Category Archives: Personal Development

How to Choose a Volunteer Position That Fits You

On a couple of occasions, I have posted about the benefits of being a volunteer. (75 Reasons to Volunteer, 7 Reasons to Volunteer) If you want to make a difference in your community and in your own life, volunteering is the way to go.

Once you’ve decided that you would like to give something back to your community, how decide if a volunteer opportunity is right for you? Create a “shopping list” of things you like to gain from your volunteer experience. What features are essential? What would be ideal if you were designing the volunteer job of your dreams?

Ask yourself these questions when considering a volunteer experience:

  • Does the volunteer role match my interests and values?
  • Am I comfortable with the people I will be helping and the people I will be working with?
  • Will I be able to learn or sharpen my skills?
  • Will I get orientation and training?
  • Will I be able to use some of my own ideas?
  • Does the opportunity fit the amount of time I can give?
  • Is it at a time convenient to me?
  • Does it require a short- or long-term commitment from me?
  • Is there opportunity for advancement or more challenge?
  • Is it in a location I can get to?
  • Are there any expenses like transportation, parking or admission?
  • Does the experience provide me with a written evaluation?
  • Will I get a reference if I do a good job?

Volunteering is a win-win experience. And when you find a volunteer role that’s right for you, everyone comes out ahead.

How Live a Contented Life

William Henry Channing was an American clergyman, writer and philosopher who served as the Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives in 1863 and 64.

The best known of his writings is a simple inspirational piece called the Symphony of Contentment.

To live content with small means.

To seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion.

To be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich.

To study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly.

To listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart.

To bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.

In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden, and unconscious grow up through the common.

This is to be my symphony.

5 Tips to Help Avoid Personal Burnout

For a long time, I was overweight, had high blood pressure and my doctor was concerned about my triglyceride levels.

The solution to this was simple: eat less and exercise more. However, that’s easier said than done. I’m not a Type-A personality and that’s probably the only thing that keeps my stress levels under control.

COVID-19 came along and some of life’s bus(y)ness was put on hold. My weight was at an all-time high, and it was time to do something about it. I started exercising regularly and eating less. Over the space of about six months, I was able to take off twenty-five pounds.

I still have some room to shrink and continue to maintain good habits. In addition to the weight-loss, there are other benefits. My blood pressure is under control. I’m still taking medication, but I’m not experiencing times where the numbers are high. I’m sleeping better and have more energy. And I am not stressed about things.

I’ve learn some lessons. These five behaviours are important for keeping stress under control.

1. Get enough sleep and rest.

Sleep is as important to a healthy lifestyle as eating properly and exercising. Studies have suggested that too little sleep may increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the simplest things you can do to stay healthy.

2. Exercise.

Regular physical activity provides many health benefits: reducing heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and many other diseases and metabolic conditions. Regular exercise is also beneficial for weight reduction and maintenance and may improve brain chemistry to reduce depression.

3. Get rid of the excess pounds.

There are many benefits to losing weight. Keeping at the ideal weight for your height will help maintain lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. You will also lower your risk of health problems such as type II diabetes and heart disease, as well as increase your life expectancy.

4. Eat a balanced diet.

A well-balanced diet is a necessary part of preserving health and reducing stress. A balanced diet includes fruit and vegetables. milk and dairy products, quantities of carbohydrates, vitamins, salts, and minerals. A resource, such as Canada’s Food Guide has all the information you need to help you eat healthy.

5. Take care when you’re ill.

Regardless of age, people are wise to undergo annual physical examinations. While annual physicals cannot ensure that a person will not become ill, the examinations often enable doctors to spot diseases in the early stages. In many cases the early detection of disease can make possible the cure or diminishing of disease.

Often, illness is the body’s way of telling you to slow down. It’s important to pay attention to the message. If you have a cold or flu, take the time to recuperate.

As I write, this is a wake-up call to me. I need to work harder to get my health and fitness under control. If you find yourself dealing with stress and burnout, look to see which of the above behaviours need adjusting.

Celebrate the Fifth Day of Christmas

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, five gold rings.

Think of the gold rings a symbolizing all that you have and share with someone in need.

  • Make a post-Christmas donation to a charity. The need is still there.
  • Go grocery shopping and donate some of your purchases to the local food bank.
  • Give some cash to a panhandler.
  • Buy a coffee for someone on the street.

As you share what you have, much more will come back to you.