If you’re like most people, one of the most exciting aspects of planning for and transitioning into retirement is working out how you’ll spend the extra time you now have available. However, with the structure of work no longer shaping your day, it’s common to feel a little lost at first and even overwhelmed.
The good news is that there are endless ways to stay active, social and have fun in retirement—so to help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of 10 activities and pastimes you may enjoy.
1. Take up that hobby you’ve always talked about
Maybe you’ve always wanted to spend more time in the garden? Or get creative with art or craft? Or dust off the guitar that’s in storage and bang out some tunes? There’s no better time than now to indulge and enjoy your passions. If you’re nervous about getting back into it or you’re starting from scratch, doing it with a friend can give you the confidence to take the first steps.
2. Find your favourite exercise and do it daily
For many of us, finding the time to exercise regularly while working and raising a family is an ongoing struggle that can make it feel like a chore. So with extra time available, you can now devote some time and effort to finding an activity that gets you moving (and preferably your heart rate up) that you enjoy. For you, this might be walking, swimming or going to the gym. You may also give something a go you’ve never tried before, such as tai chi, yoga or water aerobics, or take up a sport like tennis or golf. The possibilities are endless!
3. Join a group to make new friends and connections
Once you enter retirement, there is an increased risk of isolation and loneliness, but getting out and about and being social regularly will help you avoid this. A great way to make new friends and meet people with similar interests is to join a group, and there is always something going on. From walking, reading and cooking, to birdwatching, photography and playing cards, it can be a lot more fun and rewarding when you share the experience with others.
4. Challenge yourself to learn something new
It’s never too late to learn! Devoting some time in retirement to mastering a new skill or expanding your knowledge is truly rewarding. It could be art, languages, woodwork or anything else you’ve always dreamed of doing but lacked the resources and time to follow through.
5. Feed your mind to stay sharp
Just like our bodies, our minds need regular exercise to be healthy. Make it a daily habit to incorporate your favourite word and number puzzles, as well as reading a chapter or two (or more) of a book. Jigsaw puzzles are also an enjoyable way to improve your short-term memory and concentration, while also exercising both the left and right side of the brain. They can be completed alone when you’d like a quiet moment, or with a friend. And if you enjoy some friendly competition, a game of cards or board game can be lots of fun and get you thinking too.
6. Get outside and enjoy nature as often as possible
Nature is known universally for its calming effects, and when you appreciate it often, you’ll notice the benefits. The best part is, you don’t need to travel to far off places to enjoy nature—simply sitting amongst the trees in your backyard or enjoying the water views from your balcony can have the desired effect.
7. Connect regularly with family and friends
Staying in touch with loved ones is essential throughout every stage of life, and during retirement, you have the extra time to focus on the relationships that count. Whether you are lucky enough to live close by and enjoy a cup of coffee in person, or you connect by phone or video calls, make an effort to talk to the people you care about as often as possible.
8. Plan a holiday to somewhere you’ve never been
While travel has largely been on hold in recent times, it’s a great time to research and plan your next adventure. Whether you have a favourite destination you’ve always wanted to visit, or are open to suggestions, jump online or get out the guidebooks and be inspired.
9. Read daily to feed your soul
Reading is highly beneficial for your health, with studies indicating it improves memory, helps your sleep and reduces stress, amongst other things. It is also really enjoyable! Even if you’ve never been much of a reader before, retirement is the perfect time to indulge in this healthy habit. There are books written on just about every topic imaginable, so pop down to the library in your Village, and you’re sure to find something that grabs you.
10. Get creative in the kitchen
On busy weeknights with a fussy family to feed, cooking is far from joyful! But now, with plenty of time to prepare your meal and enjoy it, it’s a wonderful time to cook up a storm. Pick a day of the week to try something new—you might like to tie this in with a theme or challenge your friends, for example, to cook your way around the world.
Enjoy this exciting new chapter in your life
While retirement can be bittersweet as you shift into a new chapter of your life, it truly is a time to enjoy yourself and do the things you love. Finding purpose after work can feel challenging at first, but once you get into the groove and find a new routine that allows you to be active, social and have fun, you’ll never look back.
One of the best things about our Retirement Communities is that you have everything you need to stay active, social and have fun right on your doorstep! To see our communities up close, get in touch with our friendly team on 07 3360 9000 to organise a tour of our homes and facilities today!