Thursday, January 28, 2021

Isolated and Alone? Want to Feel Better, Volunteer!

 On the street corner of a large City stands a Man though we are not sure what he is waiting for. Walking along comes another man who reaches into his pocket, pulls out a ten dollar bill and hands it to the waiting Man. The Man getting the ten dollar bill is excited, and does not know what to say other than say thank you.

This scene repeats for some weeks until one day the Man giving away the ten dollar bill doesn't show up. The waiting Man changes from expecting the money to being angry. "Where is that Bum with my ten dollars!", he thinks to himself.

In some ways, we are that man. Before the pandemic we did what we did, and it became an expectation we would keep doing it. Now that we can't do those things we used to do, we rail against the air. Some of us are unhappy, others depressed, feeling the weight of isolation weighing heavily.

Our feelings are a result of the choices we either have not made or refuse to make. We do not need to feel isolated. perhaps we can not do all the things we were doing a year ago, but life goes on. Life changes, circumstances change. We need to change and adapt too. If we refuse to change and adapt we become extinct, sometimes literally, as some people see suicide as an only alternative to their lost pre pandemic life.

In a world of constant change, it is surprising how entitled we can feel and anti change we become. We can't do a few things we used to do, and we refuse to do things we can. We blame the pandemic because our world has changed and we have not.

If you are in the group that feels lost and isolated, you can make changes in your life to replace many things you used to do. The best way to break a habit is replace it with another habit. The best way to bring value back into your life is to create positive change. You do not have to sit in a proverbial dark room feeling lost and alone.

One simple way to feel good about yourself and your life is to Volunteer. As silly as volunteering may sound, making changes in another's life, makes a world of difference to our own lives and feelings of self worth. Become a pen pal either through email or snail mail and brighten someones life who may be shut in for reasons besides the pandemic.

Being a Pen-pal only takes a few minutes of your day and the satisfaction of making a friend, puts your life in perspective. Pen-pals can easily be found by doing a search for, "Pen Pals" on the web. Look through the list of sites and check a few sites out. Being a Pen-pal, you may make a connection at a deep level with someone like you.

If you want something more people oriented, check out the world of volunteering. Being a volunteer is both satisfying and rewarding. I have been a volunteer computer instructor, IT department, English as a second language, and a mentor for grade school and high school kids. Volunteer requirements have changed a little with the pandemic, but the need is still there. Someone needs you in their life.

Doing something for others feels good, I won't lie. If you have certain talents, share them. If you can cook or bake, taking part of your day and make something, and share your creation with a neighbor or a stranger on the corner. This opens up a world of possibilities.

Someone you share your food with may receive from you the only real food they will have that day. A few cookies given to neighbor may lead to life changes you never imagined. You may find yourself being offered a position you never dreamed of. When I was a computer tutor, I was offered a job of running the Computer Center. Who would have thought?

If you do not know what you want to do, but want to do something, web sites or phone calls to your local American Red Cross is a great option. You may end up volunteering for a non profit organization doing something you always wanted to learn, to a much needed virtual support volunteer position. Use the web to help find something you want to do. Search using, "Volunteering" to find local and national web sites that may have something that sparks your interest.

If you do not feel any of these choices are you, create your own search. Volunteering for animals may be a comfortable option for you to try.  Volunteering with Animals can be as expansive or exclusive as you want. You may be doing anything from cleaning and maintaining, photography, socializing, exercising animals, or animal outreach programs. You could be a volunteer at your local Zoo. You may also have the choice of being part of a group or working as an individual.

There is no reason to feel alone and isolated, unless you choose to be alone and isolated. The world is always changing. If you have not change with the, you are missing out on levels of personal satisfaction you never new existed.

Do not limit yourself and your options as to what you can do. Almost any interest you have needs Volunteer help. If you have many interests and a lot of free time, you can be a Pen Pal on Mondays, a Dog Walker on Wednesdays, a Tutor on Tuesday and Thursdays using Zoom or other Social media. This is a great time to expand your horizons and try something new. Be a Volunteer!

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