Recently I reflected on how giving back impacted my daily routine to make routine tasks seem effortless.
I had an opportunity to volunteer a while back to participate in a program providing meals for homeless and disadvantaged people. This was an organised program providing a 2 course meal every Saturday morning to anywhere between 70-100 people.
I arrived at the venue along with 15 other volunteers. I wasn’t sure what to expect but soon I was given tasks to do and started to feel useful and part of a team with a purpose, with the overall goal to provide a hearty meal for a large group of people. I didn’t know any of the other volunteers and this didn’t matter in least; we worked shoulder to shoulder following instructions and doing given task efficiently, willingly and with care.
The doors opened and the people started to come in, within 60 minutes all 80 people had been provided a hot drink, seated at a table and served a hot meal followed by desert. Everybody was treated with respect and dignity. As people ate their meals people chatted to others as well as the volunteers. The connection was evident even though we didn’t really know each other beforehand.
People started to leave and we started to clear away, wash up and leave the venue the way it was found. The whole process took less than 4 hours. As I drove home I reflected on how good I felt, to be part of a team, giving back just a little, to society .
‘Giving made me feel happy’
I found myself that afternoon completing routine tasks effortlessly, tasks that I would normally procrastinate about such as grocery shopping, cleaning and making diner. I was much more productive and efficient going about my daily tasks.
Researchers suggest that giving may improve physical health. Volunteering has been shown to bring benefits to your mental and physical health such as :
‘Combating anxiety, stress and depression
Promoting positive social connection
Creating a greater sense of purpose’
It is all too easy in our busy lives to forget how much joy can be achieved when we give back to society even in some small way. Look at ways that you can build something into your weekly or monthly routine to give back. Reflect on the way it makes you feel and the impact it has on your daily life. It is a way to build and develop resilience and enhances a sense of purpose.