Self-Care Strategy: Volunteer

Miss America Serves Day is April 7th this year and titleholders, contestants and volunteers will be serving their communities through their personal platform in addition to raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH).

My personal platform is raising awareness of cognitive impairments and the importance of self-care to decrease the effects of stress on the brain. Volunteering is one form of self-care that I have identified as it helps me to focus on the needs of others and how I can help them.

Volunteering is good for your mind and body as it provides many benefits to both your mental and physical health.

Volunteering combats depression.

Reducing the risk of depression is an important benefit of volunteering. A key risk factor for depression is social isolation. Volunteering helps you make positive connections, eliminating isolation, and can contribute to your overall happiness.

According to an article from Harvard Health Publishing volunteering has positive implications that go beyond mental health. A growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.

Evidence of volunteerism’s physical effects can be found in a recent study from Carnegie Mellon University, published in Psychology and Aging. Adults over age 50 who volunteered on a regular basis were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. High blood pressure is an important indicator of health because it contributes to heart disease, stroke, and premature death.

This week, during Miss America Serves week, consider ways to improve your health through volunteering. If you would like to help me make miracles with CMNH, you can donate here. All funds raised go to the local CMNH hospitals.  Whether it is $1 or $100, every dollar counts and can make the difference in the life of a child or the family of a child who is in the hospital.

Visit CMNH to learn more about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

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