According to the Corporation for National Community Service, nearly 62.8 million Americans volunteer each year towards projects ranging from education and social services to religious activities and health-related fields. Substance abuse recovery can be challenging at times, but volunteering can help propel you towards success.
The aftermath of addiction can leave you feeling drained on many various levels, which is why it’s important to get active. The right treatment center will provide you with ways to exercise and build up your physical health – volunteering can give you this benefit as well. A study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University and published in the journal Psychology and Aging confirmed that volunteering can increase physical activity and may reduce stress, potentially improving overall cardiovascular health.
While in recovery, it will be important for you to build a social support network – people whom you can rely on in times of need as well as people who will push you to meet your goals in recovery. Volunteering can give you that opportunity to meet those kinds of people while also warding off loneliness and depression, which can easily creep in if you’ve been feeling isolated.
A 2018 study published in BMC Public Health studied participants who volunteered in either other-oriented or self-oriented volunteering to assess various health outcomes. Other-oriented volunteering was described as participants who wanted to help for altruistic reasons by showing concern for others. Volunteer areas related to this were listed as health, education, religious groups, human services, public/social benefits, and youth development. Self-oriented volunteering was described as participants who wanted to increase their social network, understand themselves better, develop new skills, and more. Areas related to this type of service included recreation, arts or culture, environment or animal welfare, work-related service, politics, and more. The study’s findings indicated that no matter the type of volunteerism, participants experienced significant health-related outcomes, with other-oriented volunteering yielding higher health outcomes overall compared to self-oriented volunteering.
No matter what your interests are, there are many reasons why volunteering would be great for you. Development of new skills, increased social support system, discovery of further purpose and meaning in life, physical and mental health benefits, reduced loneliness, and more arise from volunteering. Take that step today.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse treatment program. We believe in holistic recovery, meaning that we will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. If you’re seeking a treatment center that focuses primarily on mental health, call our parent property, New Vista Behavioral Health, at 855-398-7959. If you’re seeking treatment for either substance abuse or dual diagnosis, call us at 888-743-0490. There are many people that can help you develop the tools you need to succeed.