Volunteer!With the holiday season approaching, there are many opportunities available to help out your community and volunteer. Although our schedules may be busy, if there is some time left in your schedule to volunteer, you should. The benefits to volunteering are many and they’re actually for the betterment of both the volunteer and the cause or person that you are helping.

Although you may believe you don’t have time for volunteering, but studies show that you may actually feel like you have more time if you give up some of it to volunteer. It is believed that this perception of time comes about because your time seems more valuable, as you’re spending it helping your community. On a similar note, you will most likely feel like you have more money, if you are giving some of it away to charity.

The act of volunteering some times does more good to the person volunteering, than the person receiving help. According to a study down at the London School of Economics, volunteers were more likely to be happier than people who had never volunteered. Giving up your time for others can help you feel better about yourself, help you deal with stress better, and improve your social network.

Feeling Better About Yourself

Giving your time towards a cause just makes you feel better, and makes your time seem more valuable. It feels great to help a friend in need, just as it feels great to receive help. When you help someone that is not able to help themselves, it gives you a huge boost of self-esteem. Your time was used to help another, not serving yourself alone, so naturally you’ll feel stronger and more confident.

Opening Doors

It’s true, volunteering looks good on a resume and helps you expand your social circles. There are many people that decide to volunteer for this reason, but that does not make the volunteering hours any less precious. You also have the opportunity to gain some real experience in a career that you are interested in that are marketable to future employers. Are you interested in the medical field? – volunteer at a local nursing home or hospital. The people you meet may become future references, or they may give you real-world advice into breaking into the industry.

Gaining a New Perspective

Many of us are guilty, at one time or another, of focusing on our problems, our lives more than others. While this is completely normal, it is an excellent idea to get out of our heads sometimes and open our minds to new perspectives. When we’re helping out someone who is truly in need, chances are, their problems are much harder to deal than ours. Volunteering might help you appreciate what you have and be more empathetic to those who have much less.

While it may seem like there are so many options when it comes to volunteering, but it’s important to realize you can start small. Whether it’s giving up 2 hours a week to help your local homeless shelter or joining the peace corps, volunteering any amount of time is sure to make a huge difference in your life and the lives of those you choose to help.