In my blog posts I do my best to give some solid approaches to managing life and mental health concerns more easily. The concept of volunteering to help those in need is a point I would very strongly like to encourage you to consider if you are someone who often feels depressed, ‘down in the dumps’ or like life is beating you down.
It has been identified time and time again that helping others (people or animals) less fortunate than you is one of the best and fastest ways to help yourself feel better.
It probably sounds strange to some people that spending time with the homeless or the sick would help to make yourself feel better – not just help the person(s) in need, but please trust me, it does help.
I find that giving to others helps on many levels:
* It helps put your life in perspective so you can view things a little more clearly.
* You can feel like you are contributing to your community.
* Meet new people who are also volunteers and possibly make new friends.
* Help put smiles on the faces of those in need.
* Add good skills to your resume and boost career options.
* Boost your own morale and sense of accomplishment through new experiences.
* Contribute to your own personal healing through social interaction and combat tendencies to isolate.
* Earn the respect of those around you.
Ultimately, the 2 biggest areas you will feel better in are:
1) Decreased depression!
2) Increased self-esteem!
I started volunteering at a very young age for places like the SPCA, The Toxic Watch Society, and The Union Gospel Mission feeding the homeless.
There are many organizations out there that you can look into to find volunteer opportunities.
Here are some ideas:
Wildlife Rescue BC: http://govolunteer.ca/cgi/page.cgi?_id=15&posting=16301
The City and Park Board of Vancouver: http://vancouver.ca/people-programs/volunteering.aspx
The Vancouver Aquarium: http://www.vanaqua.org/join/hands-on/volunteer
Vancouver’s Rape and Relief Centre: http://www.vancouvercharity.ca/rape-relief-volunteers
Community of Care for Survivors of Torture: http://www.vancouvercharity.ca/CMC-torture-2012
The Union Gospel Mission: http://www.ugm.ca/services/
BC SPCA: http://www.spca.bc.ca/about/volunteer/#.UjdicT9CrVo
Give volunteering and working with others (or animals) in need some close consideration.
Perhaps giving 2 hours of your time per month can make a big difference in your life and in the lives of the people or animals you help.
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You can also contact Janel directly for a free phone consultation or to set up a counselling appointment:
Centrally located downtown Vancouver.