Volunteering in the Age of Stress

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This seems to be the time of year when most people have enough going on with family, friends, school, and work that they just want to be stay at home by themselves when they get a free moment. 

There is no argument that peaceful singular time can be beneficial.   However, for those stay-at-home moms trying to make a transition back into the workforce, volunteering can be beneficial for your peace of mind and also for attaining future employment… plus without specified hours, you can squeeze into your free moments.

There is an article on beinggirl.com titled, “Teenage Volunteer Opportunities: Helping Others.”  While the article is focuses on teens, it offers helpful perspective for anyone who is thinking about volunteering.  If you have been unemployed for a while or are searching for a summer job that hasn’t materialized yet, volunteering may be right for you.  Also, future employers will no doubt be impressed with the way that you have spent your time in between jobs.

My counsel would be to take a step back and think about your perfect job.  Is it in the health care field, the arts, taking care of animals, or assisting homeless individuals experiencing a hard time?  Where do you see yourself fitting in? 

The article then suggests that you ask yourself these questions:

  • How much time am I willing to commit?
  • Which talent or skills do I offer?
  • What would I most like to learn by volunteering?
  • What don’t I want to do as a volunteer?

 

Next, the article lists a variety of volunteer opportunities to consider.  Along with beinggirl.com, I found a match-up type of site – Volunteer Match – where, rather than finding someone new to date, it helps you to select a volunteer opportunity that’s consistent with your interests.

For young moms who already have enough to do, I agree that taking care of kids, the house, and all else that is scheduled into your busy day is more than enough for anyone.  However, doing something different that gets you out and interacting with others beyond your kids and mom group, may be good for you.  Also, if your kids are old enough, finding a volunteering opportunity that you can do together can create priceless family memories.  Think about the sense of helping others that you will be imparting.  

Do you volunteer now?  If so, where are you volunteering and how is it going?

Elaine Plummer is a health expert for Always and Tampax.

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