All of us realize that it's nice to volunteer because we can impact others' lives for the better, but did you know volunteering is also great for your own health? Volunteering has a variety of physical, mental, and emotional benefits. For example, HealthyWomen.org states a research study "Looked at more than 7,500 older United States residents and demonstrated that those who were frequent volunteers had a significantly lower death rate than non-volunteers-even after adjusting for wellness troubles."
Occasionally it's just hard to know where to start. Well, think of something that interests you. Do you like animals? Animal shelters often need volunteers to help walk their dogs. Do you like helping sick people? See if you can volunteer at your local hospital. Here are a few other ideas to help you get started:
1. Classrooms and after school programs
2. Nursing homes
3. Youth Sports groups
4. Local libraries
5. Church groups
6. Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts programs
7. Animal shelters
How service helps you
Not only will your volunteering profit those you serve, HealthyWomen.org also cites a study which found "people with chronic pain who volunteered as peer counselors found that their pain, disability, and feelings of depression all lessened from volunteering." Keep in mind, while volunteering once or twice a year is nice, research has found you have to offer service about 100 hours per year in order to experience health benefits.