Service: The Missing Piece to Your Healing Journey

We are all at different stages of our healing journeys. Some of us are tweaking our diets and focusing on sleep while others are working on stress reduction and adding movement into our daily routines.  We all share the common goals of reducing inflammation, feeling well, and striving for optimal health. It can be frustrating to do “everything right” yet still be symptomatic. One piece that may be missing in your healing journey is service.

Volunteering is good for you

Service gives us perspective. It allows us to take a step back and realize how truly blessed we are, no matter the struggles we are facing. Our struggles may overwhelm us, but we need to remember how far we have come. Every baby step counts in our healing journey, as progress is rarely linear.  By focusing our energy on someone or something other than ourselves, we reduce our stress.

progress is not linear

How can I serve the community?

Depending on your health situation, there are various service opportunities you can become involved with, from volunteering one night a month at a soup kitchen to supporting others online from the comfort of your home. You can volunteer for organizations that advocate for your condition, organizations that support refugees, or organizations that help the homeless. Pick a cause that is meaningful to you. Some of us are passionate about women’s rights, access to healthcare, or animal rights. You may choose to work with an organization that has helped you or a loved one in the past.

Some Types of Service:

Soup Kitchen
Homeless Shelter
Food Pantry
Work w/ domestic violence victims
Work w/ refugees – teach English, help them acclimate, tutor children
Animal Shelter – walk dogs, play w/ animals, foster kittens
Knit blankets & hats for newborns
Help at a walk/race
Cuddle babies in the NICU
Be pen pals with a person in need
Work with the elderly
Volunteer at Senior Center
Volunteer at a library
Donate books to kids in need
Write for The Mighty to educate others about your disease
Volunteer in a hospital: Hospital: pass out desserts to new moms, work w/ child life, spend time with the elderly, patient transport, ect.
The opportunities are endless!

volunteering hondurashabitat for humanity

 

Get Involved

Arthritis Foundation
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Diabetes Foundation 
Dysautonomia International 
Ehlers Danlos Society 
Feeding America 
Habitat for Humanity
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Lupus
Make A Wish
Red Cross
Special Olympics
There are also so many wonderful local organizations you should research in your area.

soup kitchen

Be picky.

Explore the various service projects in your area before discovering your passion.  Through volunteering, you connect with others. You may feel like you are participating in something bigger than yourself, feel more whole, and find purpose and meaning in your life.

Find perspective

There are so many innocent individuals in the world without basic access to food, clean water, shelter, education, or healthcare. We may not be in the best of health, have everything we desire, or be completely content, but there are so many others suffering more than we could ever imagine. It is so important to love more, forgive others, celebrate the small victories, and choose happiness while keeping others in mind.
While we may not be able to change the world, our small acts of kindness make a difference in the lives of those who are suffering.  I urge you to volunteer for your favorite organization, perform random acts of kindness, and take the time to see the beauty in those who are different from you. There may be evil in the world, but there is also so much love. Share the love, spread kindness, and start a chain reaction.  Try to keep an open mind, gain perspective, and report back to me how service has impacted you on your healing journey.

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