Continuing where we left off from Don’t Get SAD in Columbus This Winter, a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) series where we delve deep into the heart of Columbus, Ohio, to explore how a single beneficial approach can be adapted into a diverse array of practical self-care choices aimed to address the specific needs of Columbus residents. By offering tailored options for self-care that align with the local environment and community dynamics, we aim to tackle the pressure and challenges individuals face in this vibrant city.
The arrival of colder months doesn’t just usher in salt trucks, slick streets, or SAD itself, but it also brings an added layer of difficulty for those facing hardships. This series entry will explore how participating in volunteer work can be a powerful antidote since research, like that of the Cleveland Clinic, states, “[volunteering] has been shown to decrease stress levels, depression, anxiety and boost your overall health and satisfaction with life.”
Many organizations provide essential services to those in need during the winter months, and typically, there is a significant demand for volunteers to help distribute supplies, organize shelters, and provide support. Allowing volunteers to directly impact the lives of others and be part of a collective effort to alleviate suffering for those in need has proven to contribute to the ease of seasonal affective disorder.
STIR UP BIG CHANGES AT COLUMBUS FOOD BANKS & KITCHENS
The Mid-Ohio Food Bank not only provides meals to those in need but also offers education and resources to help combat hunger at its root. With various volunteer opportunities available, from sorting donations and distributing food to advocating and gardening, there’s a way for everyone to get involved.
Another noteworthy option is the Faith Mission‘s community kitchen, which serves daily meals to homeless individuals and families. Volunteers have the chance not only to assist with meal preparation and serving but also engage with the visitors, offering a warm smile or compassionate conversation along with their nourishing meals. These experiences can be incredibly humbling and eye-opening for volunteers seeking ways to give back in Columbus while relieving symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
OFFERING REFUGE IN KINDNESS AT COLUMBUS HOMELESS SHELTERS
Volunteering at a homeless shelter in Columbus, Ohio, is an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of those in need. The Community Shelter Board is one such organization that provides various volunteer opportunities to support the local homeless community. They state their “system of care served 15,000 people last year with homelessness prevention, shelter, street outreach, rapid re-housing, and permanent supportive housing.” So, from serving meals to organizing donations, there are a multitude of ways to get involved and contribute time and effort.
The Open Shelter offers a wide array of volunteering opportunities, from taking in and sorting donations to administrative duties.
LifeCare Alliance presents another avenue for volunteering in Columbus by offering programs ranging from assisting in their pantry to one-time group opportunities that directly impact individuals experiencing homelessness. Through these hands-on experiences, volunteers can build meaningful connections with those they serve while positively impacting their well-being.
Organizations like the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless offer volunteer programs beyond just donations, allowing participants to engage with and support those experiencing homelessness during these harsh winter months.
Volunteering at a shelter both makes a difference in the lives of others while offering volunteers an opportunity to uplift their spirits and find solace from the effects of seasonal affective disorder.
SPREAD WARMTH THROUGH CLOTHING DRIVES AROUND COLUMBUS
There are numerous opportunities to give back and make a difference through winter clothing drives in Columbus. The Salvation Army‘s annual coat drive provides an avenue for both donation and volunteering, giving individuals the chance to directly impact their community by providing essential warmth to those in need.
At One Warm Coat, you can directly witness the impact of your efforts as you help prepare them for distribution to individuals and families facing hardship. Volunteering provides a special chance to engage with a variety of members of the Columbus community, all while collaborating toward a common goal. Whether folding clothes alongside fellow volunteers or engaging in conversations with donors dropping off their contributions, the experience fosters a deep sense of empathy and understanding.
Additionally, local businesses and schools often organize their own clothing drives, presenting opportunities to get involved. These initiatives provide practical relief and create unity and empathy within the community. Individuals actively contribute to ensuring that others can access warm clothing by participating in these winter clothing drives.
By bringing people together for a common cause, these drives foster bonds within communities and emphasize the importance of supporting one another through difficult times. This communal support can be especially beneficial for individuals struggling with SAD as it allows them to engage with others and experience moments of joy amidst the challenging season.
FREEZIN’ FOR A REASON WITH A NEIGHBORHOOD VOLUNTEER TEAM
A satisfying way to combat the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder is by starting or being a part of a local neighborhood volunteering team. Activities like shoveling snow for neighbors or walking around and checking on neighbors needing assistance provide physical exercise and a sense of accomplishment and community engagement. As you work alongside your neighbors to clear driveways and sidewalks or check on others, you’ll feel the connection and warmth that comes from supporting one another during challenging weather. This kind of volunteer work can be especially physical, so know your limits, but it can also be uplifting for those experiencing SAD, as it encourages social interaction and helps combat feelings of isolation.
GETTING BACK WHAT YOU PUT IN
It’s clear that volunteering doesn’t just benefit the community, but it also offers significant advantages for those struggling with seasonal affective disorder by providing a sense of purpose and fulfillment while combating feelings of isolation and a sense of depression commonly experienced during SAD.
FEELING THE EFFECTS OF SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER? THERAPY IN COLUMBUS, OHIO CAN HELP
Sometimes, volunteering isn’t enough to combat the effects of SAD, but a trained mental health therapist can help. You can take the first step to feeling more like the summer you by contacting us for an appointment. Your counseling journey with Blue Boat Counseling begins with these easy steps:
- Get in touch with us by clicking the scheduling button below
- Meet with one of our highly skilled counselors
- Start on your path to improved mental health and feeling more like you!
THERAPY SERVICES OFFERED AT BLUE BOAT COUNSELING
Our therapists offer many mental health services to help a variety of needs. In addition to treating Seasonal Affective Disorder, we also offer therapy for teens, families, couples, veterans as well as treatment for anxiety, depression, and trauma. Online therapy is also an option for those living in the state of Ohio. Contact us to get scheduled for an appointment and check out our blog for more information on mental health.