Try volunteering. Studies continually show that one of the single best things you can do to improve and potentially lengthen your life is to spend some time giving back and volunteering. Sure, spending a little time helping others makes a person feel good. But as it turns out, volunteerism has a host of other benefits as well, dealing with everything from health to wealth.
According to the Mayo Clinic, volunteerism is linked to a lower risk of depression and reduced stress levels. Why? Researchers say that people who engage in volunteer activity get a sort of “helper’s high” from the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain. Volunteering also helps expand a person’s network of resources, as well as their social interactions. The feeling of connection volunteers gain helps both the body and the mind – and has even been linked to lower mortality rates.
Volunteerism can also be just as good for your career as it is for your body and mind. That’s because volunteering allows you to hone your job skills or even learn new ones. In fact, volunteerism can be especially helpful for those who are either seeking a new job or working toward career advancement.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics indicates that nearly 40 percent of all professionals actively volunteer. When you volunteer, you get the opportunity to network with people from similar fields and who have similar interests.
Volunteer positions can also help supplement your professional resume, and help fill in employment gaps because even though you were not paid a salary for a volunteer position, it doesn’t mean you didn’t gain valuable professional experience and skills.
Sometimes, volunteerism helps lead people to their true calling in life. Say you’re in a career rut and you aren’t sure whether to stick it out or cut and run. Volunteering can give you valuable insight into whether a new job or career field is for you. By volunteering a few hours a week or month, you can sort of test drive a new career to see if it’s for you. And if it is, volunteering allows you not only a period of adjustment, but in many cases, free training as well.
Join the Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Team
Here’s the really great news: It only takes a few hours of work a week (or about 100 hours a year) to glean all the healthy benefits of volunteering. Looking for a way to rack up those hours? Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity is always looking for volunteers. When you volunteer with us, you’re helping Oklahoma families who need affordable homes. Please know that we need more than mere muscle when it comes to volunteers. We also need helpers who can work in our office or ReStore, or who can serve on one of our committees, among other things.
For more information about volunteering with us, just check out our website to see what piques your interest.