10 Reasons Why Adding a Little is Good For Your Health
A great nonprofit resource HelpGuide.org compiled a list that shares multiple ways that volunteering has surprising benefits and a new study by the UnitedHealth Group, the Optimum Institute, and Mashable aslo found that volunteering can lead to better physical, mental, and emotional health.
We highlighted the top ten reasons why volunteering is so good for your health.
1. Builds meaningful relationships
Volunteering helps you build meaningful relationships with other people. It especially helps create relationships with those you may not have normally interacted with before. In turn it helps strengthen your interpersonal skills and positively impacts many different areas of your life. By becoming a Big you are giving yourself the option to reach out and forge a bond with a child that you never would have known otherwise.
2. Increases self confidence
Giving back to your community makes you feel more empowered, and a win for your Little is a win for you! Take your Little to a volunteer event and show them how good it feels to give back. It’ll make them feel better about themselves and it’ll make you feel great to share the opportunity to give back with them. Being a Big helps raise your Little’s self confidence which is just one of many ways that your relationship benefits them.
3. A productive way to forget about the stress of your daily routine
Pressure at your job, a busy work schedule, and long days can make you feel stressed out and exhausted. But taking time out of your crazy schedule to spend time with a child in need will help you unwind. Being a Big makes you feel like a kid again and can give you the opportunity to de-stress and unwind after a crazy day or week. Not only are you blowing off steam and leaving your worries behind, but you’re also giving your Little the opportunity to create life long memories.
4. Improves your mood
Spending time with someone whose eyes light up when they see you or someone who’s always quick to laughter will instantly make you feel better and lift your mood. Spending quality time with your Little won’t just make them feel good but will make you feel good too.
5. Helps with time management skills
If you are juggling a full-time job, a social life, and important time with your Little then you’ll have to develop time management skills. Balance is key to a happy life and even more key to a happy relationship with your Little. Volunteering is a great way to strengthen time management skills because it urges you to put what is most important first.
6. Keeps you physically active
Often times, as adults we are trapped behind a desk; making calls, sending emails, and going over spreadsheets. But being a Big gives you an opportunity to add a little exercise to your day. It might be throwing a football, playing some pickup basketball, or even just walking around the Museum of Science. Spending some quality time getting your heart pumping with your Little is sure to make memories that will last.
7. Increases sense of purpose
When you wake up in the morning and start your day, you are no longer just doing it for you. Adding a Little to your life increases your sense of purpose. You mean something to someone now and are an important part of their lives. By increasing your sense of purpose you are giving back to your Little in ways that you can’t even imagine. He looks to you for guidance, strength, and for a sense of purpose of his own. You are someone who matters to someone who matters.
8. Improves the community
Spending time being a mentor to a child in any community helps to change the life of that child and alter the fabric of that community. By mentoring your Little and encouraging him to stay in school, to get good grades, and to make good choices gives him a chance to be a better student then he might have been otherwise and to go farther in life then he could have originally ever dreamed of.
Here’s the proof. National research has shown that positive relationships between Littles and their Bigs have a direct and measurable impact on children’s lives. By participating in our programs, Little Brothers and Sisters are:
- more confident in their schoolwork performance
- able to get along better with their families
- 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
- 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
- 52% less likely to skip school.
All of these things make for a stronger and better community for your Little to thrive in.
9. Builds character and commitment
Choosing to Add a Little to your life shows a level of commitment and character that is important to teach your Little about. By showing your Little that you are committed to spending time with him and that you have a good character for him to look up to as a role model, you are helping shape him into a young man who emulates those values as well.
Volunteering not only makes you a better person but it makes your Little a better person too.
10. General health
The UnitedHealth Group study found that 76% of people said they felt healthier and 80% people said they had better control over their health when they spent time giving back to the community. Volunteering really does make you feel good!