Relax at home
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You’ve worked hard for a long time, and you deserve to be able to spend your time doing the things you enjoy. Perhaps that means getting started on home projects you’ve been waiting to do, or maybe it means taking your hobby of woodworking or gardening to the next level.
Maybe it means cooking meals from scratch every day.
Or perhaps it means just relaxing at home with a book, watching an interesting show, or some music, and letting all of your stress fade away. Sleep in on weekdays and take naps on weekends. Enjoy each second of retirement by not overworking yourself and instead of savoring the moment you’re in with your loved ones.
Take up a part-time or full-time career.
A lot of people are afraid to take up a new career when they retire. That’s understandable, because while it can be exciting to follow your passions, taking up a new job also has its challenges. One of the things many retirees find hard is figuring out what to do with their time. It’s true that you don’t have to work in order to make money, but you can’t just sit around and do nothing all day either. You need something to occupy your brain and the best way to do that is by finding a part-time or full-time job that suits you.
Find hobbies to do in your spare time.
One of the best things about retirement is that you now have the time and energy to fill your days with what you truly love, rather than being stuck doing a job for eight hours a day. You might find that you want to pursue a variety of hobbies. This is great, because it means there’s never a dull moment!
The first step in finding an exciting hobby is thinking about what interests you. Perhaps there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do, but never had the time or resources for—maybe now is the perfect opportunity! For example, if you’re interested in learning how to play an instrument, consider taking music lessons and practicing every day. You could also go backpacking through Europe or volunteer at your local library.
If nothing comes to mind right away, take some time to reflect on your passions and desires. Talk with family and friends about their hobbies and see if any sound particularly appealing to you—or check out this article for more ideas on hobbies retired people can get into: [link].
Find things to do together as a couple.
If you have a partner, you and your sweetie can enjoy life together by taking the time to do things that bring you both joy. If you’re not yet married, perhaps now is the time to take that step—you don’t want to miss precious moments together because you didn’t start on your life journey as early as possible. Once you’re hitched, take a honeymoon or even just plan a date. You should also look for activities that you can do as a couple. Think about what each of you likes and try to find an area of overlap so that neither of you has with too much downtime while the other is doing something they love.
Spend more time with your family.
Now that your career is behind you, it’s important to focus on the things in life that really matter. You’ve worked your whole life. Now it’s time to spend some quality time with the people who are most important to you. Whether you want to spend more time with your wife or husband or make a plan for seeing more of your grandchildren, here are some tips for making the most of the extra time retirement has given you:
- Get organized. With all of your extra free time, one thing might feel like it’s taking over: laundry! Invest in an organizational system and use it religiously. Your days will be less hectic and less cluttered after doing so.
- Make a plan to spend more time with your family. It doesn’t matter if they live in another country—what matters is that they have a special place in your heart and mind. Write each family member’s name on a slip of paper and put them in separate envelopes (or use e-mail!). Then pick one every day at random from a hat and write them a letter about how much they mean to you!
Enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
After retirement, most people find themselves with more time on their hands. It’s important to seize this opportunity to do the things you love! Take a walk in the park, read books, watch the sunset… Don’t waste time worrying about your future!
Instead of thinking about what you don’t have, take the time to enjoy what you do have. Find joy in small pleasures and spend time with those you care about. Take time to smell the roses!
Help others when you can.
Helping others is great for your well-being. I’m not just saying this to be altruistic — there’s evidence to back it up.
Helping others can feel good, build connections and give you a sense of purpose. If you’re looking for ways to help, try volunteering or helping out a friend or family member in need.
Beyond finding your purpose and feeling good, helping others has many benefits:
- It can reduce stress levels by distracting you from difficult emotions
- It can increase happiness (in the long term) by increasing positive emotions and meaning in life
- It can boost self-esteem and make you feel better about yourself
Stay active and try new physical activities.
Physical activity is a great way to have fun, spend time with loved ones and friends, be active, and stay healthy. You can join organized activities or try something new that you’ve always wanted to do. Whenever you start new exercise or physical activities after retirement it is important to talk to your doctor first about what type of physical activity is best for you.
Some examples of physical activities for older adults include:
- Walking or jogging outside or on a treadmill
- Swimming laps at the pool or joining an aqua aerobics class
- Playing golf with friends in your neighborhood
- Biking on trails near your home town or along the beach
- Joining a beginner yoga class at your local park
Learn a new skill or language.
One of the biggest challenges we face as humans is being able to adapt. A common concern for some people is that they will be bored once they retire, and retirement can certainly pose a challenge to people who value the frenetic pace of their former career. However, there are many opportunities to continue learning and gaining new skills after retirement that you should take advantage of.
There are huge benefits to learning a new skill or language: it keeps your brain active, helps you meet new friends with similar interests, and allows you to see your life and community from different perspectives. In addition, it’s common knowledge that our brains shrink as we age; by learning something new we actually increase the size of our hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for memory) which has been correlated with improvements in memory function-perfect for those who want to avoid Alzheimer’s later in life!
Do things that bring you joy in whatever way that looks like for you
Now that you’re retired, you may be wondering what to do. How should you spend your time? Do things that bring you joy. It doesn’t matter what those things look like for you, because happiness is different for each person. I personally love playing the violin and going on long hikes through nature preserves. If those things don’t bring you joy, but instead make your soul break out in hives, then find activities that do give you pleasure, whatever they may be. Remember: focus on the things that make you happy and forget about worries or problem solving—that’s a job for when you have to go back to work!
As I mentioned earlier, I love going on walks through nature preserves, with my husband and golden retriever by my side. We’ve also been trying out new physical activities together at the gym or local community center—like step aerobics and yoga—which has been a lot of fun so far!