Healthy Communities YMCA Volunteers

Why you should make a resolution to volunteer in 2017

Happy New Year! It’s 2017 — which means that now is a great time to try something new. Ideally, this new goal should provide a great opportunity to give, and provide a wide range of benefits for you in return. So, with that in mind, here is why volunteering should be your new year’s resolution:

Volunteering has many health benefits

Many people don’t realize that volunteering can improve your health — even with volunteer roles that aren’t directly related to health and wellness. Volunteers are noted to have better physical functioning and mobility, as well as better self-reported health overall (which leads to a decrease in health care use). On the mental health side, volunteers report a decrease in depressive symptoms, reduced feelings of stress, better moods (feeling more positively about life in general), and better self-reported mental well-being. Best of all, these benefits are known to have an even greater impact on your health in later life.

Volunteering creates social connections

When you volunteer, you can build strong connections with a wide range of people, including other volunteers, and members. Such connections can help with communication skills, especially for those who are shy. Even better, the connections you develop while volunteering can even turn into life-long friendships. The social aspect of volunteering directly impacts your mental health by improving mood, and creating a greater overall satisfaction with life.

Volunteering is a great professional development and personal growth resource

Whether you want to give your time to open the door to a new career path, or to help you grow as a person, volunteering is a fantastic way to learn something new, or develop existing skills. There are tons of different volunteer roles that tap into all sorts of skills — all you need to do is decide on what role suits what you want to learn.

If better health, new friendships, and skill building aren’t all amazing reasons to volunteer, just remember that volunteering also has a great impact on your community. Get started on a healthier life by dedicating your time to volunteer in your community today!