Get Out & Get Involved
Getting to know other people is fun. It forces us to get out of our comfort zone and open up to new things and often new opportunities. I totally understand that it’s called our “comfort” zone for a reason – it feels good. But let me tell you;
despite it feeling like home… you won’t grow there.
You can help yourself thrive by choosing to step out and breaking routine. This can be just the spark you need to “level up.” We have all felt stagnant at one time or another, and the simplest way to side step that rut is to look outside of yourself. Help someone and in turn you will help yourself.
Helping others will not only benefit them, but it might even lead to a healthier YOU! Some research has found that volunteering is associated with lower depression, increased well-being, and a 22% reduction in the later risk of dying. Sounds like a win-win to me! We all want to leave a memorable mark and contribute something positive to the world, but often it’s hard to know where to start. How many days has “find volunteer opportunities” sat on your to-do list unchecked? Yeah, I get it.
So let’s start small.
Do you even know where your local community center is?
Yes, your community center.
" Community Centers are public locations where members of a community tend to gather for group activities, social support, public information, and other purposes. They may sometimes be open for the whole community or for a specialized group within the greater community."
While it might be difficult initially to find time to commit to volunteering on a recurring scheduled basis (most ongoing opportunities require a commitment of 1 hour minimum per week) getting to know your community center is a great place to start. Often times there will be free gatherings, events, celebrations and initiatives that you can take part in as an effort to meet your neighbors, or by lending a hand as a volunteer to help ease the load. Whether it’s running a friendly 5k, cleaning the beach as a part of an “Earth Cleanup” initiative, or judging the Senior Gumbo Cook off; it will feel good to get out and give back locally. Community centers also often place a large emphasis on supporting the local youth who can greatly benefit from having positive, influential, mature adults like yourself around! :) Research has shown that every 1 percent increase in the adult-to-youth ratio in a given community, there was a 1 percent decrease in the rate of young people dropping out before graduating high school.
Also, did you know that most community centers give discounts on their services for those that live within the same zip-code? Who doesn’t like saving money? Saving money & helping people… well there’s another win-win my friend! You can save on dog training courses, gym memberships, fitness classes, day care needs, kids activities, movie nights, senior outings and more.
Community centers are built on a foundation of supporting the local community at all levels, bringing people together, and lifting everyone up. Everyone deserves support, to feel good, and to feel a part of something bigger than themselves. So get out and get involved. Find your community center, and level-up together!