Maddie Davies' life has improved with just two hours a week of volunteer work at a charity shop.
The 19-year-old's entire life was impacted by the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome seven years prior.
There is currently no cure for this disorder, which is characterized by extreme exhaustion.
I felt lonely, Maddie from Cardiff said, "because I couldn't go to school and all my friends were still in school.".
My self-assurance and self-esteem were completely destroyed.
"Working at the charity shop and therapy have helped me a lot right now. ".
Her experience is in line with the results of a recent Public Health Wales survey, which revealed that nearly three-quarters of people actively choose to assist others in order to safeguard and enhance their own mental wellbeing.
Being a volunteer is not a cure-all. Maddie has received counseling to assist her in focusing on creating small, doable goals.
"You get a burst of confidence when you do them," she said. "I was so exhausted after my first hour of volunteering in the charity shop that I had to take a nap afterward. ".
She did, however, say that she felt fantastic after accomplishing her goal.
When Maddie overextends herself, she may experience joint and muscle pain, migraines, and other symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, which limits what she can do.
I used to enjoy hiking, but I can't do it any longer without forgoing a few days of recovery time.
Since I don't know how my health will be, I'll be completely honest: I don't consider what I want to do in the future. It would be too difficult for me to have a comprehensive plan and then for it not to materialize. ".
Through volunteering, she has developed a strong sense of self-worth.
"Knowing that the little I can do, even though it's only a little, still helps those who are less fortunate than me. Simply amazing, that.
I am unable to name a single friend who is my age who does not experience anxiety or social anxiety.
Knowing that I work with the same group of people every day and that they are all wonderful has really helped with that, she said. It's a secure environment where you can put your trust in everyone.
"I understand that it won't work for everyone, but compared to where I was a few years ago, I do feel more optimistic about the future now. ".
A recent survey conducted by Public Health Wales found that nearly three-quarters of people in Wales decide to assist others in order to safeguard and enhance their own mental health.
The survey, according to Dr. Catherine Sharp of Public Health Wales, is still in the pilot stage but aims to solicit opinions from the general public on a variety of issues that could influence future policies.
"We need to comprehend what the public thinks and how we can collaborate with them to change patterns in order to understand what we should be doing and the direction we should be heading in.
We can look to build on those components now that we know where the public is already focusing their attention. .
"For instance, 72% of people are interacting with nature. That's awesome. This is a free resource that is right outside our door in Wales.
"Perhaps those who are already reaping the rewards can share and propagate that message in their neighborhood so that others can reap the rewards as well.