You work long hours as a gig worker and find it rewarding on a professional level. Even so, you feel a pull to give something back to the community by volunteering. Helping others in need, whether it is assembling bags of groceries at a food shelf or just giving someone a ride to work, brings a different level of satisfaction to your life. After all, psychologists and religious leaders alike have long said that the key to happiness is helping others.
Maybe you have put off volunteering because you just cannot see where you would fit it into your busy life. The great thing about volunteering is that you do not have to devote hours to it every week. If you can only give one hour every other week, volunteer coordinators would be happy to have you. Although there is no doubt others will benefit from your volunteer work, you might be surprised at how good it is for you at the same time.
People Who Volunteer Regularly Have a Stronger Sense of Purpose
Knowing that someone needs you and appreciates your time and effort is a great feeling. Consider how you spend your free time now if you have any. Are you easily bored? Do you waste hours surfing the Internet or watching TV?
There is no need to feel bad about spending your time this way if it helps you feel relaxed. However, you also need to consider if it makes you feel fulfilled. If not, lining up one or more volunteer opportunities can provide a stronger sense of purpose in your life. Human beings thrive when they feel like they make a difference.
Struggle with Depression? Consider Volunteering
Besides having a strong sense of purpose, human beings also need to feel connected to one another. Making these types of connections can be challenging if you suffer from depression, anxiety, or another mood disorder. Even if you have to force yourself out of the house to go volunteer, you should notice an improvement in your mood right away. Volunteering gives you the chance to connect with people in the community, other volunteers, and even animals. You just might come away from the experience with new lifelong friends.
Volunteering Helps You Stay Physically and Mentally Alert
Aging takes its toll on people’s physical strength and cognitive abilities, which is why volunteering can be especially good for older people. Our bodies and brains require challenge to remain strong, and volunteering provides this opportunity. Even if you are nowhere near retirement age and already juggle a lot of responsibilities, volunteering allows you to develop new skills and ways of looking at the world.
Employers recognize the importance of volunteering for well-being more than they did in the past. In fact, your current employer or client may even pay you to volunteer for a few hours just to support your efforts.
About the Author: Lisa Kroulik has worked as a freelance content marketing writer for 10 years. She loves the work and the lifestyle it affords. Learn more about Lisa’s work and availability through Writer Access.