Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community. It gives you a hands-on opportunity to make a difference and support organizations and groups that need help. The physical and mental work of volunteering can take a toll on a person. You may end up feeling burnt out before you want to stop. Here are four ways you can end burn out and continue giving back as long as you desire to give.
Schedule Your Time Wisely
Even if you don’t have a full-time paying job, you probably have things going on in your life that require a lot of time as well as mental and physical effort. You need to make sure that your volunteering does not cut into high priority activities. You also need to make sure that you aren’t over-scheduling yourself. If you work a 40 hour a week job and then put in 10 or more hours a week volunteering, you are going to push yourself too hard and burn out too soon.
Volunteering is such a beautiful thing to do, and it can make you feel so good that you try to do it all of the time. But like mentioned above, you don’t want to over-schedule yourself and burn yourself out. When you risk overscheduling, you might start failing at other activities as well. Give yourself breaks between volunteering. Instead of trying to go every week or every other week, perhaps only volunteer once a month, or only for specific annual events. There are different ways to give back in the meantime.
Visit with the People You are Helping
If you are solely putting in the work and not seeing any of the benefits, you may burnout on volunteering quickly. It’s important that you experience how much you are helping others. If you are working at an event for a specific charity, and the people that charity assists are in attendance, take the time to meet them, talk to them, and learn their stories. Seeing first-hand why your help is needed can go a long way toward ending your feelings of burnout.
Make a List of Why You are Volunteering
Before you start volunteering, sit down and make a list of the top five or ten reasons why you have chosen to do so. Be honest with yourself, and include details that might be helpful later. Whenever you start to feel burnt out in the future, pull out your list and read it over a few times. Let it help remind you why you chose to volunteer in the first place.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to spend your time and give back to others. Make sure you take care of yourself in the process. It’s impossible to take water from an empty well.