2020 has been a rollercoaster ride to say the least. Some days it’s hard not to let it bother us. Whether you’ve been affected by the loss of a loved one, your family have been affected by job loss, or you are just feeling the emotional strain of the last few months, it’s important to continue to try and pick yourself back up.
At times like this it is normal to feel helpless, there’s so much you want to do and so many ways you want to help but you can’t. A lot of what is happening in the world is out of our control but we have to remind ourselves that our feelings are valid. With that in mind it’s also important to do things that help us feel better and one amazing way you can do that is by volunteering.
Volunteering requires offering your services (your listening skills, cooking, cleaning etc.) to a person, group or organisation for nothing in return. This means that you are working to help these people from the goodness of your own heart. The thing about volunteering is more often than not you get back so much than you give.
It can be a scary step offering to volunteer for the first time, you may think you’re not qualified enough to help or that you won’t know what you’re doing but trust us when we say you’ll learn quick. Taking the time to look into different charity groups around your local community is always a great place to start, if you’re into sports why not look into helping a younger age group in your club, or if you’re feeling super adventurous why not start your own initiative with you and your friends, you could offer to clean your elderly neighbours gardens, run errands for them or even conduct a local community clean up!
Volunteering can be for everyone, and everyone has something to offer – don’t doubt you or your skills. When it comes to volunteering we like to think it’s not a question of why would you, it’s why wouldn’t you?
If you need any more convincing here are more reasons to volunteer:
1. Getting out and about
Purpose is one of the most amazing things in life, something that you could find while volunteering. Having something you care about to get you out and about every day during these tough times is something that can be underestimated.
2. Meeting new people
Volunteering is an amazing way of meeting people with similar interests and concerns as you. Whether they are teens or adults within organisations it can be extremely comforting to get to know others who are like minded and to be able to discuss your concerns and ideas with them.
3. Learning new skills
There is no doubt in our minds that you will learn an abundance of new skills while volunteering. Whether they are directly related to the volunteer work you are a part of or if they’re more personal skills such as communication or leadership, the significance of learning these will stand by you for the rest of your life.
4. Learning to help others with no financial return
This one may seem straightforward however it is probably one of the most important. Being selfless in life is something which will stand by you. Wanting to help people with the sole reason of helping them is an amazing quality to have, and if you don’t feel like you would be someone who would benefit or be interested in doing this then maybe giving volunteering a try would be a great opportunity to test the water. You never know you could surprise yourself!
5. Community awareness
Learning about our community and surrounding locality is always a good idea. Many of us go about our day to day lives without noticing a lot of our surroundings, going through the motions, constantly caught up in our own worries. Taking a step back and looking at how we can help our own areas, and the people that make the area what it is can be a great way to start.
6. Personal Growth
Helping others is one way of helping yourself. Allowing yourself to experience and try new things is so important to our growth. Why not try pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in a way that not only benefits you?
Here are some websites where you can find out about volunteering:
Words: Nicky Anderson