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Volunteerism Helps if Bipolar Causes Gaps in Work History

September 30, 2011 Peter Zawistowski

Volunteerism helps you to get better after a mental illness relapse and fills in gaps in your work history. Here's how volunteerism benefits you (and others).

If you have trouble working as many of us with bipolar disorder do, volunteering is a practical and purposeful way to contribute and expand on your personal assets. There are many ways and places to contribute and do and feel better.

How Volunteerism Helps You

  • You can receive and experience some real world training.
  • You can use a volunteer situation to get into daily or weekly work routines.
  • If you are looking for a limited amount of hours per day or per week, volunteering is the way to go.
  • You will gain new experiences.
  • You will learn more about your strengths.

I have belonged to several volunteer groups over the years. I have held many positions from being a volunteer worker bee to a press officer, to being in charge of a much larger group. Each nonprofit organization along the way meant more experiences and learning more about my own capabilities.

Where to Find Volunteerism Opportunities

There are many volunteer groups, everything from small organizations to organizations with thousand of members. They range from the Red Cross and the Salvation Army to museums or animal shelters that need dog walkers or cat companions. Some actually demonstrate military or historical events.

Don't forget that just because an organization has a certain focus, such as an aviation or automotive group, they still need people who can man a grill, who can do some PR or help out with a newsletter. If the volunteer organizations are similar to the ones I'm involved with, it's likely they will accept any help they can get.

Ask a friend or two about any of the organizations they belong to. Try going to the meetings of any of these volunteer organizations that you find. I also suggest going to three meetings before you make up your mind on staying or trying another organization.

Remember some organizations have one major event during the year or may have something every weekend during the summer when things everything is hopping and nothing during the winter. It is not wrong to tell people you can’t commit more than so many hours a week or month. You can certainly volunteer more hours than you promised.

Keep in mind the commitments you made to the organization. Remember some organizations have one major event during the year or may have something every weekend during the summer when things everything is hopping but nothing during the winter. It is not wrong to tell people you can’t commit more than so many hours a week or month. You can certainly volunteer more hours than you promised.

Treat your volunteer work as though it is business work. Be punctual, have a good attitude and enjoy what you do. Who knows, you might keep the volunteerism up when you step back into work. Have some fun even if you are working at it. Don't let bipolar slow you down!

APA Reference
Zawistowski, P. (2011, September 30). Volunteerism Helps if Bipolar Causes Gaps in Work History, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/workandbipolarordepression/2011/09/volunteerism



Author: Peter Zawistowski

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