The spirit of giving is alive and well. People have been sharing their resources to help those who have been affected by the global health crisis. According to recent data, charitable giving was at an all-time high in 2020, with Americans giving $471 billion to various charitable institutions. While donors have stepped up to meet the everyday and medical needs brought about by COVID-19, some people have also volunteered their time and energy during these difficult times. Could volunteering and charity work aid your recovery?
Volunteering and giving to charity organizations can help improve millions of lives in different ways, but did you know that those who give also gain physical and mental rewards? For this reason, those who are on the road to sobriety should include volunteering or doing charity work as part of their recovery plan. By giving your time, you can nurture healthier habits while helping those in need. Here’s how volunteering can aid your recovery.
It Helps You to Become More Sociable
Coping with addiction can cause people to focus only on themselves, and some may start to withdraw from society as they work to have a sober lifestyle. While doing so allows you to concentrate on your recovery plan, it may also make you feel isolated. Feeling lonely or bored may cause people to have a relapse after maintaining sobriety for a period of time. This is why it’s crucial to find ways to have human interactions while on recovery to prevent addiction relapse, and volunteering is the perfect way to do that.
Doing charity work involves interacting with different people while doing various tasks. For instance, if you’re volunteering at a fashion business that supports children through charitable acts, you may be asked to help host a camp, build housing, or build a school in the company’s name. All of these tasks means coordinating and talking to people, so not only do you become more sociable, but you also improve your communication skills along the way.
It Fights Stress and Improves Mental Health
Having to deal with stress while recovering from substance or alcohol addiction can be challenging, since stress is one of the biggest factors for a relapse. Learning to cope with stress in positive ways, such as engaging in art or finding ways to relax is of utmost importance when you’re maintaining sobriety. However, volunteering can also reduce stress since it increases positive feelings. This results in a surge in dopamine in the brain, which can fight stress and make you feel happier.
Having a sense of purpose and feeling appreciated can also make you feel good about yourself, which means that volunteering can definitely boost your self esteem. Moreover, a study has shown that people who have good self esteem can efficiently manage and cope with stress, resulting in better mental health and performance in various aspects of their lives. If you’re in recovery and are dealing with stress or anxiety, consider volunteering at low-stress environments, such as libraries, animal shelters, and museums. You can also do work for non-profits that need help doing tasks such as building, cleaning, organizing, or painting since doing manual work is a wonderful way to relieve stress.
Volunteering can strengthen your commitment to live a healthier, and sober lifestyle. Consider volunteering today to help others, and improve your emotional and mental health while in recovery.