How Volunteering Can Combat Loneliness and Other Health Issues
Loneliness is a complex topic we’ve only discussed loosely at Sage Collective. Now more than ever, due to various negative circumstances, everyone is feeling the effects of being lonely. With various precautions and protocols limiting interaction still prevalent throughout the nation, many are searching for new opportunities that will fulfill a vital need for communication and synergy. Today, we’re exploring how volunteering and simple acts of kindness towards others can reverse loneliness.
Beyond the obvious fact that you may find yourself interacting with more individuals in person or virtually through volunteer work, the act of being kind towards others has the power to improve our health in various ways.
Surrounding yourself with individuals who also care about helping others, especially through turbulent times, helps broaden social networks and even has the ability to broaden world views and inspire purpose, especially in adults. In a recent study conducted in Britain, more than two-thirds of volunteer participants found that they felt less isolated and lonesome.
Along with increasing sociability and spirits, assisting others helps improve physical and mental well-being. A more native study conducted in Detroit found that even while still encountering the stressful events that many of us confront every day, those who spent time helping others through activities like running errands, performing housework or childcare experienced a positive buffer against everyday stressors and ultimately lived longer.
There are endless ways you can spend time volunteering on both the local and national levels. At a local level, civic groups, service clubs and faith organizations are the perfect place to start your search for lending a hand. Conversely, websites like VolunteerMatch and Engage offer visitors a variety of options to volunteer around them based on their interests and experience.
Next time you’re feeling isolated or in need of socialization, explore different ways in which you can aid your community or look bigger and discover an organization in need of volunteers. Who knows, along with gaining a few new friends, you might learn something new about yourself you didn’t before.