If you could improve your health (despite having a chronic illness) plus, create more awareness about the effects of your illness to others, would you do it? Volunteering may do just this!
Too often we find ourselves sitting in our home, wishing we could go and do something to feel better, yet not knowing if at the end of the day we will feel better– or worse.
Although you may think that volunteering will drain all your energy, you may find that it actually can ease physical pain. And sometimes, even if you are in more physical pain, you may discover that the mental and spiritual joy you gained still makes the physical pain worth it!
Volunteering has been found to:
- Enhance self-esteem through the “good feelings” derived from helping others and feeling worthwhile and needed.
- Distract one from one’s aches and pains, providing motivation for rehabilitation and activity, helping overcome social isolation, and providing a sense of community and belonging.
- Key benefits of volunteer work include: skill development, coping with isolation, the chance to “give back” to the community, to meet people, to enhance job prospects, personal growth, personal empowerment and to gain a new perspective on one’s own problems.
Research Summary: Graff, L. (1991). Volunteer for the Health of it Etobicoke, Ontario: Volunteer Ontario.