Why You Should Try Volunteering
Volunteering is a great way to help others and the community, but it’s an experience you can reap a lot of personal benefits from too. It may surprise you just how much of a positive impact it can have on your health and wellbeing. While it can be difficult to find the time for volunteering, here are a few reasons you should try to fit it into your routine.
It Connects You to Others
One of the best things about volunteering is that it makes you part of a friendly, supportive community. You’ll meet lots of new people, form new friendships and increase your social skills. This makes it particularly beneficial for those who are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. Whether you’re introverted or outgoing, volunteering will broaden your support network, exposing you to people with common interests and the kind of positive attitude that it’s always beneficial to surround yourself with.
It Improves Your Mental and Emotional Health
Becoming an active part of a community is part of what makes volunteering so good for your mental and emotional health – supportive relationships are the foundation of emotional health. Doing good for others and the community also gives you a sense of pride and purpose, increasing your self-confidence and reducing your chances of experiencing depression or chronic stress.
It Can Help You Maintain Your Physical Health
Often volunteering is great for the body as well as the mind. This is because it generally involves a fair amount of physical activity. For example, ventures such as helping out with environmental projects at nature reserves tend to keep you on your feet and moving around. Regular physical activity is an essential part of staying healthy and avoiding illness, and if you can get some of that physical activity while volunteering, that’s all the more reason to give it a go.
It Can Advance Your Career
Volunteering is an activity that looks great on your CV as it involves using a range of skills that are often important in the workplace such as teamwork, communication, organisation and problem-solving. This is helpful if you’re looking for a new job or considering a new career, but it can also help you develop your skills in your existing job. As well as allowing you to improve these basic transferable skills, volunteering can sometimes involve picking up entirely new ones. Some volunteering opportunities provide extensive training; you could become an experienced crisis counsellor while volunteering for a women’s shelter, or a knowledgeable art historian while donating your time as a museum docent.
To get the most out of volunteering, make sure you take the time to find the best opportunity for you. Look for one that’s right for your skills, goals or interests, and feel free to ask plenty of questions before you commit to it. You should make sure you’re fully aware of what will be expected of you before you get started. Putting in this research will allow you to end up in the right position for you – one which you’ll most likely find enjoyable and fulfilling.