Discover why giving back is good for your health!
For some of us, acute periods of anxiety or depression are nothing out of the ordinary and these depths of emotion tend to pass with relative ease. They may be triggered by a stressful time at work, by relationship tensions or by family issues. However, for some of us, these periods of feeling low and down can become more chronic. This means that our mental health can begin to suffer.
While we can venture to the doctor’s surgery and be prescribed medication, the chances are that this is not a long term solution as it doesn’t address the root cause of your suffering. Instead, you need to look within yourself to try and work out how best to improve your anxiety or depression.
While tablets will inevitably help, there are other courses of action such as mindfulness, yoga and talking therapies which are less invasive and can help refocus your intrusive thoughts in a more positive way. Your doctor may even suggest this treatment plan before reaching for the medication. However, you can also be proactive in your quest for mental relief. Take a look at how giving something back to the world can be good for your mental health.
By helping other people in need, you are channeling your efforts away from your own trauma and suffering, and into helping others with theirs. This can help you gain perspective of your own situation, and can help you to rely on a bit more hope. Consider your skill set and the sort of passions that you have, and combine these to work out your perfect volunteer opportunity. If you are an admin guru, why not head to the head office of a local charity and help with the filing, send some emails or organize some meetings. It sounds trivial but this sort of role can be a massive help to busy charities who want to focus on work on the ground rather than their offices.
If you want a more hands on role, think about your direct experience. If you struggled when you were younger with career options, or you struggled at school, why not venture into educational establishments and act as a mentor for children. This is unpaid and wholly voluntary, and it can give you a renewed purpose, knowing that you are doing some good in your local community.
If you’d rather volunteer for a larger project and combine it with your love of travel, you could head to Lesotho to build wells to enable locals to have fresh drinking water. Or maybe you want to hot foot it to Costa Rica to help with a deforestation awareness project. There are plenty of options out there helping you to see a little bit of the world and do some good at the same time. Getting away from it all might mean that you have to take an unpaid sabbatical from work, but you may return refreshed, reinvigorated and with a new more positive outlook on life.
Helping You Fellow Females
Some women struggle within their relationships. If you have experience of escaping an abusive or damaging relationship, consider giving some of your time to a local women’s shelter or helpline to show other women in your past situation that there is hope.
Some women struggle to conceive. For those of us who are blessed with our brood and take the unconditional love that we feel for our little darlings for granted, we can sometimes forget that there are women out there who cannot have children through no fault of their own. It can be hard to put yourself in their situation and imagine the emotional turmoil that they are going through. Offering to be a surrogate can be stressful and emotionally draining. However, if you have had your children, you are happy with your family unit, and you want to help those women who are struggling to conceive, why not consider how you can become an egg donor. The process for this is relatively stress free and the entire egg retrieval process only takes a couple of weeks from start to finish. Knowing that you can give someone the gift of a family can give you a fresh perspective on your own situation.
Addressing The Cause
Trying to work out why you are feeling a certain way can result in you going around in circles. Often, we feel depressed or anxious for unknown reasons and there is not always a direct trigger. Initially, consider doing activities that take your mind off of your problems. Mental health issues can be all encompassing meaning that you can’t eat or sleep, and the thought of leaving the house can leave you panic stricken.
Get outdoors. Volunteering outside as part of a conservation project can help you to meet new people and enjoy the greenery and flora and fauna around you. Natural light is a real mood lifter and can help to regulate your body clock meaning that your usual sleep pattern can be restored. Having a purpose and getting outside can stop you from feeling so isolated. Conservation projects could include pruning trees in your local park, creating pathways, helping wildlife through the protection of their habitats, or planting new flowers and plants. Getting involved in nature can boost your energy levels and leave you feeling like you are useful.
If you are self employed and you want to do some good with your money making venture, consider a volunteer scheme or give something back to the local community through sponsorship. School soccer teams and charity auctions will often require donations and monetary support in return for a little bit of good PR. Get yourself involved in your local community events and establish more meaningful links within your local area. This can enhance your reputation and can help you to gain more customers. While this isn’t the aim of your good deeds, this can be a pleasant side benefit.
It can be tough when you are struggling with chronic mental illness. However, there are ways that you can give something back to help give you a renewed perspective on life. Follow this guide and give something back to the world.