W e just celebrated National Volunteer Week last month from the 17th to the 23rd of May, 2021 – recognising the vital role that the volunteers play in our communities across the country and the immense significance of all their contributions.
This made me realise, how fortunate we truly are here in Australia to have ample opportunities available for volunteering. The strength and positivity that we cultivate by doing so can bring about huge benefits to our own lives as well as the lives of others.
There are social and mental health benefits, of course, but in addition to those, there also are several physical and cognitive benefits. Volunteering can go a long way in helping you maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.
In this blog post, I discuss 5 surprising benefits of volunteering that can help you restore balance in your life. As a Balance Coach, I am passionate about finding new and interesting ways of creating balance – through health, wellness, spirituality, exercise and even nutrition. I am interested in exploring intersecting pathways that maximise the outcomes for everyone involved.
Here’s my take on volunteering:
- Connecting with others
Volunteering is a great way of socialising and connecting with others from different parts of the community. These exchanges and interactions with diverse people can help you understand your own issues better and shed light on ways to solve problems.
Working together towards a common goal often has some deep and positive implications on your mental health and spirit. They can also help you build deeper and more sustained connections with others outside of your typical circle of friends and family.
- Reducing stress
This is perhaps the most important benefit of volunteering! Whether it is stress from hectic work life or personal life, volunteering introduces an element of excitement and interest – breaking away from the monotonous, repeating chores and creating new opportunities for engagement
“Helping create awareness for the cause you are passionate about, caring for others, and using your skills to amplify the message, can help reduce stress and enhance the sense of wellbeing in your life. It also helps balance aspects of your life that aren’t in balance.
- Gaining valuable skills
Volunteering can help you pick up new skills that can prove to be valuable in the long run. For example, managing the money during a fundraiser or contacting people while organising an event – can be tasks that you ordinarily wouldn’t have done in the course of your life or work.
Also, participating and collaborating on projects can help you inculcate a sense of team play and sportsmanship that are valuable life skills useful across the board.
- Bringing fun and fulfilment
Volunteering on community and charitable projects can be quite fulfilling. The important thing is to participate, be open and grow from the experience.
The fun and fulfilment aren’t restricted to one area or the other – there are many opportunities available for making a difference. So, you can pick the opportunity that best matches your passion and interest and go from there.
- Staying fit and balanced
Volunteering does involve some physical work, especially if you are involved with an organisation that requires hands-on work. However, there are options available in all categories and it is sufficiently easy to pick and choose the type and intensity of work that you’d like to do.
For many people, volunteering offers a great way of exercising and improving functional fitness. A different and positive environment can be a great boost!
Find your Volunteer Role at Volunteering WA, where you can search for a volunteer position easily and quickly on the national volunteer database where thousands of positions are listed on behalf of organisations across Western Australia.
I am Reena Strehle, your Balance Coach.
Finding balance is my mantra and I am continuously exploring the different pathways that lead us there. I am interested in holistic health that balances all aspects of your life.
I know that volunteering when combined with the right plan- nutrition, exercise, and wellness can create balance.
Talk to me if you are out of sync and experiencing the fallout of ill-health. I am eager to help you.