The pandemic is making this a challenging time throughout the world. We are being told to socially distance from each other to help keep us all safe and well, but sometimes this may lead to feelings of isolation, frustration and loneliness. It could even lead to anxiety and depression.
You may be aware of the University’s Six Way’s to Wellbeing, which is a guide to help you get through the low points, help you function well and help you feel good. But did you realise that research has revealed that volunteering can improve your sense of wellbeing and satisfaction with life? Volunteering has also been proven to reduce stress and lower rates of depression.
We all want to thrive emotionally, mentally and physically, but to do that we need try to take care of our wellbeing. The University’s Six Ways to Wellbeing are: Connect, Give, Take Notice, Be Active, Be Healthy and Learn and Discover. Volunteering is a great way for you to engage in all of these activities, especially with the COVID pandemic still happening.
Through volunteering you can expand your social interactions (yes, even in this new socially distanced world!), and subsequently help you develop more support systems through meeting new people and making new friends.
Research studies have also revealed that volunteering can increase your self-esteem, give you a heightened feeling of belonging in a community and also give you a greater sense of achievement and motivation.
Alongside all of this, volunteering can also benefit your employability and social outcomes.
Using the University’s Six Way’s to Wellbeing, we’ve developed a guide to help you volunteer:
We have a wide variety of volunteering opportunities available to you, giving you the chance to connect with new people. Available on our Volunteer Hub are so many diverse opportunities, giving you the chance to volunteer and connect either from home or out in the community.
It’s been proven that doing something for someone else make us feel more positive. By helping other people, however big or small, we can also help ourselves. With winter fast approaching find out how you can help other people through the Kindness at Christmas initiative.
Getting involved with nature is a great way to being mindful of the moment. If we are more mindful of what is happening around us and are aware of how it makes us think and feel, we can develop a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
On Volunteer Hub we promote a wide range of environmental opportunities, giving you the chance to take notice of the nature around you.
It has been proven time and time again that physical activity helps us think and feel positively. You may wish to get involved in the University’s Sports Volunteer Scheme, get out and about helping others in community or surround yourself in nature.
Whatever volunteering opportunity you choose to do, you are choosing to be active which is great!
As well as physical health, our mental health is just as important. There are so many volunteer opportunities that you can be involved in that can help your own mental health as well as the mental health of others.
For example. the Students’ Union have launched a Volunteer Peer Buddy Scheme where one student can buddy up with another to offer some extra support during COVID-19. Alternatively you may be interested in becoming a Digital Ambassador for the mental health charity Mind.
We have lots of opportunities focusing on befriending, mentoring and mental health available on our Volunteer Hub.
Through learning, you can really improve your self-esteem and resilience. It can also help satisfy your curiosity and teach you more about the world around you.
Even though you may be in lockdown, volunteering can really give you the opportunity to learn something new and different. For example, you may be interested in volunteering on the Community Mapping Day on Thursday 10th December. Volunteering from home, you will get healthcare and prosthetic limbs to those in urgent need in Uganda.
As well as being free, fun and easy to do, this is a great opportunity to help you learn about healthcare, Uganda and the global initiatives that the University is involved in.
For further information on Volunteering, contact the Volunteering & Community Engagement Team via firstname.lastname@example.org.