Self Care for the Volunteer

Volunteers are the backbone of community.  They are the supporters of the programs that help us when we are in need.  But, when the pressure of a role becomes too much, or we have a bad day, who is it that helps the helper?  This is where the importance of self-care becomes apparent.  Self-care refers to taking the time and energy to care for yourself, and help yourself cope with the stressors of life.  It is essential that as a volunteer, you are putting the same care and love towards yourself as you would towards the programs you serve.

Here a few simple tips to promote self-care:

Stay hydrated

  • Some volunteer positions may involve lots of physical activity. It is critical that you drink enough water to fuel your body and keep yourself hydrated.

Get enough sleep

  • Yawning is not a good look. Your body needs sleep to properly function, and you’ll feel the difference a good night’s sleep can make in your volunteer role.

Learn to say no

  • “No” can be a hard word to hear, and sometimes even harder to say. We need to respect our own boundaries of what we can and cannot take on.  Don’t be afraid to say “no” when needed.

Stay home if you’re sick

  • Sometimes we feel a lot of pressure to perform, even when we are not in the state of health to do so. If you are feeling under the weather, give yourself the time needed before returning to your volunteer duties.

Be kind to yourself

  • Nobody is perfect, and mistakes happen. Even as a skilled volunteer, things will not always go as we hoped.  When this happens, forgive yourself and move on.

This is part of an ongoing blog series to celebrate National Volunteer Week from April 7 – 13, 2019.

This series is generously sponsored by the Old Quebec Street Shoppes.  Located in the scenic heart of downtown Guelph, Old Quebec Street occupies a unique role in the history of the city—a role which continues to evolve with time. Part shopping centre, part office space, Old Quebec Street provides a charming and memorable experience to visitors; an experience that is intimately tied to its history.

Posted on April 13, 2019