Get Outside Yourself: Volunteer

What I'm about to suggest may seem nutty to all those over-worked, under-appreciated Meeting Planners out there. But don't hate too quickly.

VolunteerWant to find a way to help yourself relax? Maybe meet new people or make new contacts to give you a fresh perspective on your life and your work? Do you want to feel the joy that comes with thinking outside of yourself?

Then volunteer.

Yep, that's right. I know you have a heavy schedule and lots of stuff on your mind. Volunteering doesn't have to add to those issues. On the contrary, volunteering might help you deal with them better.

First, you don't have to go it alone. Check with your local PCMA, MPI or other association chapter. Chances are they have a chosen charity or volunteer group they already work with. Ease into it along with colleagues or someone you know.

Try something outside of the industry and open yourself up for new experiences, new challenges and new relationships. It not only gets you away from your desk, but it gives your brain a much-needed change of scenery. You may be surprised by how refreshed you feel at work once you delve into another environment.

Take along a friend or family member when you volunteer and make those relationships stronger, too. You might find new undertakings to bond over, creating anticipation for the next volunteer opportunity.

When it comes to those that need volunteers, the options are limitless. You probably know of some organizations -- maybe your church, local shelter or food bank -- but check your local police department, fire department or animal shelter. They often have volunteer programs, too.

Volunteer and find out that helping others may help yourself.
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