By Elin Phipps, SOIA Director of Volunteers
It is that time a year again! The New Year is here and it is time to start making a list of 2018 New Year’s resolutions. Exercise more, lose weight, eat healthier, spend more time with family and friends, pick up a new hobby, travel more…these are all popular resolutions. Why not add “spend time volunteering” to your New Year’s resolutions list? Volunteering not only benefits the community and the organization, it has benefits for you too! Here are some ways volunteering has a positive impact on your life and the lives of those around you.
Did you know that volunteering can be beneficial to your health? According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, research indicates volunteering provides individual physical and social health benefits. It has been established that those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.
In relation to physical health, often times volunteer positions have some level of physical activity involved. Whether it is lifting boxes, helping a child or adult at a sporting event, or even just getting up off your feet and walking around, volunteer positions can help individuals stay active. It has been reported that those who volunteer frequently throughout the year have better overall physical health and are some of the healthiest people in the U.S.
Volunteering not only benefits your physical health, it has great benefits for your mental, emotional and social health. Spending time volunteering often helps individuals feel like they are a part of a group that makes a difference in the lives of others and helps people feel a real sense of achievement. Being part of a volunteer group also helps people develop a social group that is outside their friends, family or work and helps people get involved in their community. According to “Psychology Today,” volunteering and being part of a volunteer group that has social interactions benefits your brain health and function, lowers risk for depression and anxiety, helps develop emotional stability, and increases self-esteem. …