Why Volunteering Is Great for Seniors

two happy volunteer seniors smiling at the camera

Retirement - it's an exciting idea. With all that free time you have, you can do anything you want. You can finally take that scuba diving trip you've been wanting to for years or take a relaxing cruise to the Bahamas. But what happens after you do everything you dreamed about doing?

The reality is that retirement can turn into boredom and uncertainty pretty quickly. That hobby you thought you could never lose interest in? Well, you lost interest in it. And now you just don't know what else to do, so you don't really do much of anything.

Where's that feeling of fulfillment that you once had? Well, it's not too far out of reach. Volunteering can be a great way to get back out there and do new and exciting things, even things you never thought you'd be interested in. It's also got a lot of benefits for your overall health. You’d be surprised at how many ways becoming a volunteer can benefit you.

It helps keep your brain active.

If we don't use a certain muscle in our body, our body will stop supporting it and actually start to break it down, decreasing its size and strength. A similar thing happens with our brain cells - if we don't use them, we lose them.

As we get older, it's imperative that we take care of, not only our physical health, but our mental health too. Volunteering can help by engaging different parts of your brain and keeping it active.

It's good for your mental health.

Not only does volunteering help keep your brain active, but it can also help increase your mood too. Giving allows us to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, and it just makes us feel good about doing good. It can also help reduce stress and increase more positive, relaxed feelings.

Show yourself some love. Shop Lifetones (blue background with red and pink hearts)

It helps prevent isolation.

After 60, we're much more likely to become socially isolated. This can be due to things like living alone, losing loved ones, getting sick, or losing some of our mobility. But it's so important to get out and socialize to help decrease your chances of becoming isolated. Isolation can have a profound negative effect on your mental and physical health.

That's where volunteering comes in. It can get you outside and help you spend time with people who are interested in the same things as you. Who knows? You might even make a few friends!

It can help increase physical activity.

This one's pretty obvious. Depending on what you're doing, volunteer work can be very beneficial to your overall physical health by keeping those muscles moving. The older we get, the more important it is to keep up with our physical health.

It can help you learn new skills and find new interests.

If you're struggling with finding new or interesting things to do, you're not alone. I still struggle with it, but I've also found that volunteering can really help. Volunteering gets you outside of your comfort zone and allows you to learn new skills and develop new interests that you've never even thought about.

It can help bridge the "generation gap."

Volunteering can help connect younger generations with older ones. It can give you a chance to teach life lessons and maybe even learn a few new ones. It can allow you insight into how other people think and provide you with new meaning or new ways to look at things.

It can give you a sense of meaning and fulfillment.

Volunteering can be really rewarding because it's all about helping out your community and giving back. And when we do that, we feel good. We feel like we are an important part of our community and that what we do matters and makes a positive impact on the people around us. And it does.

If you're interested in volunteering, reach out to people in your community. Check out local food banks, animal shelters, charity organizations, hospitals, or anywhere else that could use a little help.

 

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