How Volunteering Improves Our Mental Health

The pandemic has created a whirlwind of emotions for all of us. We’ve been switching between confusion, temporary relief, and anger every few months. Needless to say, the intensity of the situation has taken a toll on our mental health. This is the time to take care of ourselves — physically and mentally — more than ever. According to research, the act of giving can reduce stress levels and prevent depression. Read on to find out more about the benefits of volunteering on our mental health!

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1. Establishing a sense of accomplishment

Scientific research has shown that acts of service make us feel happier. When we do something good for others, we experience something called the “helper’s high”. This means that a random act of kindness can help your brain release endorphins, which will reduce stress levels and promote a sense of accomplishment. Furthermore, you’ll feel motivated to continue volunteering, bringing about long-term positive impacts on your mental health.

As we contribute meaningfully to our community, we enjoy a boost in self-confidence. This helps to improve our outlook in life and our self-perception. We can face tasks in our daily lives with more zest, and can even improve performance in school or at the workplace!

2. Building strong social connections

Thanks to COVID-19, it’s safe to say that we’re living in an age of isolation. But joining an organisation that shares your goals can help to solve that problem. You’ll be able to meet like-minded people that are as passionate about the cause as you are. At the same time, they are likely to have very diverse life experiences, which means that you get to have friends from all walks of life. This can broaden your horizons, and change your perspective on life.

Through volunteering, we can stay connected to others and find a sense of belonging in our community. Volunteering can also serve as an escape when we’re struggling in our daily lives; we can redirect our energy to another outlet and the friends we make can also be a support system for us.

Even if you’re going through remote volunteering — fret not! We’re sure you’ll still be able to meet new people, albeit through zoom. Just try to keep an open mind!

3. Boosting career advancements

With major disruptions in the workforce, some of us might be fumbling to search for new jobs. If you’re feeling frustrated in your job search, try redirecting your focus to volunteering instead. Engaging in a meaningful project can keep your mind off job-search woes as you put your time to good use.

More importantly, you’ll gain expertise pertaining to your field. Skills-based volunteering can polish your professional ability and expand your social circle. (Read more about how volunteering can help with employability here.) Be it communication, leadership, or empathy, you’ll be able to transfer the skills that you’ve picked up into your daily life! This means that you will be in a better position to deal with potential challenges in the workforce. Do check out our website for volunteering opportunities that can help you expand your horizons!

With these benefits in mind, do seize the opportunity to embark on your volunteering journey. You’ll be able to contribute productively to your community, and improve your mental health. Talk about killing two birds in one stone! However, make sure to still gauge how much you’re able to take — don’t overwhelm yourself!

About Skills for Good

Skills for Good, a local volunteer-matching organisation, with a base of eclectic volunteers with skills ranging from marketing and communications to information technology to fundraising. We seek to empower volunteers through convenient and meaningful skills-based volunteering opportunities that help social organisations to achieve their mission.​ Volunteer with us today and wake up tomorrow with the warm and fuzzy sensation of ‘volunesia’.

Author: Ong Zhi Yi