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How volunteering can help your mental health

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Volunteering can provide many benefits to both your mental and physical health and is a method widely used to combat depression. Helping others has actually been proven to benefit your mental health, partly because it can counteract the effects of stress, anger and anxiety while improving your emotional wellbeing! A valuable experience, it can give you confidence and it’s a great addition to your CV.

 

Last year I carried out a beach clean with a friend of mine that was incredibly satisfying. Not only was I helping clear our wonderful beaches from plastic and rubbish, but I was exercising, socialising and seeing more of what surrounds the place I live. By the end of the day, I could visibly see the difference I had made, plus I enjoyed the day chatting! 

 

Social interaction and group activities usually see benefits that are the most positive, as they create happy environments where new friendships can be made. In addition to working with others, having a task or purpose in one’s day to day life helps to build a rounder sense of self and satisfaction with doing something for the greater good.

 

Working with pets and other animals has also been shown to improve your mood and help reduce stress and anxiety. There are a number of charities like Cats Protection and the  Snowdonia Animal Sanctuary, who have teamed up with Bangor University’s Dog Walking Society, and they take volunteers! If you just take a look at their websites and sign yourself up for some of their volunteering opportunities, you’ll be on your way to a calmer you! 

 

Arguably one of the quickest ways into volunteering for a charity and raising money is through working in charity shops. This is a good experience for gaining future retail work and is great for your CV as it shows you’re giving up your time for a good cause. However, it’s also great for personal development, as you will be socialising with people from different backgrounds, learning new skills and working for a worthy purpose.

 

Every time you volunteer, you can add it to the points for your Bangor Employability Award (BEA)! This is an optional programme you can complete at university, that records all the extra-curricular activities or work experience you do. Volunteering is a great boost to your employability, alongside personal development, and it can be acknowledged here, as well as on your CV.

 

We are lucky that our university offers countless volunteering opportunities and societies for us to join. If you missed out at serendipity there is another event in February specifically for volunteering, you can visit the Bangor SU in Pontio to enquire, or you can even go online to search options for volunteering. 

 

Remember: Doing good does you good!

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About Author

Amelia Smith

Lifestyle Editor | 19-20

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