The festive period is a time for gratitude and appreciation, spending time with friends and family. And whilst most people get swept up and embrace the seasonal spirit, it can impact some people’s mental health with increased social pressures and disruption of their normal routine, they may even feel lonely or isolated.1
One way to combat these feelings is by giving to others through volunteering – it can help boost your wellbeing and increase your self-esteem.1
Did you know that 1 in 5 adults in Great Britain plan to donate their time and volunteer over the festive period?1 That equates to a total of 50 million volunteer hours!
So how can giving back to the community benefit your own wellbeing?
- Helping others feels good – positive acts towards others releases a dose of feel-good hormones; oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, also known as the happiness trifecta.2 These hormones can boost mood whilst counteracting the effect of cortisol, the stress hormone3
- Gives you a sense of purpose – small acts of kindness towards other people, especially volunteering in your local community, can give you a sense of purpose
- Increase gratitude – seeing what is on 'the other side of the fence' could make you feel thankful for what you have
- Feel satisfied – no matter how small the act, you are positively making a difference to someone's life, which is a great achievement
- Build new relationships – volunteering can help you meet different kinds of people and make new friends
- Resets your focus – focusing on someone else even for a short time may distract you from your own perceived problems; you may even emerge from the experience with renewed perspective
If you’re looking for ways to get involved, you can search for volunteering opportunities in your local community through internet searches such as Do-it.org or by consulting your local Volunteer Centre.
“The importance of giving to others shouldn’t be overlooked. Not only will your actions benefit those on the receiving end of your good deeds, but you’ll find a personal sense of joy and fulfilment through your contributions. Once you develop the habit of giving back regularly, even if you’re making a small contribution, it will begin to feel more natural and easy to do so. Start contributing to the world around you today, and prepare to reap the benefits of giving back.” Tony Robbins
To find out more about how Sovereign supports its local community, visit sovereignhealthcare.co.uk/about/community-programme