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Volunteering Can Mitigate Depression and Anxiety

Volunteering Can Mitigate Depression and Anxiety

There’s no doubt about it: volunteering is good for you. When you share your time and talents with others, you also receive benefits in return. Whether it’s experience for a resume, connections for a career or simply the affirmation of helping a fellow human being, volunteering impacts your own life as much as the lives of others.

In fact, volunteering has even been known to mitigate depression and anxiety concerns. Mental health plays a critical role to well being. This means if you suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental ailments, even daily functions can be incredibly difficult. Fortunately, recent studies have shown how volunteering with people or a cause you care about can actually mitigate depression and anxiety issues. Here’s how.

Volunteering connects you with others.
One of the greatest struggles in dealing with depression or anxiety is the feeling of loneliness. Oftentimes, people who face these ailments feel like they are completely alone in an uphill battle. On the other hand, the greatest benefit of volunteering is the social connections it includes. Despite the constant correspondence our society experiences through technology, a nationwide survey by Cigna found that more than half of respondents feel lonely. 

Fifty-four percent said they feel like no one actually knows them, 56% believe people around them “are not necessarily with them” and 40% said they “lack companionship.” This loneliness plays a significant role in our overall mental health. However, through consistent volunteering with an organization or cause you care about, you can generate genuine, authentic relationships with like-minded people. These relationships can alleviate the feeling of loneliness, and positively influence your struggle with depression or anxiety.

Volunteering promotes physical activity.
When we feel lonely, depressed or anxious, oftentimes our natural inclination is to curl up in a ball, stay at home and avoid the outside world. However, this response only negatively influences our mental health further. In fact, physical health greatly affects our mental health, and vice versa. Because every aspect of the body operates together as one unit, focusing on physical activity can oftentimes boost your mental health, as well.

By volunteering, you create one more potential avenue for physical activity. Even if it’s simply walking down to the local library to host a children’s story time, by getting up, leaving the house and being active, you can help alleviate depression and anxiety. In fact, studies have also found that people who regularly volunteer have a lower mortality rate, are less likely to develop high blood pressure and have better thinking skills. While physical activity through volunteering might not cure depression or anxiety, it can play a role in soothing the concerns.

Volunteering changes your perspective.
If you have ever struggled with mental health, then you know the constant negative perspective you might experience. When you feel depressed or anxious, oftentimes those feelings are the only thing you can focus on. Sometimes, when we experience these feelings, all we need is a shift in our perspective. Volunteering does just that. 

Volunteering gives you the opportunity to interact with different people, circumstances and causes around you, causing a natural shift in how you see your own life. For instance, sharing your talents with people in need might positively change your mindset to recognize you do have useful skills to offer. Volunteering also provides a valuable sense of purpose. No matter how old you are or where you are in life, helping others gives you feelings of purpose, perspective and belonging, which can greatly diminish the struggle with depression and anxiety. 

Mental health has an incredible impact on our lives. If you wrestle with depression, anxiety or other mental ailments, you know how difficult it can be to simply go through the day. Volunteering can help. While volunteering might not cure every mental health struggle, it can play a positive role in mediating it. Try it out and see how volunteering impacts your life.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

Dear Clients & Supporters,

As you may have heard, our office in Pueblo was maliciously vandalized by an unidentified gunman, just after midnight on the evening of June 2nd.

Footage from our security cameras shows an initially calm scene, before what appears to be a man walking by nonchalantly, hands tucked in pockets, suddenly stopping and turning to withdraw a firearm. The gunman then starts dashing, firing shot after shot directly at our storefront.

This person and their weapon have caused immense harm. Financially, the estimated damage exceeds $25,000. The same bullets that shattered glass and pierced through walls have wounded our hearts. However, the cost of this emotional damage cannot be measured in dollars. If there is a silver lining, it’s that nobody was physically hurt - or worse. For that, we’re eternally grateful.

To be clear, this individual and this destructive act, are not linked to the Black Lives Matter movement or protests of any kind. Unfortunately, we believe this anger to be rooted locally in a conflict between a tenant and their disgruntled clients.

In the wake of the ongoing pandemic and riots spurred by civil unrest nationwide, we know things are uncomfortable right now. We know people are upset and hurting. We're hurting too.

As much as it pains us to board up these windows and doors and close our building, we have no other choice but to do so until we can get them fixed. Despite our office being closed, rest assured, we are still working.

While the need for our services grows, so does our need for your support. In fact, we need you now more than ever. Whether it's time or a monetary donation, anything you can do to help us continue promoting healthy, vibrant neighborhoods across Southern Colorado is not only sincerely appreciated; it's vital to actualizing our mutual goals as a community. You can make your contribution, securely and conveniently online at https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/donate.html or to submit interest in volunteering please visit https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/volunteer.html.

We want you to know, we will be back, and we will continue to fight for a better Southern Colorado. To get there, more of us need to change. Amidst these changes, one thing will remain certain: our commitment to serving you and the entire Southern Colorado community.

The pain we feel now will pass, just like the time we have with those we love. Remember to take care of each other. If this unprecedented time has taught us anything, it’s that we need each other more than we could have ever known.


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

A Message about Our Services in Light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) – UPDATED 06/09/2020

NeighborWorks Southern Colorado cares about the health and safety of our customers, staff, and community partners. Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending in-person workshops and counseling appointments temporarily. We will continue to provide homebuyer education and counseling services virtually, and you can reach our employees by phone or email. We will not be receiving visitors to our office until further notice.

We are in the process of contacting customers registered for our Homebuyer Education Workshops or scheduled for an in-person counseling appointment to make other arrangements. If you need to reach us, please call (719) 544-8078.

We are monitoring the news closely and taking advantage of this time to do updates and upgrades to our building to better serve you when we re-open; we will post updates about our services to this website. Thank you for choosing NeighborWorks Southern Colorado as your trusted partner and first choice for homebuyer resources in Southern Colorado.

06/09/2020

Please take precautionary measures... Be safe and stay healthy

Our Impact in 2019

  • Attended Group & Online Classes

    1154

  • New Homeowners

    641

  • Dollars Invested Into Communities

    125,400,000

  • Dollars in Mortgage Loans Originated

    2,700,000

  • Dollars in Small Business Lending

    150,000

  • Homes Built & Sold

    5

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