Your retirement should be one of the best times in your life. It’s a time where you can really reflect on yourself and find out what makes you tick. Of course, as you probably won’t want to spend every hour of your life reflecting upon your choices, and as such you’ll need something to keep yourself busy now that you don’t have your job. You probably already know what you enjoy doing, and have some hobbies in mind, but do you think you might be interested in something new? If that sounds like fun to you then you’ll find a list of possible new activities for you to get involved in.
Gardening to stay Active
Gardening is a chance to express yourself creatively while doing carefree scientific experiments from your own home; it engages both of your brain’s hemispheres, and is a wonderful source of low-intensity, low-impact exercise. You’ll likely find yourself going into a meditative stay due to the level of focus and care needed while gardening. You’ll even find yourself preventing, or perhaps curbing, some degenerative diseases thanks to the fact that you’ll be using all of your motor skills. You’ll be making wonderful creations, and depending on what you do you might even create your own fruits and vegetables for you and your loved ones to enjoy.
If you aren’t quite capable of going outside and getting down in the dirt then you can try windowsill gardening. It’s less strenuous than traditional gardening, and is a great way to liven up your home. There are many forms this type can take, from bonsai trees, to clay pots, to hanging plants. Gardening is an open and easily adaptable hobby.
Why a Retiree Should do Scrapbooking
Scrapbooking can be traced back to late 1700’s Britain, and is fun way to create your own catalogue of memories and family treasures. It’s the art of presenting, preservation, and arranging. A big bonus is that there’s no true or right way to scrapbook. It’s a means by which you can let our your own creativity. It encourages you to make your own interpretations of memories, and tell stories in a way that you want to tell them. Depending on what you’d like to do it can be as simple or complex as you make it out to be. To help you get started, here’s are some tips:
- Pick a theme: This is a general idea, as a theme can be anything. You could make one for your pets, or an anniversary, or about a newborn baby.
- Use other media: It doesn’t have to be full of photos. You can always incorporate letters, drawings, postcards, awards, anything! Your imagination is the only limitation.
- Involve your family and friends: Yes it’s your story, but they had a part in it too! Scrapbooking is a great way to socialize with those close to you.
How Yoga can help Retirees
A practice in things both spiritual and physical, yoga’s history is tied into Hinduism. The intention is for it to bring unity for your mind and body. Though many exercise programs actually utilize some form of yoga, simply looking at it can make you feel a little intimidated. However, there are classes that specialize in stretching and relaxing for seniors. Really, helping you become calm and relaxed is one of the main goals of yoga. For those who have limited motor function you may even find classes for the instructors have integrated chairs into their yoga routines, allowing you to join and follow along with the rest of the class.
There are also the obvious physical benefits as well. A more obvious benefit is the help with flexibility, which is especially important for those who suffer from degenerative diseases such as arthritis. It’s also great for those who have had heart or valve surgery, as it has been proven to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Regular practice can result in overall well being, and is a fun activity to bond with others over.
Trivia Nights for Retirees
Despite the constant jokes at its expense, trivia night is a growing activity that’s becoming popular across the nation. Our brains need stimulation, no matter how old we may be. A constantly stimulated mind is key to maintaining healthy brain function in the later years, and trivia is always a good way to challenge yourself and keep your mind sharp. Your brain will likely have to work quickly and do some problem solving as the things included in trivia are rarely a part of your everyday discussion anymore. For those with a competitive streak, it’s also a great way to get that excitement. For those who set up trivia night you’ll likely also have your own type of fun, as you’ll be designing the theme and questions. You might even want to get others more involved!
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How Traditional Art Helps Retirees
With so many options available, retirement is an excellent time to take up some sort of art. You’ll easily find ink, graphite, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, oil, charcoal, or you can even mix some of these. Picking up a traditional art is another great way to keep the mind stimulated, this more so in an abstract way. Abstract thoughts will allow you to think about and engage in new subjects, or to explore ones you’re familiar with but by using a different perspective.
If you’re unfamiliar with traditional arts then you can always take some classes. There are may classes available, including college courses or even private tutoring. You could even go online for video tutorials that break down technique at a pace that fits you, most of these tutorials are free as well, so bonus for your wallet!
