As we near the end of 2020, we can’t help but reflect on the crazy whirlwind of an experience it has been. We have had to deal with the uncertainty of the future, while also finding out how to live in this new ‘normal’. With all of this in mind, it can be easy for many of us to unknowingly put our wellbeing and happiness second.
Despite all this, 2020 has provided us with a lot of opportunities we might never have had. The pandemic has allowed us to re-connect with our families in new ways, spend quality time with those we live with, or pick-up new hobbies. These are just a few ways we have taken advantage of the situation we have been given. What may have seemed like a hectic year became the perfect time to put your wellbeing and happiness first again. Taking the time to think and reflect on how else you could better take care of yourself (and not just your physical health).
There are many ways in which you can improve your wellbeing and happiness such as meditating, going on runs, doing more of what you love and spending more time with your loved ones. However, this might be one option that you might have not considered… volunteering!
In our previous blog post, we talked about how giving can increase your wellbeing and happiness, in which a great way to give back is through volunteering. Being able to volunteer with local organizations allows you to gain a sense of purpose and meaning you might have lost amid this pandemic. It became easy for us to lose sight of what we are doing and why? Volunteering can help you find your ‘why’.
Personally, these last few months have been difficult. I was put into situations I was never prepared for and I had to roll with the punches and hoped it all went well. What I realized (particularly this year) was how giving through volunteering can change your perspective on life and your mindset.
By giving back and being part of an organization that you know is helping even a single soul, it not only helps to keep you grounded but it also helps to gain perspective. By knowing you are positively impacting and helping someone else, can fill you with immense gratitude for what you have and what you can do to better someone else. It increases your wellbeing and truly makes you happy!
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver” – Maya Angelou
I completely stand by this quote. I have found by starting to volunteer again, being a part of an organisation whose mission I stand behind, and surrounding myself with like-minded people, allowed me to feel connected, to be able to give back into the community through one of my own passions, I somehow felt free.
Although volunteering is a little different right now, it does not diminish its effects. I thought it would and I was nervous to get back into volunteering because I thought it would not feel the same as how I felt volunteering in-person. I will admit, it is different, but it is a good different. Being able to give again, gave me something to look forward to other than attending online Zoom school lectures. It gave me the freedom to break away from student life and delve into another part of my life where I can positively impact someone else’s life while also bettering my own.
If you want a change in your life, give virtual volunteering a try. It is a different experience from volunteering in-person, but this could help you in the way it has helped me. One of the great things about virtual volunteering is you can do it safely in your home and gives you the chance to learn new skills and more about yourself as well. Most importantly it increases your wellbeing and happiness!
Don’t wait for the new year. Start now. You can search virtual volunteering opportunities on google and look at your local organization’s website for virtual volunteering opportunities. You can also check out the volunteer opportunities at 365give to find out how you can be part of the movement that promotes giving to improve your wellbeing and happiness.