The Spirit of Christmas
3rd December 2018
As you know I'm on a mission to move Christmas away from the overtly commercial event it's become and back to something that's both more manageable and meaningful for most of us and it seems that I'm not alone.
The Daily Mail is currently highlighting the Hospital Helpforce, an organisation which puts volunteers in a host of roles around the NHS which mean that highly skilled staff can get on with their job. They're suggesting 3 hours each week or one day per month, which seems jolly reasonable and a wonderful thing to do.
However, not all of us want to work in such a field so what are the other alternatives?
Well, there are countless organisations out there for you to get involved with so here are a few ideas:
- Your local schools - I bet they'd bite your hand off to have someone help at events or with some admin
- The NCVO has a list of over thirteen thousand organisations looking for volunteers HERE
- Do-It has a list of organisations HERE
- The National Trust always needs people HERE
However, don't think that this is a completely altruistic move on my part. For women over 40 self confidence, self esteem can often be a real challenge, but there are countless studies that show the benefits of volunteering and even more amazing is that the benefits are strongest in those of us over 40 years old ( see BMJ article HERE) In fact, there are no firm results surrounding volunteering and a positive impact on your mental health UNTIL you are over 40, when the results are very real. Who knew?
As we move into Christmas I'm not for a moment suggesting that you take away the beauty of the season, the food, the parties, the gifts and the fun, but I'm saying think about extending it into not just being about that. Think about giving the gift of your time and life experience to your community in 2019, and the very real "Do Good, Feel Good" benefits that come back to us lucky 40+ women.