National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Volunteering: the final answer to either loneliness or depression
Posing the question “loneliness or depression” is often erroneously compared to the chicken or the egg conundrum, as if identifying the genesis of one will identify the best way forward in controlling and treating the other.
The danger there however, is that we can run the risk of becoming so academic about “working out” what came first, i.e. the loneliness or depression; that we lose sight of the big picture; namely: the best way to manage the symptoms and the associated effect it has on our quality of life.
One thing is for absolutely certain however: whether we have loneliness or depression, it is a guarantee that the other will follow shortly thereafter and the two work in tandem with one another to lower mood, increase apathy and sap energy.
Helping others gives a positive energy
Oftentimes people become totally blind-sided by the intensity of their feelings of being down that they struggle to then choose the best way forward. “How will I meet people my own age?” “How will I fill my day with productive activity?”
Volunteering is without a doubt, one of the most singularly powerful tools at your disposal for the elimination of anxiety and depression. Simply stated, volunteering ticks many of the advanced needs espoused by the Maslow hierarchy.
Volunteering will give an unprecedented level of access to socialise with people from different backgrounds and walks of life, as well as providing a massive boost to the self-esteem. Just think, you are directly responsible for making a positive difference and constructive change in someone’s life.
People often experience loneliness or depression as a result of money and or job worries; the uncertainty of being able to pay their bills and worrying about what the future has in store for them preys on their mind.
Furthermore, in these economically turbulent times where job security is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity, volunteering will provide you with either specialisation within a particular niche of a given field or, the ability to develop professional skills in a new one entirely.
So, dear reader, if you ever find yourself wrestling with loneliness or depression, then give some serious thought to volunteering. As a wise man once said (and no, it wasn’t me) “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”
In other words, with too much free time on our hands, we will fixate and ruminate on what we cannot control. So take back the control. Liberate yourself and start living your life on your terms!