A big part of how we feel about ourselves is how much we give back to others; and I don’t just mean giving financial donations, but giving our time as a volunteer to share skills and knowledge that we have acquired that could make a massive difference to other people.
So, in other words, enhanching your wellbeing by giving back – volunteering – isn’t only about going to homeless shelters and care homes for the elderly, which are obviously very important; but it’s also about offering your skills; talents and passions to connect and inspire others; and fortunately more and more businesses are developing authentic social responsibility programmes to encourage and enable their employees to do just that.
For example, at RBI where I am Global Marketing Director, we offer our employees two paid volunteer days each year, and support our employees to use these days to pick fruit, clear gardens, clean rooms or brainstorm marketing ideas with small charities (something we’re going to do). As well as giving back, these days tend to offer employees great wellbeing benefits too, both from the physical activity and the team-building and bonding that naturally occurs from working collaboratively with other team members.
There’s also plenty of evidence to support the premise that giving back makes a big difference to other people, but also has a very positive impact on the health of the giver, with studies reporting that that those people who had volunteered their time felt healthier; were in better moods and reported experiencing less stress.
If reading this inspires you to find out how you can give back, why not spend a lunch break researching your options? You could start with your HR Department if you have one, as they might have some good contacts, you could consider what’s going on in your local area – or google ‘volunteering’ and have a browse.
You could also inspire your co-workers to join you!