Can Volunteering Benefit Your Mental Health?

Author:
LOUISE LIDDIARD-SMITH
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Transitioning out of Defence can be a challenging time. Without the structure and mateship of military life veterans can feel isolated and may find it hard to break into civilian social circles.

Volunteers
 
Volunteering can be a great way to engage in the civilian community, broaden social networks and create structure and routine. Regular volunteering is known to improve overall mental health but even just a few hours of giving back can improve your mood. 
 

Volunteering can: 

  • Create a feeling of purpose and achievement 
  • Decrease feelings of isolation 
  • Enhance self-esteem and confidence 
  • Decrease depression and stress 
  • Enhance sleep patterns 
  • Create deeper ties with the community 
  • Establish friendships with like-minded people 
  • Enhance overall physical health.

 
 Although volunteering can be positive for your physical and mental health it’s also important to keep it manageable so you don’t become overwhelmed. It’s ok to set limits and to take a break if you are becoming stressed.