As adult women we get busy, busy, busy. Careers. Husbands. Significant Others. Children. Parents. Friends. Deadlines. Workouts. Errands. Homes. Church. Right? Raise your hand if that list just made you feel exhausted and yet you just nodded your head in recognition. For many of us that represents a 24 hour period I’m quite sure. And now here I am talking about volunteering? Get in line! Time is money. I know, I know! But for me..while I love everyone and everything on that list I made, I really needed to find something that took me out of myself and my “have to’s”. And in doing that I truly believe it has helped move me forward in my life as a whole. Professionally, personally, and here on thinkingitoutloud.
I volunteer as a CASA and I work with Care to Learn. Both are child centered because that is where I believe I can do the most good. Please feel free to click on the links to learn more about the organizations. But there are literally Hundreds of thousands of organizations that are worthy of your time. It s matter of finding what clicks with your heart.
But don’t just take my word for it…below are some proven benefits!
- Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person. Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.
- Volunteering combats depression. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against depression.
- Volunteering makes you happy. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.
- Volunteering increases self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
- Volunteering provides a sense of purpose. Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and direction in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.
- Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not. Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less likely to develop high blood pressure, and have better thinking skills. Volunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.
CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates
Care to Learn – Health. Hunger. Hygiene