Hi, it’s Leslie, and a new report from the US surgeon general says that loneliness is a major health concern, and can affect your physical health as well as your mental and social health. And loneliness doesn’t just affect us adults, kids, especially teens are having a sharp rise in their loneliness. As the mom of two young adults, I can tell you that the amount of high school kids that are depressed is frightening, and the pandemic contributed to a lot of it. But, fortunately, there are some easy ways to combat loneliness.
For example, studies have shown that volunteering helps people feel less isolated, and it also boosts happiness and self-esteem. As you may know, I volunteer every week, helping to transport companion animals from high kill shelters to no kill rescues. We’ve got a great team, and I enjoy seeing everyone each week. Plus, I love animals, so it’s rewarding to know that I’m helping the animals, as well as the families that will adopt and love them. This was a real lifeline for me during the lockdown. Fortunately, we were deemed an essential service, so we continued to transport throughout the entire pandemic.
Finding service opportunities in your own community is a great way to get started. Not only does it give us a sense of purpose, but we get to know our neighbors, and foster relationships.
Do you or have you volunteered? What benefits have you noticed? Let us know in the comments.