Studies have shown that people who volunteer and provide their work for free are happier.
Are You Too Busy To Volunteer?
If I told you you could enjoy the benefits of volunteering with a time commitment of only 30 minutes or an hour a week, would you give it a go?
I’m busy too. The usual stuff – a trio of kids and a business to run. But I want to give something back and feel I have a bit to to offer too. Here’s how I squeeze voluntary work into my life.
I help out with reading twice a week in my 8 year old son’s class. And once a week I help out with spelling in my 11 year old son’s class.
My total time commitment is only 1 hour and 40 minutes a week but, by dividing it up into three small chunks on separate days, I can fit it in. The classroom help is also at my kid’s school where I will be dropping my sons off anyway, so I don’t waste any time traveling.
The teachers really appreciate my help – I even have a certificate on my fridge to prove it, and I enjoy getting to know my sons’ teachers and classmates better.
Proof That Volunteering Will Make You Happier
Professor Paul Whiteley, from the University of Essex in Colchester, whose team produced the findings, says research has revealed an interesting link between helping others and enjoying a good quality of life:
“It seems that when we focus on the needs of others, we may also reap benefits ourselves. Voluntary activity in the community is associated with better health, lower crime, improved educational performance and greater life satisfaction.”
5 Quick and Easy Ways To Fit Volunteering Into Your Life
Here’s how you can fit volunteering into your life without giving up too much of your time.
You don’t have to do them all. Just pick one that works for you and do it for 30 minutes, or longer if you can.
1. Working with animals – My friend Teresa lives in the UK at the moment. She enjoys going to the RSPCA to help walk the homeless dogs. Prior to that she lived in Costa Rica where she regularly spent her nights patrolling the beaches to protect nesting sea turtles from predators.
2. Volunteering at a nearby school – Kids need help with reading, spelling, maths, computers and sports. Just about everything really. If you don’t want to work with children directly then you can still contribute by helping in the school office, the library or the tuck shop.
3. Helping the aged – Old people get lonely. Maybe you can ‘adopt’ a granny or grandpa in your area. Pop in for a cup of tea once a week, offer to help clean the high shelves they can’t reach or pick up their groceries for them.
4. Fundraising – Could you stand outside the supermarket shaking a tin to raise money and awareness for your favorite charity? You can’t get much easier than this for a one off voluntary job. You’ll probably enjoy the social aspect and be amazed at people’s generosity too.
5. Pick up litter – Grab a couple of plastic bags and head to your nearest beauty spot. Whether it’s a beach, a park or a forest you’ll probably be able to fill your bags quickly, and you’ll leave with a feeling of satisfaction.
Let me know any other ideas you have for quick ways to volunteer that make you feel happier. Just writing about it has made me feel happier!
Thanks for reading
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