Volunteering entails giving your talent, effort, and time to a cause without financial gain. People can volunteer in different fields and industries. However, the most common field with volunteers is the medical field. Although the main reason for volunteering is for the benefit of others, there are other benefits you can gain as a medical volunteer. It allows you to enhance your skills, achieve fulfillment, build networks, and improve your resume.
Volunteering is beneficial. However, it can have a downside if all your energy is on others and you end up neglecting yourself. Therefore, as you volunteer, you shouldn’t forget about your wellness.
Below are some tips to aid in your wellness journey as a volunteer:
1. Have Time To Rest
It’s said that fatigue is one of the things that medics face in their line of work. Medics are always up and down attending to patients. Doing this when fatigued can result in poor functioning. Errors are also likely to happen, which isn’t recommended.
Having time to rest will help address the fatigue. It should include sleep and time not working, even during the day. Rest allows your body and mind to rejuvenate. The result is increased productivity as you volunteer, helping you give your best and learn the most daily.
It’d help to find out the required volunteer hours. Knowing this allows you to plan each day such that you allocate time for resting.
2. Create Social Connections
As stated earlier, medics are always up and down working, which increases stress levels. It can become worse for volunteers who are trying to prove themselves. Stress can lead to frustrations and loneliness, negatively affecting your well-being. Creating social connections as you volunteer will help minimize the stress. You’ll share your problems and help each other solve them. The result is better mental well-being.
Consider creating these connections with those you’re volunteering with. You’re better placed to assist each other since you more or less have similar schedules. You share free time.
3. Exercise Regularly
As a volunteer, you probably have tight schedules and a lot to do in a day. Such a routine makes you spend most of your time working. You’re less likely to have time to go to the gym. The result is poor physical health, defeating wellness. Poor physical health also increases the possibility of developing lifestyle diseases like obesity and heart disease.
Hence, it’s best to adopt exercise in your daily routine, even if you don’t have the time. There are smart ways to exercise even if you’re busy volunteering. Consider taking the stairs instead of using lifts. Also, work while standing for at least 30 minutes, especially if you’re working behind a desk all day. Alternatively, switch your office chair to a yoga ball; the ball will aid in exercising your shoulders, back, and neck.
Aim to break a sweat daily—it doesn’t matter if you jog or cycle to work.
4. Eat Healthily
Wellness is all about being healthy. One factor contributing to being healthy is eating the right food. Eating the right food is often challenging, especially for volunteers. As you want to learn everything about medicine and patient care, you’ll likely forget to eat healthily. You’ll probably buy a lunch bar from the vending machine or grab a coffee from your tuck shop. The result of unhealthy eating is reduced immunity. You’ll be prone to getting sick, reducing your ability to help around with patients.
Therefore, eat healthy; your meals should include vegetables, fruits, proteins, and carbohydrates. Such a diet nourishes your body and boosts your immunity. If you love snacking, eat healthy snacks.
Since you probably have minimal time for lunch breaks, carry packed healthy meals. You’ll only need five minutes to eat during lunch, allowing you to return to volunteering. Don’t forget to hydrate as well.
5. Practice Gratitude
Volunteering in the medical field can put you in challenging situations. You might lose patients, have to console patients’ families during difficult times, and many others. Such surroundings can have a negative effect on your emotional well-being. Your moods might be low, with depression almost kicking in.
Practicing gratitude can help you handle challenging situations better while volunteering in a hospital or health facility. Gratitude is also associated with bringing out a positive outlook to life, elevating your mood. Therefore, no matter what you see daily at work, you’ll always be positive about life, promoting emotional and mental wellness.
It’d help to practice gratitude with meditation every morning. It’ll jumpstart your day on a positive note. Consider doing this with the other volunteers daily for all-around positivity.
Your wellness should come first, even as you aim to assist others. It’s the only way you can better help others. The discussion above guides on how to practice wellness. Implementing the tips in your volunteering journey is in your best interest.