One of the most influential factors on your health and wellbeing is the sense of happiness and fulfilment you get from life. It’s well known that too much stress leads to chronic health problems, as well as affecting your psychological equanimity, but in the fast-paced modern world, it can be difficult to avoid the pressure and stress of everyday living. Finding time for yourself to relax and unwind is an essential part of your self-care, yet is something that comes fairly low down the list of priorities for many people. If you find it hard to justify leisure time for yourself, consider the benefits of getting involved in local projects and charitable activities for both you and your community.
Most charities and community projects depend on volunteers for much of their grass roots work and fund-raising activities. Without the efforts of altruistic members of the community who are willing to give up their time to help out, many community improvement projects and the work of good causes wouldn’t be possible. Wherever you live, you’re bound to be able to find a cause that interests you, for whom you can lend a hand. For example, getting involved in a community clean up project that aims to regenerate an area that has become neglected and run-down will benefit both you and your community. The physical effort involved in clean-up projects will be good for you, both physically and mentally, and diverting your brain’s attention away from what it is normally focused on is a great way to deal with stress. You will also feel a sense of pride and accomplishment at what you are achieving, and are likely to make new friends in the process.
Supporting the causes you believe in doesn’t just mean going on marches and signing petitions. There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes to provide information to the general population, and support to whoever is affected by the issue concerned. There are also many different ways to approach the issues that concern you. For example, the Two Neighbors fashion business brings together Israeli and Palestinian women who are putting aside their differences to show what they can achieve if they work together. The benefits of getting involved in some form of activism are the same as volunteering for community projects: diverting your mind onto something new, feeling a sense of accomplishment, and forming new social bonds. These are all highly effective ways of tackling stress and improving your wellbeing.
These are just a couple of examples of ways in which you can contribute to society and do yourself some good in the process. You might want to offer your services as a volunteer doing something that is important to you, such as helping out at the local hospital, or going into schools to help children with their reading. For any interest you have, there is bound to be an opportunity to make a worthwhile contribution, and by doing so you will be making an important contribution to your own health and wellbeing too.