Volunteering Feels Good AND Is Good For You

February 8, 2013
Volunteering has benefits for others AND for yourself.

Volunteering has benefits for others AND for yourself.

Where would the world be without volunteers? People who willingly give of themselves, their time and their talents are a treasure without which our world would be immeasurably poorer. But the funny thing is – volunteering can be a good path to stress relief for home caregivers. You see, those who volunteer are also doing good for themselves, making themselves both happier and healthier.

Yes, healthier! According to U.S. News & World Report, a 2007 government report looked at dozens of studies relating to volunteers and health impact found that “people who volunteer enjoy longer lives, higher functional ability and lowers rates of depression and heart disease.”

Volunteering Can Fit Into Your Schedule

And it found that this health benefit didn’t even require a tremendous time commitment – only about two hours of volunteer work a week was enough to make a difference.

Just think: spending a couple of hours per week doing things that help others and make your community and your world a better place can help you to have a better quality of life yourself.

Volunteering just makes you feel good all over. It takes you “out of yourself” and lets you feel connected to a larger group – sometimes literally. One of the pluses of volunteering is that you get out and meet people that you might not otherwise meet, or get to visit with people you may know slightly and get to know them better. Your world is enlarged and enriched when you step out of yourself and join up with others.

And volunteering really does make an impact on others.

Pick Your Cause

There are so many ways to give of yourself. Soup kitchens, libraries, museums, schools, community centers, animal shelters, hospitals, tutoring services, “meals on wheels” and so many other non-profit organizations need help. If you have a particular interest, chances are there’s an organization that would be delighted to use the special qualities that you bring to them.

If you’re not actively volunteering, consider whether you should: chances are it will reward you in ways you wouldn’t dream of.

Share Your Story!

How about you? Do you already do volunteer work? Do you think it’s a way to help find stress relief for home caregivers? Please share your stories with us; we’d love to hear all about them.

Writer, Craig Butler

Craig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.

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