Giving to Receive
Keep your mind sharp and contribute to society through volunteerism
Life is not quite the same now that you are retired.
Instead of chasing deadlines at work, you are trying to keep up with gatherings with friends, and devoting more time to your hobbies. Gunning for promotions has also given way to helping to care for your grandchildren.
Despite these changes, a part of you still wants to give back to society and remain productive.
The skills you have built over the years and the experience gained can be put to good use in many areas, such as volunteerism. This is part of active ageing, and seniors have found meaning in serving the needs of their communities and doing something that they find a sense of purpose in.
There is much to gain when you serve with a heart: Active volunteerism helps seniors live healthier and mentally-stimulating lives, enabling them to continue making a difference to society.
Volunteering improves your vocational wellness, which is a key dimension of active ageing. Vocational wellness refers to our ability to gain personal satisfaction from our endeavours — be it voluntary work or a career — while still maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Giving up your time for good causes produces tangible benefits for your emotional, spiritual and physical health. Besides helping you stay engaged with people, volunteering nurtures your social well-being and helps to improve your confidence and self-esteem. According to experts, senior volunteers feel increased well-being and greater satisfaction in life compared to non-volunteers.
In addition to these benefits, you get opportunities to expand your skill sets, as many volunteering opportunities provide comprehensive training programmes.
Take the first step to becoming healthier and more active. Contact a voluntary welfare organisation (VWO) and find out how you can contribute your skills and experience. You could lend a helping hand by befriending less privileged seniors, manning the telephone helpline or chaperoning outings.
Teaching art classes at your community centre is also a meaningful affair if you are artistically inclined. How about volunteering your time at a museum? It will give you a chance to learn about art history.
When you choose to give of yourself, the whole community benefits — and you do too. Produced by the TODAY Special Projects Team.
Make Volunteering More Meaningful
Choose activities that make the best use of your creativity, energy and talents. It can be mentoring the younger generation or volunteering as a guide in parks and museums. Tap on your capabilities and interests, and focus on finding something you love.
Volunteering should be meaningful, fun and reinvigorating. Be committed to it, but at the same time, ensure that you still have time to enjoy other things in life.
You can also check out volunteer opportunities available at http://www.c3a.org.sg/volunteerism/