Did you know that today is Mental Health and Wellbeing day? And that volunteering can help?
“Feeling happy is a part of mental wellbeing. But it’s far from the whole. Feelings of contentment, enjoyment, confidence and engagement with the world are all a part of mental wellbeing. Self-esteem and self-confidence are, too. So is a feeling that you can do the things you want to do. And so are good relationships, which bring joy to you and those around you.” Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown, WMS – Statistics and Epidemiology, University of Warwick.
Talking to our student volunteers, we’ve discovered the many ways volunteering can help improve your wellbeing. Here are some examples:
- Connect with people around you:
“Getting back into volunteering gives me joy that can decrease the amount of loneliness I’m feeling”
“[Volunteering] makes me more social and helps me meet and communicate with different people”
“[I]have made some very good volunteering friends –people that I have only met because of volunteering”
- Improved sense of purpose:
Volunteering “gives us a sense of responsibility and commitment towards the community”
“I have felt valued and my confidence has increased”
“There is a sense of accomplishment unmatched by any other experience”
Self-esteem is important as it helps us be more confident.
- Go out & get active:
Volunteering is a “chance to get outside and do something different”, a “change of scenery”
Volunteering can give you a purpose for going out of your room/of the library, other than the daily tour to the supermarket. Some projects can also get quite physical, whether it is playing table-tennis in a youth centre, or trying to get a motorbike out of the canal.
Volunteering “makes me think out of the box“
“Volunteering at a school gave me the opportunity to get out of the ‘Warwick bubble’ and do something different”
It brings you into situations you would normally not experience in your student life. This can challenge you and boost your creativity.
- Release stress:
“[Volunteering]’s fun and you can refresh yourself from academic pressure :D”
With exams coming, Term 3 can be a busy and stressful time. We organise one-off volunteering opportunities which can help you have a break for a couple of hours, just when you need it.
This year during term 3, you could join Crafts in Hospital for a few hours one evening and help them build craft kits to distribute to hospital patients for them to make. Or you could help Friends of Canley Green Spaces and Tocil Wood take care of the natural environment around the university. Or you could join a next ActiviTeas for tea and games with the residents of a residential home. Just to name a few!
If you haven’t already, you can sign-up to our weekly newsletter to find out more about upcoming volunteering events.
You can also learn more about Wellbeing and all the events and services provided by Warwick on the Student Support website: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/supportservices