Safety and Self Care

Volunteers are the core of caring communities. They show their support through commitment, dedication and a willingness to support through busy times, challenging times and even now in times of community distress with COVID.

Volunteers want to help but a core area of focus is safety and self care; physical distancing is the recommended course for containing virus spread. As we take care of ourselves, we in turn take care of others by practicing the recommended public health protocols.

If you are volunteering formally with an organization or informally helping your social circle, ask yourself: Am I well enough to volunteer? Have I used precautionary measures (handwashing, measured distancing), Have I been in contact with someone who is unwell?

These questions help take care of yourself and those around you. Vital questions now and in the future for the health of all. Health, however, is not just determined by physical health. It is also determined by our mental well-bring.

Now in our daily lives and in future volunteer roles, self care is as important as safety.

Here are some ideas to support your mental health and well-being:

  • Be kind with yourself; and to those around you. Being gentle with ourselves and others recognizes that we are all managing as best we can in each moment.
  • Embrace the calm. There are many resources including CMHA for techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and breathing deeply. If you or those around you need support, click here.
  • Set limits. News and social media can be overwhelming; choose when and what helps you control your intake. Find a trusted source of news and limit your consumption (once a day or no more than one hour a day as examples).
  • Set a routine. This will look different if you are no longer volunteering your regular shifts. Perhaps this time could be replaced with a new commitment; a daily walk, video call with family or writing in a journal or gathering quotes of inspiration.
  • Reach out; we all need support. FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts with family, friends, community and spiritual groups. We are all in this together.
  • Focus on you! Good nutrition and hydration, exercise and quality sleep are vital for our well-being.

There are many resources available to support your well-bring, including at this time during COVID19. We invite you to visit our this link for those resources and more in our Community Information database.

This is part of an ongoing blog series to celebrate National Volunteer Week from April 19-25, 2020.

Posted on April 22, 2020

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