How Photography Helps Retirees
You can also consider the art of photography, which will allow you to both express your creative side, and to make a picture record of the world as you’ve come to view it. It’s a great source of stress relief, and it encourages you to get up and out. Since it’s so portable you should remember to bring your camera with you on the next trip downtown or hike! Since you’re documenting the world around you it should also help with your memory.
Photography can be utilized in many manys. It’s an excellent way to keep your family in the loop with your adventures, and you can even use it to enhance your other projects, like scrapbooking or mixed medias. If nothing else, it’s a wonderful way to open up to others and socialize over your photos!
The Importance of Volunteering After Retirement
Someday you may find yourself thinking that you have a higher calling you’ll need to answer to, and when that happens you can look to the many volunteering options available to make your positive impact. Many organizations are happy to have anyone and everyone come to their aid. Here are just a couple of organizations to consider:
- Humane Society/ASPCA: Animal shelters are almost always understaffed as their funds are minimal. Volunteers are able to help out in a lot of ways, including spending time socializing with the animals.
- Childrens Hospitals: Staff at these places are almost always on the hunt for warm and gentle people to visit the sick kids, play games, share stories, tutor, and even monitor time in the playrooms.
- Veteran Affairs Volunteer Service (VAVS): This program supports veterans that may be injured from combat, or even provide care to homeless veterans trying to readjust and rebuild.
There are many more organizations that will be happy to have retirees come in. It’s only a matter of finding one that clicks with you.
Should Senior Citizens take Cooking Classes?
Cooking is an art in itself, and a very rewarding one at that. Most everyone has watched the Food Network only to have their stomachs growl at the sight of the intoxicatingly exotic dishes and sweet, feel-good ones that remind us of the days our mothers cooked our meals, so why not get involved and take some cooking classes?
Cooking has more benefits then just that. Your brain will feel stimulated as it requires focus and precisions. It can also encourage healthier lifestyles, provided on the types of cuisine you would like to prepare. If you’d like to get others involved in more than just eating then you can bring them into the kitchen with you, after all cooking is for people of most any age.
Doing Creative Writing After Retirement
Those wanting to be writers haven’t ever had it this good before. There are numerous tools available to help you get the words flowing onto the page. The are countless online forums and blogs dedicated to helping writers, and they often provide many exercises and writing prompts. You’ll find both your creativity and self-discipline are used in writing.
One of the greatest things about writing is that you’re able to do it almost anywhere. You can take a notebook with you on your journeys, keep a journal beside your bed, or simply get on your computer at home and let the words flow. With how many stories you have to share, shouldn’t you try to put them in paper and ink? The way you write will be unique to you, and it’ll allow yourself and others to have a deeper look at what’s going on in your mind.
How Water Activities help After Retirement
Swimming is very beneficial to pretty much everyone, as the environment involves low intensity and low impact exercise that works all of the muscles in your body. Due to the gentleness of the workout you’ll find your muscle tissue becoming more flexible and elastic, all while you strengthen and tone up your body.
As an alternative to swimming, you can always join a water aerobics class, which can feature any of the following:
- Water Jogging: This low-impact exercise will get your heart pumping and blood flowing. It can be as simple as jogging from one end of the pool to the other, just with a little water resistance.
- Flutter Kicking: This involved kicking from one side of the pool to the other, and can incorporate a kickboard if desired.
- Standing Push-ups: Just like a traditional push-up you’ll place your hands in front of you, a little wider than shoulder width apart, and bend into it, though in this case you’re standing at the edge of the pool, with your hands on the gutter or edge.
- Water Weight Training: With the use of foam weights, there are numerous exercises you can do without the risk of injury.
Should You join a Dance Class After Retirement?
It might be time you learned how to cut a rug. As a mixture of art and exercise, it’s a great way to keep yourself completely engaged. Best of all, it has a ton of benefits attached to it.
It’s able to reduce insomnia, stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies comparing seniors that took dance classes with seniors who didn’t saw a significant decrease in negative emotional responses, as well as increased productivity and stamina. Those who have parkinson’s disease, asthma, heart disease, and arthritis also saw a decrease in symptoms when they attended some classes.
Decide on what Makes You Happy
Retirement is far more than the end of your life. It’s a time for you to reflect on your life, on who you were, who you are now, and what makes you happy. What we’ve mentioned in this article are merely ideas for you to start with, but if you find something else that excites you and engages you then by all means, go for it! Take time to discover what really makes you happy, and then mold it to match who you are.