Addiction can feel as though it has taken over your life and transformed you into someone you no longer know. Immersing yourself in recovery can help you to find yourself again and develop a healthier lifestyle and routines. It can involve a lot of change and that leaves some people wondering what to do with their time.
Volunteering can be a great way to develop structure, routine, accountability, and purpose in recovery. It can help you to stay grounded and focus on giving back to others. Here are just a few of the benefits of getting involved with the community as a volunteer:
- Provides a sense of purpose.
Volunteering gives you something constructive to do with your free time. In many cases, you can see the value of the work you are doing and how it supports others. You know that you are making a difference. This can make you feel good about yourself and giving back.
- Creates routine and accountability.
When you sign up to volunteer, you are expected to show up and do what you are told. This can create some accountability and build responsibility. You don’t want to let others down. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to and plan for so you’re not faced with a lot of unstructured time.
- Fosters socialization.
Volunteering is a wonderful way to meet others who share a common interest. You’re all working toward the same goals. It can allow you to practice socializing and working together with others in a positive environment. During active addiction, you may have withdrawn from others around you, but now you have the chance to get back out into the community and make new friends.
- Boosts mood.
Giving back can be very rewarding. You feel good about the work you’re doing and how you’re helping others. Being part of a team or organization can be exciting and motivating, which can help ward off depression.
- Develops skills and opportunities.
Depending on what you’re doing, you may be building new skills that you can put to use in your personal or professional life. Volunteering can be a great way of creating connections and gaining experience. You never know when you may meet someone who could help you land your next job. If you took some time off from work for recovery, volunteering can help you keep your resume current by adding experience.
There are countless organizations you can volunteer with, whether you’re interested in animals, the environment, helping children, ending homelessness, supporting families, or anything else. Explore your options by trying different things. If sorting donations at a food bank isn’t your thing, maybe advocating for an upcoming event, volunteering at a race, or serving meals at a shelter is more your speed. Find something that fits your interests and schedule.
As you focus on recovery and relapse prevention, getting involved in volunteering can be a good way to ease the transition back into society and boost your own well-being while helping others. Find out how volunteering can fit into your recovery plan and how to ensure that you have support along each step of the way by working with the professionals at Seacliff Recovery Center. From detox through sober living, we’ll help you create an individualized plan that meets your needs and goals.