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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 May 28, 2020

How to Overcome Boredom

How to Overcome Boredom

Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

What is Boredom?

We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

1. Get Focused

Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
  • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
  • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

2. Kill Procrastination

Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

Here are some ideas:

  • Do some exercise.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn something new.
  • Call a friend.
  • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
  • Do a spring cleaning.
  • Wash the car.
  • Renovate the house.
  • Re-arrange the furniture.
  • Write your shopping list.
  • Water the plants.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Sort out your mail & email.
  • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

3. Enjoy Boredom

If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

Reference

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