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5 Things Volunteering Does For You!

5 Things Volunteering Does For You!

After just getting back from packing 500 lunches for children during a Spring Break, where they would not otherwise have any food at all, I have a few thoughts to share with you. Now, this is by far not my first time to do this, but something is sparked in me each time. Something that I simply cannot contain. I am energized and enthusiastic that our community came together to feed children. You see, they normally get free breakfast and lunch during the school day, but what happens when school is out?! The answer, they may or may not eat. That’s where they need people like us. They need someone, anyone, to step up and help. You see, they are products of their situation, a situation they would not choose if they had a choice. I had the opportunity to help and I am so glad I did!

This situation is not an isolated one. There are opportunities everywhere! Parks that need to be cleaned up, food that needs to be served to those without homes, parents who could use a break and have a sitter they couldn’t afford, elderly people who need assistance with basic things such as mowing their yard. You see, if you will take the time to look, there are needs everywhere around you. What happens though, I have found out, is that it is you who walk away with a smile on your face. It will be you who will benefit the most from volunteering. It does not matter where you volunteer, or what you do…just get out there and do it.

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You may have no experience, little experience, or this may be something you do on a regular basis. I would just encourage you to do it! I have learned many things from volunteering, and so I decided to share my list with you. I want it to inspire you to get out there and volunteer. Find a need, put it on your calendar, and do not cancel. Treat this appointment as so important you simply cannot miss it; then, you will find out why!

Reasons to volunteer:

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1. Gets you out in the community

Getting out into the community is great! It helps you really feel a sense of belonging. It can also boost your pride in where you live. After all, we live in a great country with wonderful towns and cities everywhere!

2. Helps you make new connections/friends

Expand your circle! You can either just work nicely with others for a couple of hours, form a new acquaintance, or even expand your network – you choose! Getting to know others in your community helps you to stay “plugged in” to the things going on around you.

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3. Helps to remind you that EVERYONE has value

Giving to others makes them feel important, appreciated, and valued. We ALL want to feel valued. It does not matter what socioeconomic status you hold or they hold, everyone has an inner need to feel loved.

4. Helps to fight depression/self-centeredness

Volunteering helps you to focus on others. Getting your mind off of your situations and problems is one easy way to fight depression. We also tend to live in a very self-centered society; volunteering simply takes your mind off of yourself and put it on others who need you.

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5. Makes you put that phone down

In our techno-centered society, putting your devices down and rolling up your sleeves to work helps us all to REALLY connect with others.

Again, the need is out there – EVERYWHERE! You can donate one hour, one day, or one week.

Helping others really is good for you!

Featured photo credit: Fort George Meade Public Affairs Office via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

8 Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle That Get You to Live With Less

8 Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle That Get You to Live With Less

Minimalism is a way to put a stop to the gluttony of the world around us. It’s the opposite of every advertisement we see plastered on the radio and TV. We live in a society that prides itself on the accumulation of stuff; we eat up consumerism, material possessions, clutter, debt, distractions and noise.

What we don’t seem to have is any meaning left in our world.

By adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you can throw out what you don’t need in order to focus on what you do need.

I know first hand how little we actually need to survive. I was fortunate enough to live in a van for four months while traveling throughout Australia. This experience taught me valuable lessons about what really matters and how little we really need all this stuff we surround ourselves with.

Less is more.

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Living a minimalist lifestyle is reducing.There are a few obvious benefits of minimalism such as less cleaning and stress, a more organized household and more money to be found, but there are also a few deep, life-changing benefits.

What we don’t usually realize is that when we reduce, we reduce a lot more than just stuff.

Consider just some of the benefits of living with fewer possessions:

1. Create Room for What’s Important

When we purge our junk drawers and closets we create space and peace. We lose that claustrophobic feeling and we can actually breathe again. Create the room to fill up our lives with meaning instead of stuff.

2. More Freedom

The accumulation of stuff is like an anchor, it ties us down. We are always terrified of losing all our ‘stuff’. Let it go and you will experience a freedom like never before: a freedom from greed, debt, obsession and overworking.

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3. Focus on Health and Hobbies

When you spend less time at Home Depot trying unsuccessfully to keep up with the Joneses, you create an opening to do the things you love, things that you never seem to have time for.

Everyone is always saying they don’t have enough time, but how many people really stop and look at what they are spending their time doing?

You could be enjoying a day with your kids, hitting up the gym, practicing yoga, reading a good book or traveling. Whatever it is that you love you could be doing, but instead you are stuck at Sears shopping for more stuff.

4. Less Focus on Material Possessions

All the stuff we surround ourselves with is merely a distraction, we are filling a void. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy comfort. After the initial comfort is satisfied, that’s where our obsession with money should end.

We are bombarded by the media presenting promises of happiness through materialistic measures. It’s no wonder we struggle everyday. Resist those urges. It’s an empty path, it won’t make you happy.

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It’s hard not to get roped into the consumerism trap. I need constant reminders that it’s a false sense of happiness. I enjoy stuff, but I also recognize that I don’t need it.

5. More Peace of Mind

When we cling onto material possessions we create stress because we are always afraid of losing these things. By simplifying your life you can lose your attachment to these things and ultimately create a calm, peaceful mind.

The less things you have to worry about, the more peace you have, and it’s as simple as that.

6. More Happiness

When de-cluttering your life, happiness naturally comes because you gravitate towards the things that matter most. You see clearly the false promises in all the clutter, it’s like a broken shield against life’s true essence.

You will also find happiness in being more efficient, you will find concentration by having refocused your priorities, you will find joy by enjoying slowing down.

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7. Less Fear of Failure

When you look at Buddhist monks, they have no fear, and they have no fear because they don’t have anything to lose.

In whatever you wish to pursue doing you can excel, if you aren’t plagued with the fear of losing all your worldly possessions. Obviously you need to take the appropriate steps to put a roof over your head, but also know that you have little to fear except fear itself.

8. More Confidence

The entire minimalist lifestyle promotes individuality and self reliance. This will make you more confident in your pursuit of happiness.

What’s Next? Go Minimalism.

If you’re ready to start living a minimalist lifestyle, these articles can help you to kickstart:

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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