Let's talk about volunteering and social days.
Last year I had the chance to work for BERLINER STADTMISSION and learned how important the volunteers are for organisations to keep their missions running. Usually they have peaks of people wanting to volunteer for Christmas and Easter or if a big crisis happens, like the attacks in Ukraine last year.
"Serve those, who are serving others." (Simon Sinek)
Yet, even outside of these "big events" every helping hand is always welcome! It is a great team building exercise, too. I can highly encourage to have social days at your company or allow your team time off to use the hours and donate the time to an organisation. The experience that make volunteering, will positively affect how they will interact at work.
Plus, we had several volunteers coming from companies and then even started volunteering in their free time.
Volunteering/ service can add to becoming happier as you practice gratefulness, service and appreciation. Create service into a habit and you will notice, how beneficial it can be for your overall mood. ("Think like a monk", Jay Shetty)
Volunteering can be tough, especially if it is caused by some partly triggering or emotional challenging experiences. I learned this myself working with our volunteers. Seeing them struggle with scenes that they saw in the refugee arrival center or with stories that the refugees told them... it really can touch you deeply. Yet, the big lesson is to show empathy and still not turn into your problem.
As a means of stress prevention and ongoing care for the volunteers, my team mates and I create a small program. Like a "train the train", we started "Help the Helper". Because even if you are the one supporting, it is absolutely ok to seek and need support yourself. Which is actually true for everyday life, too. We used easy portable practices that can be done even while you are on service. So you relieve without other people are even noticing it. Our volunteer even carried these practices into their regular work as they experienced them as very beneficial for their wellbeing.
And I am quite proud to say, that our preventive approach even made it on the agenda for a workshop the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz e.V. | German Red Cross
One easy practice I like to share here is the bubbles. I always carried them with me.
1. Bubbles let me take deep inhales and exhales
2. Bubbles instantly make me happy (and others)
3. Bubbles distract others, especially crying kids, from a stressful moment
The other item you see in the pic is a red nose that I received from one of the clowns from ROTE NASEN Deutschland e.V. , another great organisation and easy item to use.
I encourage you:
- Donate your time and volunteer, your help is needed
- Research. Which organisation, which project, etc. ...
- Prepare yourself/ your team for the potential experiences (I am happy to help you here)