Volunteering is a worthwhile way to spend your time; you’re bettering yourself through acts of charity and helping those in need. But when we help others, we often forget to take care of ourselves, resulting in burnout and other nasties. We have some important strategies to make sure you can still do you and be an awesome volunteer.
- Ask for help
If your friends were asked to describe you, what would they say? You’re generous, would drop everything to help them, support them during a rough time? Helping when asked is admirable, but don’t forget to ask someone to help you.
We are lucky to live in a time where the topic of mental health is not such a taboo subject. Even if you don’t volunteer, having an occasional appointment with a counsellor or psychologist is a good idea. You’re speaking with a professional in a safe space, and therefore have a healthy outlet where you can speak without fear.
- Voice your concerns
Once in a while, you might hear or see something that concerns you about the health and/or wellbeing of your charge. What do you do? Definitely something. During your induction process, you’ll be walked through on what to do if you see or hear something that leaves you slightly unsettled.
- Indulge yourself
Or, in today’s lingo, treat yo’self! Do something you love for yourself because you definitely earned it. Think about the last time you went on a weekend away or had someone else cook for you. What is something you enjoy but haven’t had the time for?
- Say no
You’re not obliged to accept every invitation or do every chore people ask of you. Saying NO is the best way to take care of yourself, and also prioritise. You have people in your life who won’t take you saying ‘no’ personally. Sometimes invitations clash with your volunteering, others you prefer to have a break.
Study up here