How Volunteering can help your Mental Health

Most of you know that I do a lot of volunteering. So, how can volunteering help with your mental health?

When you volunteer you feel a sense of worth, that you’re helping someone and that can make us feel better about ourselves.

If you don’t have a job, and don’t go to college or university or school, and you’re sitting at home doing nothing except browsing Facebook, twitter or tumblr – it could leave you feeling isolated? Low? Depressed? Worthless?

Giving your time to volunteer for someone, if this be a organisation in your area or a charity online or even out and about, it can help boost your mood.

Before I started volunteering with CAMHs, PAPYRUS, BeatBullying and YouthNet, I was sat at home doing nothing. I was finding more things about myself to hate, and most nights and mornings I wouldn’t see a point in life. I wouldn’t want to live any more, and I’d over think something small and “make” a problem which didn’t seem like it could be resolved.

Volunteering gave me a sense of worth, it made me feel as though I was needed and appreciated that I’d give up time to help others.

Volunteering provides many benefits to both mental and physical health, some being:

• It increases your self confidence – volunteering can help boost your confidence, you’ll be learning new skills and achieving things you thought where impossible or that you “couldn’t do”

• Volunteering combats depression – volunteering reduces the risk of depression. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system.

• Meet new people – volunteering is a great way to get out and meet new people and make more friends. Ones which have the same interest as you, this will help you feel less alone and have more of a “social life”

They’re just some of the amazing benefits volunteering can have for your mental health. The best part is, you don’t have to “act” like someone you’re not. You’ll meet people who may have started volunteering for the same reason as you, or you may find out that where you volunteer you don’t have to be anyone else but yourself because they accept you.

Go to www.do-it.org.uk/ and find a volunteering opportunity today!

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