workplace skills like teamwork, communication, problem-solving, project planning, task management, and organization. Once you’ve refined these talents in a volunteer position first, you might feel more at ease expanding your wings at work.
Additionally, volunteering can help you develop your current abilities and put them to use for the greater good of the community. For instance, if you work in sales and are successful, you may volunteer as an advocate for a subject you care about while also honing your public speaking, communication, and marketing skills.
You can also test out a new career without committing for the long term by volunteering. It is an excellent approach to developing experience in a new industry. In some professions, you can directly volunteer at a company that carries out the kind of work you’re interested in.
Benefit 4: Volunteering brings fun and fulfillment to your life
Exploring your hobbies and passions through volunteering is enjoyable and simple. Volunteering that you find fulfilling and stimulating can be a calming, energizing break from your regular schedule. You may use the increased creativity, drive, and perspective that volunteering gives you in both your personal and professional life.
Many people find volunteer opportunities that bring them joy and fit with their extracurricular activities, hobbies, and interests. For example, if you work a desk job and yearn to be outside, consider volunteering to help grow a community garden, walk dogs for an animal shelter, or assist at a children’s camp.
How to find the right volunteer opportunity
There are always volunteer opportunities available, especially with local charities. The key is to find a position that you would enjoy and are capable of doing. It’s also important to make sure that your commitment matches the organization’s needs. Ask yourself the following:
- Would you like to work with adults, children, animals, or remotely from home?
- Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?
- Are you better behind the scenes or do you prefer to take a more visible role?
- How much time are you willing to commit?
- What skills can you bring to a volunteer job?
- What causes are important to you?
Consider your goals and interests
You will have a richer and more enjoyable volunteering experience if you first take some time to identify your goals and interests. Think about why you want to volunteer. What would you enjoy doing? The opportunities that match both your goals and your interests are the most likely to be fun and fulfilling.
Getting the most out of volunteering
You’re donating your valuable time, so it’s important that you enjoy and benefit from your volunteering as well! To make sure that your volunteer position is a good fit:
- Ask Questions
- Make sure you know what’s expected
- Enjoy Yourself!
Are you Interested in volunteering at the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka? Please visit www.YMCASM.ca/volunteer if you are interested in giving back and making a difference in your community. Our team of committed volunteers is strengthening our communities while providing new opportunities and making new connections.