Volunteering is amazing! You get to know new places, new people, different cultures while you are improving and gaining skills that can help you in the moment and in the future. You rarely get bored because when you are not working, you are planning activities for your association, traveling, making plans with other volunteers, catching up with family and friends and so much more. Time flies here and you want to get the most out of it, but sometimes it is just too much and you need to stop. This has happened to me and I think that it may happen to you eventually, so I hope that my experience and this post can help you if you are feeling a little bit overwhelmed. After all, volunteering is about solidarity right?
This experience has been one of the best moments in life to be just...me. It’s funny because when you are a kid, adults usually tell you to be yourself so you wonder “how am I not going to be myself?” And when you grow older you start to understand why they were telling this after you adapt to the standards that the society imposes on you. Then, life takes you to places like this one where you can grow so much and be the best version of yourself. One that doesn’t have to worry about what the others are going to think of your actions or behaviors because, as long as you don’t hurt anyone, is okay.
And I am really lucky to meet and share this with so many creative, understanding, accepting, open-minded, supporting, loving, funny and crazy people that, more than friends, have become family. We have built a community leaving aside labels, judgements and embracing the best of everyone and each one of us. But, like it happens in every family, sometimes you just need a break from everyone and everything. Especially if you spend all the time with them like it happens here. You can love them so much like I do, but you may have days when you would kill them for the most little stupid thing.
That’s why it’s so important to find time for yourself to recharge batteries and be able to give your 100% every day. You are going to see the same people when you get up in the morning, go to the office, deliver the activities, go back home, live with and go to sleep at the end of the day. It’s literally the whole day and, even if you feel good and comfortable with them, it can be exhausting sometimes.
So, what can you do about it?
● Go for a walk. Especially, after a hard and stressful day of work, doing it with or without music is great! You can go to your favorite place or discover new spots in your city or town. You can even go somewhere to watch the sunset and spend a nice moment reflecting or just enjoying the views.
● Do meditation. If you like this kind of stuff, I assure you that it is really nice to do it, if not every day, from time to time. It gives you such a feeling of calmness and peace that all your energies are renewed and the good thing is that you have a lot of different podcasts that you can listen to, according to your needs at every moment.
● Scream to release all your frustration. Wow! This is another level, and if you haven’t done it yet, you don't know what you are missing. Because sometimes you just feel the need to yell and there’s nothing wrong about that. So, find a place when you feel at peace and just scream until your throat hurts if it’s necessary.
● Write down at the end of the day. This is one of my favorite things to close a really hard day. It’s an amazing way of taking all the bad stuff out of your system, even more so if you don’t feel comfortable opening up to others. And the best thing about this is that, when you are finished, you can start to focus again on the good things that actually happened that day.
● Take long baths with chill music and candles. This method doesn’t only clean your body, but also your soul! You can really see the change of your face in the mirror right after you finish and you feel so fresh that honestly nothing or no one bothers you anymore.
● Buy a ticket somewhere to spend a day outside alone. For me this was the last resource to disconnect but, if you like to travel and discover places on your own, it’s a great choice to go out of the bubble we usually live in. If you feel overwhelmed around people, you will feel better immediately when you are sitting in the seat of the train, bus or however you want to escape. Take this opportunity to walk around a new city or one that you already know and like, sit down on a terrace and enjoy your own company with your favorite poison and you can also do some or all of the things I told you above. And at the end of the day you will feel like coming back from a long vacation when you get to the bubble again.
It’s incredible the healing power that these things can have on you and your mental health, especially when being surrounded by the same people so much time can make you forget a little bit about yourself. The truth is that these small acts can change your mood so much and it’s a way to reconnect with you. At least, all of those things have helped me in the moments that I’ve felt down and needed to find my own motivation to continue with this unique adventure in the best mood possible.
And do you know what is the best thing for me about taking me-time? Going back to my volunteering family and enjoying them. Because, at the end of the day, the best thing of this experience are the moments and memories that we are creating together and I will take with me forever.
So, this is what I do when I need to disconnect but, how about you? Do you do some of these things or do you have any other tips? If so feel free to tell them in the comments so we can help each other!