In a climate of so much loss and so many new challenges every day, we can help ourselves by helping others. You will find so much fulfilment. a sense of purpose and seeing the challenges that others face can be a very humbling experience.
How helping others helps you
Improves physical well-being.
Those who engage in volunteer activities are less likely to suffer from poor health later in life
Raises self-confidence and self-esteem.
The experience of helping others can lead to a sense of greater self-worth and confidence. And volunteering can provide you with a sense of purpose, especially in tough times.
Encourages friendships that buffer against stress and illness.
Volunteering gives you the chance to meet and connect with new people, in new settings. It helps you build social ties that can help fight feelings of isolation during difficult times.
May help you live longer
Even when controlling for other factors such as age, health, and gender, research has found that when people volunteer, they are more likely to live longer. And the earlier you start, the better. People who volunteer at an earlier age in their lives experience better health outcomes later on in life.
Find the right activity for you
Consider your own skills, goals and interests – finding an opportunity that matches your own interests is more likely to be fun and fulfilling.
Some things to consider include:
•Do you want to do something you are good at?
•Do you like to work with other people?
•What causes are important to you?
•Do you prefer to work indoors or outside?
•Do you want to learn new skills?
•How much time can you commit?
Opportunities to make a difference are all around us.
When you’re looking to help others, don’t limit yourself to just one organization or type of work.
Consider some of these ideas:
•Work with animals in a shelter
•Improve the environment at a park or neighbourhood garden
•Share your knowledge as a mentor or tutor, or work in a classroom or library
•Provide support, deliver meals, offer assistance or companionship
•Coach a neighbourhood football team, or teach the community’s children cooking, or gardening,
•Run a program that teaches children how to realise which talents and skills they are good in.
Whatever you decide, there is lots of help, and you will feel a whole lot better, and might even discover some new things about yourself.
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