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Ways to Combat Volunteering Anxiety

Volunteering is a great way to spend your time and it can be really rewarding and awesome to do. But as great as volunteering is, it can be hard to put yourself out of your comfort zone and take the steps to start volunteering or begin volunteering regularly.

Start Small. If you have anxiety about volunteering, start volunteering only a little, like once month or once every couple months. You can ease yourself into volunteering and build up to where you’re volunteering more often. Plus, the more you volunteer, the more you will get used to it and get more comfortable with it.

Try Virtual Volunteering. Yes, virtual volunteering is a thing. And you can find tons of opportunities to do so here. These opportunities range from knitting scarves for the Dallas Public Library to helping with social media to buying gifts for kids for Christmas. There is something for everyone when you virtual volunteer because of all the different opportunities. So if you have nerves about volunteering in person, then virtual volunteering is a great way to still help.

Volunteer Where You’re Passionate. Sometimes passion can help you forget about nerves so if you volunteer somewhere you’re just so passionate about, the passion and excitement can help the anxiety and nerves fade to the background. Plus, if you volunteer somewhere you’re passionate, it can be a lot of fun to volunteer. 

Volunteer With Friends. Listen, not everything is great with friends, but volunteering definitely is. With friends, you already know people while volunteering and it’s nice to have people to do things with, especially volunteering. Plus, if it’s the first time volunteering, it can be nice to have people you know if you feel awkward or out of place.

Volunteer for Animals. Animals almost always make things better. So if you have a chance to volunteer surrounded by cute dogs and cats, take that chance. Volunteering at an animal shelter is great if you get nervous around people or feel awkward in social situations. Plus, being able to be around animals can be a great stress reliever.

Be An Advocate. Just because you don’t volunteer regularly doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice or are unqualified to speak about important issues. If volunteering is hard for you, be an advocate, speaking up in unjust situations and for people who need it. Speaking up is better than doing nothing and can be easier than volunteering if you have anxiety.

UNT '20 | Journalism Major | Writer | @HerCampusUNT Contributor | INFJ | Ravenclaw | Nerd | lizzyspangler.com
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