Regaining your Joy by Giving Back
There's one thing that truly helped me find my joy again while living abroad and that was my volunteer work. Ever since I was 18 years old, I’ve committed to various ways of giving back and it has always served me a great sense of joy. I love connecting with people and helping others through their challenges so serving my community has been a huge part of my life.
I’ve mentored young adults, attended terminally ill children, supported patients with brain injuries and worked with cancer patients as a massage therapist. As you can see I’m more inclined to the clinical side of volunteering as I absolutely love science and medicine and have always been intrigued by it. It was actually my dream to become a doctor ever since the 6th grade but life’s events and circumstances diverted me into the holistic approach of life in which I am grateful 😊
When I moved abroad and found myself feeling lost and without purpose it didn’t even dawn on me that going back to my love for serving others was even an option. I couldn’t work as I didn’t have the visa to do so, and it wasn’t until I was able to move through my negative mindset that I realized that just because I was in a different country didn’t mean I still couldn’t do something I loved and found joy in.
I set out to the nearest job center and inquired on the volunteer opportunities in town. They immediately set me up with an organization that supported brain injury patients and I couldn’t have found a better fit. I remained with them until I repatriated back to the states in 2017.
There are so many opportunities out there for you even if you are in a country where you don’t know the language. There's always something that you can do, or at least ‘try’ doing, you just have to get out there and find it.
If you’ve never volunteered before I highly recommend that you try it, especially if you are struggling in your new home abroad. Think about what you love doing, the things that excite you and fill your heart. Whether you teach an art, read to an elderly person, work in an office, hand out meals to the poor or hang out with a young person and share your wisdom, you are needed somewhere. In turn, this will help you grow, get to know your community, make friends and help you move out of your comfort zone. Most importantly, you will be rewarded with joy and happiness.
When you give back, however that might be, you start to receive all the good things in life. The abundance will find you. There’s nothing like the feeling of warmth and goodness in your heart and by giving back to your community, or making a difference for even just ONE person, it’ll open you up to so much joy and you’ll want to continue the journey.
So if there’s anything you’re feeling called to or if you’re seeking guidance out of feeling lonely, sad and/or frustrated, think about helping someone else through their challenges. Whenever you think that you’re alone or down and out, there might be someone else out there who really needs you. Someone who needs your strength, wisdom, caring or help. You’re never alone. You just might have to take the first step in finding your way to them.
Not sure where to start? Just as I did, you can go to your neighborhood job center or temp agency and inquire. I’m sure they'll direct you in the right path if they can't help. Of course there’s always Google! You can search for volunteer listings online. If there’s something in particular that you like doing but can’t find volunteer opportunities online you can always call organizations or groups, etc… that are aligned with your talent and ask them if they might need anyone to volunteer. You never know unless you ask so don’t be shy! Sometimes people will be so grateful for your call/inquiry and take you in OR direct you to another place that might be needing your help. Take a walk into town and see what might strike your interest. Maybe a neighborhood café, library or charity shop could use some extra help(?) Go inside and ask!
I hope that you find your joy, my friend, and that you begin a new journey into more happiness. You’re always welcome to contact me if you need any further guidance or just wanna chat! I’m here for you and would love to connect. You can schedule a chat with me here
Stay well and have a wonderful week!