13 Ways to Stay Busy After Retirement
After retirement, many people experience a sense of emptiness. They want to stay busy but feel like they have nothing left to do. If this sounds like you fear not! There are plenty of hobbies and games that will keep your mind sharp and your body healthy. And there are plenty of ways that you can keep yourself busy to avoid the dreaded “empty nest syndrome” and live out your golden years!
Focus on retiring from work but not from life! Don’t be afraid to take full advantage of these opportunities before it’s too late. Explore new hobbies while reconnecting with old ones like cooking (remember Julia Childs). Remember – don’t let boredom set in when you have no one else demanding your attention because there are plenty of fun things to do once retired.
Stay active in hobbies you already enjoy doing like gardening, walking, biking, cooking dinner for friends or reading books on your Kindle. If new hobbies seem daunting because of age-related changes in physical abilities, try adjusting the activity, so it’s more comfortable while still challenging yourself mentally and physically (for instance: start slow if you need and use adaptive equipment). Then, find ways to do the things you love as often as possible without overdoing it!
Here are 13 ways to stay busy after retirement.
Many charities will welcome a helping hand. You can find some organisations to volunteer with by searching online, checking your local newspaper or visiting public places like hospitals and community centres. In addition, there are many opportunities to help out that don’t take much time at all – maybe just an hour every week.
Gardening is a fantastic way to stay busy after retirement, but it can present some challenges, especially for those with mobility problems or who lack the energy of youth.
Try using power tools and gardening equipment that are easier to control – like lawnmowers with levers instead of handlebars, electric weed whackers, etc., so you don’t have to bend over as much when working on your plants!
If you cannot get outside safely due to physical limitations (e.g., ageing joints), try making miniature gardens in pots. You’ll still be able to enjoy the plants without stressing out about balance issues or manoeuvring around obstacles too quickly.
Starting or joining a book club holds many benefits, but it can be challenging if you don’t have people in your social circle who enjoy reading or live close enough for the group to meet up.
Try starting an online book club with friends and acquaintances that allows members to read books on their own time. You will still get plenty of discussion out of this by exchanging emails about what you’re reading, sharing favourite quotes or simply discussing how the story unfolds.
You might also want to trade off meeting places, so each member has the opportunity as well (e.g., one month at each person’s house).
Painting has many health benefits.
When you paint, your brain releases dopamine which helps fight symptoms of depression (you might not even realise that painting can be therapeutic!). It’s a creative activity, so there are very few limitations on what you can do – use whatever medium or technique interests you the most.
If painting feels too challenging due to physical limitations like arthritis in the hands, try using watercolours instead, where everything is done with brushes!
With hobbies more stationary than others, such as reading, gardening or making pottery at home, make sure to move around every 30 minutes, so your body doesn’t get stiff from sitting for extended periods of time. Try getting up once an hour to stretch, or make a point of doing gentle exercises during commercial breaks (type “exercises for seniors” into YouTube and find something you like).
Stretch from the waist down every 30 minutes. When you’re sitting at home working on hobbies after retirement, it’s easy to forget about your body! But, be sure to remember that if you don’t periodically move around – even just leaning forward and stretching back up again – your muscles will get stiff from staying in one position too long.
It can be as simple as gently bending over while resting on your knees, so both sides of the back are stretched out. You might also want to do some low-impact floor exercises once an hour while watching commercials or talk shows.
Embrace hobbies that don’t require much physical activity – they can still be just as fulfilling!
Play With a pet
Pets offer great companionship, and it’s easy to forget about the importance of social interaction when you’re staying home all day by yourself. It doesn’t matter if your pets are dogs, cats, or other animals; playing games will keep them engaged and entertained while also giving you some quality time together.
In addition, you might want to make sure there is always something for your pet nearby (e.g., a toy) so he’ll have entertainment at hand whenever you need him around – this way, both of you won’t get bored too quickly!
If keeping track of where toys go gets tricky, try spreading out some towels and blankets, so your pet has a designated space to play in.
Staying fit doesn’t just help you feel good; it also helps your mental health and quality of life! Unfortunately, it can be pretty difficult to stay physically active once retirement hits, so make sure not to let that happen.
Start by walking for at least 30 minutes every day (you might want to invest in some comfortable shoes too). If you’re sore after exercising or find yourself getting bored with the same activity over and over again, try changing things up. Maybe take a water aerobics class instead of running on the treadmill?
You can also get creative – join an indoor cycling group or sign up for hiking/canoeing trips.
The mental stimulation typically associated with games is one reason to play after retirement. It keeps your mind sharp, which may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Playing can also improve your balance, strength, agility, coordination, cognitive skills such as memory and attention span, mood and emotional regulation.
Bingo is a game of chance that can be played at home with friends, family members, or yourself. If you don’t know how to play bingo, now is a great time to learn!
There are many different versions, so find one for you. They range from traditional games to digital bingo cards and online boards.
Choose a card game like bridge or euchre that everyone in the family will enjoy for socialising time together.
Play board games together, including Scrabble or Parcheesi, where you can spend quality time on hobbies while challenging each other’s minds at the same time!
Travel as much as you can
Travelling is not only an exceptional way to stay busy after retirement, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to learn about different cultures and lifestyles.
The social aspect of travel makes it enjoyable too! You can meet new people, try new things or reconnect with old friends from all over the world on your trip while experiencing unique sites that you may never see in person otherwise.
Taking some pictures is one of the many popular hobbies to take up after retirement, and it’s a rewarding way to keep your mind sharp.
You can document family memories, nature, or pets or hobbies that you may not have time for otherwise, making taking pictures a well worth hobby!
Try cooking with new recipes
There are plenty of hobbies for retirees. For example, cooking can be modified to fit your new lifestyle, like cooking from scratch or just making healthier versions of old favourites.
Fill up on fibre with a low-calorie recipe by using vegetables and legumes in place of meat as protein sources.
Not only will you have loads of fun, but you might also learn something new.
Keep your hands busy with woodwork
Woodwork is one hobby that can be taken on with both hands. Woodwork requires precision hand skills to create something intricate from wood––a beautiful custom piece of furniture or homemade gifts for loved ones in need of some extra love.
Bird watching is an activity that can be done in many different ways.
You may find it more enjoyable to participate in birdwatching as a team, or you might prefer the solitary pursuit of identifying and locating birds by yourself.
Regardless of your preference, there are plenty of exciting places where setting up for a day’s worth of birding will yield great results. Keep reading to learn about some popular spots for finding feathered friends!
Learn how to play an instrument
One of the many best ways to stay busy is by learning something new, and picking up a musical instrument can be both fun and rewarding.
Of course, it might take some time before you become really good at playing it, but that’s as much of a challenge for you as anything else. Also, working on your skills will help keep your mind sharp in old age.
Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels