The Benefits of Volunteering
It can be difficult to contemplate adding yet another activity to your already busy day, particularly if you suffer with anxiety or depression. However, the benefits of undertaking volunteer work are well-documented and include reducing stress, combating depression, and providing a sense of purpose. And volunteering doesn’t need to take a huge chunk of your time; there are roles that will allow you to donate an hour or so a week, with no long-term commitment. Read on to find out more.
People volunteer for different reasons, but the benefits are far-reaching. Depending on the role you take, you could find yourself connecting with a new social group while helping others in need, and giving something back to your local community. Volunteering also helps you add new skills to your portfolio, expanding your interests and offering a challenge. Volunteering should be fun and rewarding, so only offer the number of hours that feels comfortable for you; overstretching yourself is an added pressure.
There are many places that encourage volunteers, such as museums and libraries, animal shelters, farms, clubs, places of worship, youth organisations, community endeavours, nursing homes, and sports teams. Opt for one that grabs your attention; the more passionate you are about a project, the more fulfilling it will be.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions before commiting yourself; it’s important, both for you and the organisation, that you are a good fit. Ask what they will expect of you with regards to the role you will play, and the time they want you to commit. If you feel uncomfortable, take time to consider whether it is the right role for you.
There are organisations that can help you find a good fit for your time.
Do-it.org has a searchable database to help you filter by interest, activity and location.