Volunteering has been shown to have a number of health and overall quality of life benefits. Volunteers have been shown to live longer, have deeper emotional stability and even experience better mental health and happiness. That being said, it is also important to find the right place to volunteer and in the right capacity. For some, volunteering may be something they want to be heavily invested in for a longer period, while others may want the flexibility to simply pitch in now and then. No matter what your needs or interests are, there is a volunteer opportunity that is right for you. Here are three ways to find it.
- Start with something you love
Some people prefer working with animals over people, while others love working with plants, gardening or working outdoors. Some enjoy working with the elderly, while others enjoy working with young people or even those with special needs. Whatever you enjoy, there is a charitable organization dedicated to that cause, so go out and find it. You most likely also have some special skills to offer, so another way to start is by looking for an organization that needs the skills you have to offer.
- Volunteer in a few different places
It is unlikely you would take the first job you interviewed for or marry the first person you dated. Just like in life, you will most likely be far happier with your choices if you explore several options before making one. You might find a great fit right at the start or it may take some more time. If you don’t like one volunteer activity or organization immediately, that’s okay. Don’t quit until you find one you do like. It may take time to find the place that’s right for you. Every time you volunteer even once at an organization, you are still doing valuable and meaningful work.
- Set a strict volunteering schedule and stick to it
Burnout is one of the most common problems when it comes to volunteering. No matter how much you give or do, the organization will always need more. That is why it is highly important to set boundaries and stick to them. Volunteering won’t bring you all the benefits it can if you are stressed, overstretched or overburdened by your responsibilities. When it stops being fun or enjoyable, it might be time to take a step back and let someone else take over for a while.