Life is not meant to be lived alone. We do better when we have strong and healthy connections with our communities. Not only do these connections provide support for us when we need help but it gives a sense of peace and purpose when others need our support.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your life this new year then the best a simplest addition you could make to your life is volunteering. Finding a program you care about and dedicating time to it every month is a small way to give back to your community and build a healthier more resilient self.
When I first moved to a new country, I had to work from scratch building friendships and creating community. Things that are not easy to do with social anxiety and depression. Volunteering at a local clinic for spaying and neutering animals was one of the best things I did to integrate myself into the community and give myself a sense of purpose while I navigated and built a new home.
Working at the clinic I was able to be of service to my new town, stray animals are real problem in Panama. Animals and pets have always been a big part of my life so learning how to care for them was an amazing experience. I also built friendships that changed the way I experienced my new home. Now I can’t imagine not having these friends in my life.
The confidence I built in myself by learning new skills and being effective changed me and the way I interact in the world. It allowed me to grow in ways I had never imagined. Being more confident has helped with my depression and anxiety.
This one seemingly simple act of volunteering has helped in ways I never would have imagined when I started. Finding a way to be of service and give back to community is the first thing I would recommend to anyone who wanted to change their life. If you’re looking for a New Years resolution then look for a way to give back to the world.
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