5 Reasons Volunteering Benefits Recovery
5 Reasons Volunteering Benefits Recovery
By Jose Hernandez
If you’re in recovery from substance abuse, you probably feel like you have enough work to do on yourself. Whether you just finished treatment, or you’re still working on building a foundation for your own recovery, you may not feel like you have anything yet to give.
Giving back to your community is a healthy way to take a break from the monotony of daily life and everybody wins. Our “5 Reasons Volunteering Benefits Recovery” builds on how donating your time builds self-confidence and can provide a sense of purpose in your life.
Volunteering establishes a sense of community and the rewards can be vital to your health.
Giving back to help others in need reduces stress, combats depression and inspires others to be compassionate. Spending time with people who are going through a hardship helps you see how much you have to be thankful for. It’s easy to get caught up in the progress you’re making with your own life and helping someone through a hardship can be a gentle reminder of just how far you’ve come. Gratitude and growth are vital parts of emotional healing during recovery.
Although volunteering is a selfless act there are numerous ways you’ll benefit. Donating your time may seem like a chore, but what you get back is so much more.
Here are 5 reasons volunteering benefits recovery:
- Learn Responsibility – Whether it’s in the recovery community, feeding the homeless or collecting back to school supplies, having commitments fosters responsibility. Volunteering for specific events can teach you how to set and keep a schedule. Being on time and showing up for appointments is imperative to recovery; it sets the stage for a strong work ethic and other personal commitments.
- Relationship Skills – Chances are your relationships suffered during your alcoholism or addiction. Spending time with people in need cultivates compassion for others and teaches you how to handle different personality types. It can also be a great place to build friendships with people who have similar values as you.
- Career Preparation – Getting back on track toward your career path is part of sobriety. Your job may not have been high on your priority list during your active addiction. Showing up on time and ready to work are both important aspects of a strong work ethic. If you’re ready to get back on track with your career, or are looking to start one, volunteering is a great place to network for future employment opportunities. Many career minded professionals donate their time and they usually have their eyes out for hard working employees with a strong sense of integrity. Not to mention, the non-profit organization you’re volunteering for most likely has paying jobs. Being dependable and reliable could quickly lead to a paying job and a long-term career.
- Emotional Health – Getting out of yourself and helping others is conducive to your emotional wellbeing. Extending your hand to people in need just feels good. Knowing you can make a difference in someone else’s life is empowering and breeds self-esteem. Volunteering your time has been known to combat depression and fuel success.
- Building Community – Working alongside other people to do something good for your community fosters fellowship. You’ll learn how to work with others and communicate your needs, all while doing something good for your environment. We’re all in this together and giving back is a great way to pay it forward for the people who have helped you along your personal journey to sobriety.
You’ll get so much out of your experience as explained above in the “5 Reasons Volunteering Benefits Recovery”, but it’s not all about what volunteering can do for you.
We all live busy lives and it’s not always easy to find time to give back. The great news is you don’t need a lot of time to get started. There are opportunities to volunteer everywhere at different commitment levels. Adding one more thing to your schedule may sound daunting, but when you give back to your community you get so much more in return.