If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety or pain, feeling isolated is often a part of the picture.  It’s not your fault – it just kinda comes with the territory for many people.   I understand how difficult it can be to reach out.

On the other hand, part of you may realize how you long to feel productive.   But figuring out how to be productive and what to do can leave you spinning in circles and getting nowhere. Again, that’s so understandable – especially when there’s this grey worry of depression or anxiety that is flavoring your day.

That’s where I come in.  I’m here to help you find ways to feel better that work for you.

Both my kids are active volunteers.  Aaron works for the Humane Society as well as the Mid Michigan Commission on Aging.  Zach  finds about two causes a month to be part of.  Volunteering is a big part of their lives.

This got me thinking about how volunteering may be good for everyone’s mental health:  the volunteer’s who participate working together as a team and those who benefit from their combined efforts.

If you want to feel inspired, read this letter from Zach which describes the Tough Mudder obstacle course he’s in which will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

Hi Family and Friends:

Oh boy what did I get myself into?

I recently signed up for the Tough Mudder: a 10-mile obstacle course on April 10th. Together with my team, we will test our physical and mental toughness while passing through 17 challenges over 10 miles. In addition to being a great opportunity to build teamwork and leadership skills, the Tough Mudder is a chance to help a wonderful organization like the Wounded Warrior Project. The Wounded Warrior Project is a extremely important cause whose mission is to honor and empower wounded service men and women.

Donate Here — Donate one dollar, donate one hundred dollars — whatever you can give will help this great organization. Every donation you make will go directly to help those wounded recover and readjust to life after they serve.

WWP’s works to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in this nation’s history. They aim to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured service members aid and assist each other and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.  Every bit counts. Visit my page to donate directly via Visa or Mastercard at :
http://www.raceit.com/fundraising/fundraise.aspx?event=2837&fundraiser=1665.Feel free to spread the word!

That spirit of helping others as part of being a team can be yourt antidote to isolation that often comes with depression, anxiety and pain.

Needless to say, I donated to this cause because I believe in the spirit of giving to others who have truly done their best to serve our country and are now faced with the daunting task of re-adjusting to life here after going through such trauma.  The best I can offer them is my prayers and money.And, if you’re interested in donating, by all means use the links above.  Zach and the Wounded Warriors will appreciate any financial contribution you would like to make.

If you’ve got more time on your hands than money, consider volunteering locally.  Consider checking this link to www.serve.org or www.1800volunteer.org for more opportunities in your local area where you can help others.

Since I’m not particularly computer savvy, I suggest you just put in your zip code and areas of interest (if you know them) and see what comes up.  I also encourage you to limit your time researching to 30 minutes max to avoid overwhelm.

I’m giving this a try in my own do-able way by volunteering to do inventory at our local food coop.  I love having fresh organic food available, the coop staff are always helpful and I want to give back in a meaningful way.  I know that the way they keep their food stocked is by doing inventory and they don’t have the resources to do inventory with their limited staff.

The key ingredients are to volunteering in a way that works for me are:

  • It’s a cause I believe in
  • I’ll be working as part of a team
  • The hours work for me

Feel free to borrow these criteria if you decide to volunteer your time.

Is volunteering  your time a fit in your life right now?  If it feels like one more “should”, perhaps the answer is no.

On the other hand, maybe you’re overwhelmed – as I was – by how much the world needs our help right now, and what you can really do that would be useful.  I can help you sort that out.  Just ask your questions here, I’ll lead you through and together we’ll find out if this helps you feel better.

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