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Want to Be Happier in 2023? Try Volunteering!

Happy New Year from Vinson Hall Retirement Community! This year, we are excited to give our residents the best year yet—from wellness programming to dining delights to a full calendar of social activities. As you think about your goals for the year, we encourage you to think about ways to get involved as a volunteer, whether it’s putting your old professional skills to work to help an organization in need, or offering an extra set of hands or a friendly smile to an event. The world needs your time and talents and volunteering can also bring the rewards of good health and personal fulfillment in return. It’s a win-win, so make 2023 your happiest year yet through volunteering.

Why Should You Volunteer in Retirement?

When you step back from the working world, you might look up and wonder what’s next. Retirement offers so many benefits, with the privilege of having more time on your hands and fewer responsibility than ever before.  Volunteering is a great way to take advantage of that extra time and put it to use.

Here at Vinson Hall Retirement Community, our residents have backgrounds in military or federal government service, so helping others is in our DNA. As part of our commitment to wellness, we encourage our residents to volunteer in whatever capacity they are able to. Volunteering has many benefits, both physical and mental, for adults in retirement. Let's look at the top 10 reasons why you should consider volunteering:

1. Increase your social interaction.
Volunteering is a great way to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships. Many volunteer projects involve working with others, giving you an opportunity to socialize with people of all ages and backgrounds.

2. Enjoy mental stimulation and maintain cognitive functioning.
Volunteering is an excellent way to stay mentally sharp. Research shows that volunteering activities require knowledge, skills and problem solving, which can help maintain cognitive functioning and may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

3. Stay physically active.
Volunteering often includes activities that get you up and moving, which can reduce risk factors for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. And, being physically active can also reduce the likelihood of falls and other health problems. If physical activity is your primary driver, consider opportunities working at community gardens or walking dogs at the local animal shelter.

4. Give back to the community.
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to give back to your community. You can use your time, energy and career skills to help those in need, perhaps through fundraising or administrative help with area nonprofits, delivering food and clothing donations to those in need, or simply spending time talking with a homebound senior.

5. Foster a renewed sense of purpose.
Volunteering in retirement can give you a new purpose in life by making meaningful contributions to your community while keeping busy and engaged with your life. You’ll also enjoy a renewed outlook from the satisfaction that comes from helping others.

6. Explore new interests.
Volunteering provides you with an opportunity to explore new interests or hobbies. Consider researching area museums to see if they need any support from volunteers, from being a docent to greeting visitors at the front door. Or, look for area events in a field you always wanted to learn about. Volunteering at a one-time event is a great way to get your feet wet.

7. Improve your health.
Volunteering can have positive effects on physical health as well as mental health. Here at Vinson Hall Retirement Community, we want to support our residents with every dimension of wellness—body, mind and spirit. Volunteering has been shown to reduce stress levels, improve mood and even lower blood pressure, in addition to providing the mental stimulation and spiritual benefits of giving back.

8. Maintain your professional network.
Volunteering can provide retirees with valuable opportunities to network and build professional relationships, helping you stay up to date on what is going on in the world around us.

9. Shape the future.
You have unique skills that make you an invaluable resource as a volunteer – you bring years of experience and knowledge essential for creating positive change in our communities and society at large. Volunteering can help you stay connected to the world around you while also making a real difference.

10. Have fun!
Whether it’s learning something new, putting your skills to work, spending time with old friends or meeting someone new, volunteering offers an all-around good time. When you lay your head on your pillow after a day of volunteering, you will sleep easily knowing you made the most of your day.

In short, volunteering in retirement is a great way to reap social, physical and mental health benefits. By giving back to your community, you can play an important role in improving the lives of those around you while simultaneously enjoying the rewards that come with helping others. Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose, provide meaningful service and even improve your health—ultimately leading to greater life satisfaction and emotional wellbeing.

So, if you are looking for ways to stay active in 2023, consider volunteering – your community and your happiness will thank you!

Explore the Vinson Hall Retirement Community Difference

As a not-for-profit organization, we understand the benefits of volunteers—and we love it when residents are able to find meaningful opportunities to give back to our community in Northern Virginia. Whether it is an area organization, a local church, or a resident committee right on campus, we are here to support you as you find your purpose in retirement.

We would love to discuss all the opportunities available at our Life Plan Community, from wellness programming to social activities to volunteering in and around McLean. To learn more, contact us for a consultation or tour. We cannot wait to meet you and show you around!

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