The coronavirus pandemic has led to the practice of social distancing, creating feelings of stress and isolation in many of us. Some groups have been hit particularly hard, including the elderly, parents juggling work and child care, and people who have lost their jobs. Against this backdrop, many people have turned to volunteering to help make a difference, even at a distance.
By Elizabeth Hopper
New research suggests that volunteers aren’t just helping the communities they serve. People who volunteer actually experience a boost in their mental health—good news at a time when more than a third of Americans are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression.
In a study published this year in the Journal of Happiness Studies, researchers examined data from nearly 70,000 research participants in the United Kingdom, who received surveys about their volunteering habits and their mental health, including…