June 12, 2020
Need Cheering Up? Cheer Up Someone Else
Staying sober is not easy. During their using days, addicts have been using alcohol or drugs to self-medicate chronic unpleasant feelings, physical sensations, and negative self-talk. Some refer to the constant stream of negative self talk as being "stuck in my own head." Alcoholic Anonymous recommends that many addicts commit to helping other addicts as a way of "getting out of my head."
Volunteer work is a win-win strategy for turning attention away from one's own problems and turning toward others. Helping those in need is a way to help oneself, most say. I often recommend volunteering as one strategy in the treatment of depression and loneliness. Finding the volunteer experience that's right for you is key.
Some volunteer organizations require a commitment. Other volunteer opportunities are on a case by case basis, where the obligation ends after one or two appearances. When looking for volunteer activities, be sure to investigate the many different volunteer centers for a situation that fits your time constraints and your needs. I typically suggest starting with an organization that asks for occasional participation or a low number of hours (8 hours per month, for example) and get a feel for showing up. Give different types of experiences a try until something feels like a better fit.
Here are a couple suggestions for getting started:
Austin's Public Radio KUT's Get Involved
Central Texas Food Bank
Meals On Wheels with special attention to their Other Programs you might not have heard about
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