It is finally your time to leave behind the workforce permanently, face a new chapter, and have a new sense of purpose in life. You are done with all the deadlines, pressures at work, and mandatory overtime. It is time for you to take a breather, relax, and spend more time with your family.
Entering retirement could be a life-changer for some. Major adjustments to daily life routines and environment should be expected. Keeping your mind and body active after you retire is one of the challenges you will face to live your golden years with fulfillment.
Are you looking for ways to make the most out of your retirement? Do you want to make sure your parents spend their retirement the way they deserve it? Read further and learn how to be active during retirement.
What Is Retirement?
Retirement is defined as withdrawing from your active working life of being employed at a traditional age of 65 years old. It is a concept developed based on increasing life spans and the popularity of sought-after pension plans.
The standard retirement age is 65 years old, but retirees choose early retirement at the age of 60–62 years old. Having a retirement plan helps you save, prepare and settle your investments and monthly paychecks to keep you financially free after retirement.
The Importance of Staying Active in Retirement
Staying active in retirement benefits your physical and mental health and helps you discover some of your hidden skills, exciting hobbies, and talents that you might have. It can also keep your cognitive function from aging and help you to stay mentally active compared to other older adults.
Retirees need to stay active not only for themselves but also for their families. It is one way to stay healthy as it prevents heart disease and weak bones, as well as boosts the immune system.
Ways to Stay Active in Retirement
Transitioning from working to a non-working lifestyle can be stressful and depressing to some older adults. Finding ways and planning your retirement could help lessen the anxiety of this transitional phase of your life. Below are some tips on how seniors can stay active after retiring.
1. Learn and Discover New Skills
You first have to try finding a new skill or something you are good at and then work on developing it. Learning new skills such as cooking, fishing, painting, or even pottery will keep your mind occupied and prevent you from getting bored.
Back when you were working, you were used to making decisions and solving problems every day. During retirement, these mind-stimulating activities are lost. Learning a new hobby or a leisure activity has its benefits on your brain functionality and emotional health.
Challenge yourself and try to play a new instrument like the piano or guitar. It is one way to stay active and keep your mind healthy. After retirement, learning a new skill saves you from mental illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
2. Stay Connected Socially
Staying connected to our friends and loved ones has health benefits, especially during retirement. Now that you’re a retiree spending time with your friends and people you care about is easy since you will have more time to spare.
Avoiding social interaction is a form of self-isolation that can weaken the mind and lead to depression and stress. So pick up your phone and make voice or video calls and reconnect with a family member you have not spoken to for a while.
Trying to maintain social connection is vital in the life of a human being. Even if you are not making those daily trips to your workplace anymore, there are still many ways to stay connected with your former colleagues and friends. You can attend social gatherings in your local community, join a book club or attend free courses offered in some universities and be part of a group.
Maintaining social relations after retirement also positively impacts mental and overall health, especially in retiring older adults.
3. Be Physically Active
Be sure to keep moving, and don’t let those aching joints keep you from an active lifestyle. Any form of physical activity plays a critical role in the health of retirees. Gentle physical activities like gardening, dancing, aerobics, yoga, and other low-impact exercises are good ways to stay fit and healthy after retirement.
Having an exercise routine is a good habit to include in your new life as a retiree. It is also a great way to strengthen your heart and body to prevent you from being physically lazy and weak. Walking your dog or brisk walking around your local community is already a form of exercise that can be done every day.
4. Monitor Your Vital Signs
Staying healthy after you retire helps you to live your life independently and away from chronic diseases. Aside from the physical exercises, you also need to monitor your diet and alcohol consumption. Portable medical devices such as blood glucose and blood pressure monitors should be available at home to help you look after your health.
5. Consider Volunteering
Being retired does not mean that your life has reached a pause and that all you can do is helplessly sit in your rocking chair and knit. It all depends on how you can think of ways to make retirement an active phase in your life where you can devote some of your time to help others by joining charities and other volunteer organizations.
If you miss your grandchildren since they live far away from you, then you might find it rewarding if you start volunteering in charities working with children. Or you can join a disaster relief organization and be one of those trained volunteers who respond to the victims of natural disasters needing help.
Training as a volunteer responder is a great way to improve physical health. It requires routine exercises to keep the brain and body active during calamities and especially during emergencies.
6. Always Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Retirement is linked to major changes in lifestyle and daily routines, leading to anxiety and depression for some of our seniors. It can be problematic and can cause a negative impact on their sleeping patterns.
When they were working, their body clock was set to adhere to a regular schedule. Wakefulness is a factor that enhances the quality of sleep, and sleeping in delays this effect and can affect the ability to fall asleep at night.
Other factors such as increased daytime naps, restricted social activities, medications, or even unhealthy daytime activities can undermine sleep quality. Sleeping problems for our retirees should be addressed properly as they can also affect their mental health.
7. Join Fitness Group for Seniors
There are a lot of communities or local groups that retirees can be a part of that offer programs promoting physical activities for older adults. A fitness group meets regularly and takes part in group exercises, daily walks around the community, cycling, or even virtual fitness exercises.
For generally fit older adults ages 65 and above, these exercise plans are broken up into 10–15 minute chunks, twice a day if tolerated. These exercises include stretching, cardio, relaxation, and balance boosters that are essential to staying healthy and safe as they age.
Physical exercises mainly designed for senior citizens contribute to keeping them active physically. Meeting new friends through these social groups helps them stay mentally healthy as well.
8. Live in Love
When you retire, the only thing that you are ending is your career, not your life. For those who are single, find love after retirement. For those who are married or have life partners, this is your time to enjoy your retirement and spend time with your partner traveling the world and being happy.
Companionship is a primitive human need. No matter how old you are, you will always need the care, closeness, and warmth of another human. Spending your golden years by sharing new experiences with your partner or with someone can be your driving reason to wake up every morning.
9. Find a New Purpose in Life
Finding a new direction after retirement is something retirees need to pay attention to after leaving their job. Having a purpose in life gives meaning and a reason for their existence.
Some retired seniors spent too much time planning their finances for retirement during their working years that they fail to consider what to do with them after they retire. Some spend it while doing volunteer work to help people in need or family travels that can lead to a purposeful, happy life.
Older adults want to feel the internal sense of living life for a reason. They don’t want to feel useless, especially after retiring. Retirement boredom can impact their overall health and mental well-being since it can lead to loneliness or feelings of sadness.
10. Have a Daily Dose of Mental Workout
Engaging our minds with puzzles and memory games every now and then enhances cognitive abilities and memory. Complete a word puzzle, answer math problems, do sudoku, or play chess and challenge your mind with activities you can enjoy with your friends or grandchildren.
Having these kinds of pastimes is fun for everyone despite the age differences and incredibly healthy for retired seniors to keep them mentally active and effecient.
Need to Know More Ways to Stay Active During Retirement?
If you want to know more tips on being active during retirement or simply want to talk to a mental health professional, you can book an appointment at Kentucky Counseling Center now. Click this link to book an appointment.