Get the spark back with GoodGym
Relight your love for volunteering in your community
September 03, 2021
While we are hearing a lot about a 'new' normal, its the 'old' normal that might just be wearing us down .. here's how GoodGym is bringing back the spark!
During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw communities join together and individuals supporting friends, neighbours and communities in a way they'd never done before. We collected shopping, we checked on each other, we said 'good morning' to everyone was saw on our daily exercise. We connected over Zoom, we collected prescriptions for the shielding, we paused, we clapped, we took a moment to appreciate what it felt like to pull together.
For many GoodGym volunteers, we did what we always did, albeit often in a reduced, controlled capacity, on our own or in much smaller and distanced teams. Many GoodGym areas adapted to providing Covid-relief efforts such as helping at food banks or delivering shopping to isolated or older people. We kept going, but we changed.
It's been a few weeks now since we have seen the gradual return of Group Runs and many of our Area Activators have noted a reduction in numbers at sessions since pre-pandemic. There are of course logistical reasons for this, our Groups returned just as schools broke up for summer, which often signals fewer sign ups due to changes in child care, holidays and a different routine. Remote working is still a 'thing' for many of us too, and again that causes a change in routine (or location!) from office days.
How are we side stepping burnout?
Volunteer burnout, or 'volunteer fatigue' is a real thing. It's not just GoodGym that are feeling it in some places, parkrun have returned with many eager to be back running and volunteering in their local parks after such a long break, but several parkruns reporting difficulty in recruiting the required volunteers to go ahead. Volunteers experiencing burnout may start to feel worn out, needing more time for themselves, or sadly feeling under appreciated.
At GoodGym we seem to be working through a solution!
What's the answer?
If you're feeling a little volunteer-fatigued, the best place to start is to ask yourself why. Is there a reason you're feeling worn out and can you find yourself a big red RESET button to press? Here are a few ways to reboot your volunteer cheer.
Take a switch You can run or walk with any GoodGym area, despite you having a 'home'. If you're lucky enough to live near a few GoodGym areas, then signing up to a community mission or group run in a different place can give you a break from the norm and a chance to meet new people doing good things. Find out if you have another GoodGym local to you, enlist a buddy if it helps and get going.
Spread the joy Bringing someone along to GoodGym for the first time can remind you why you love to volunteer in the first place. Share your love for making a difference and impart wisdom that they might pay forward to someone else.
Make yourself accountable Sign up to it, and stick to it. Whether it's one session a week, one a month, or a return to a long-forgotten community mission you once adored, signing up and getting it done can be a huge mental tick in a box.
Remember why you're doing it This might sound like hard work, but reflecting on why you got started with GoodGym (or any other volunteering you do!) can be a powerful way of making sure you get back into a good habit. Journaling a few sentences before or after a session with pen and paper or via the Notes app on your phone gives you a ready-made guide on why volunteering is so good for you.
See you back at a GoodGym near you, soon 💖