Living the Dream of Retirement
While you were working your way up the ladder of success, grinding away at a job, or caring for an active family, you probably dreamed of the day you could retire. Now that it’s time to retire, though, what will you do with yourself? Often, retirement is a bit of a disappointment, and 60 percent of retirees go back to work for no other reason than to have something to do. Moreover, about 2 million of the 24 million Americans aged 65 and older suffer from depression. Why is retirement a let down for so many people, and how can you avoid this problem? We have some suggestions for how to be proactive, in order to have the fulfilling, happy life you want after retirement.
Tips to Help You Enjoy Your Later Years
- Maintain strong social ties. About one third of people feel isolated and lonely later in life. Having a healthy social life can combat loneliness while also giving you something to do and ensuring that you have a strong support system. What’s more, spending time with people whose company you enjoy is fun!
- Keep up a daily routine. One of the things that trips people up during retirement is that suddenly, they find themselves without a daily schedule. When the days lose their structure, it’s easy to feel lethargic and fall into bad habits. A rigid routine isn’t necessary, but getting up, eating meals, and going to bed at the same time each day can help. Incorporate exercise, family time, and spiritual practice, and you will reduce your stress level and feel more fulfilled.
- Lead an active lifestyle. Getting regular exercise can improve both your physical and mental health, and strengthening your body will allow you to stay independent for longer. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adults agreed 65 and older get a minimum of two and a half hours of moderate-intensity activity each week, which amounts to 30 minutes, five days a week of something like walking. Additionally, it’s recommended that older adults work on balance three times a week and do muscle-strengthening activities twice a week. Some great activities for older people include yoga, Pilates, tai chi, walking, Zumba, weight lifting, swimming or water aerobics, gardening, and working out with resistance bands.
- Eat a nutritious diet. This is important for everyone, regardless of age, but it is particularly vital for older people. Often, people change their eating habits when they retire, eating less healthily. A well-balanced diet, however, can help with weight control, increase energy, and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. To maintain good health, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, avoid processed foods and those high in cholesterol and saturated fats, and fill your diet with whole grains, lean meat, seafood, and legumes.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, alleviate depression, promote a feeling of calm, and even help slow cognitive decline. As little as 10 minutes of meditation each day can be beneficial. Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you practice non-judgemental awareness of the present moment. You can do this while meditating, and you can also practice mindfulness throughout your day, appreciating the moments as they are, noticing what you perceive with your senses, and letting thoughts come and go without judgement.
- Manage your money. For many retirees, money becomes an issue. If you don’t have enough in your retirement account, you may find yourself unable to do the things you’ve dreamed of doing after retirement. It is worth it to hire a financial advisor to help you get your finances in order and help you determine how best to manage your retirement funds.
- Pick up a hobby. Once your time is your own, you’ll have the opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted to do. Why not try a new hobby? Fishing, gardening, learning an instrument or second language, or playing a sport are all viable options. Think about your prior daydreams and turn them into reality during retirement.
- Do the things you enjoy doing. Learning a new skill is a worthwhile pursuit, but you could also spend your retirement time doing things you already enjoy! Do you love to read? Do arts and crafts? Watch live music? Now that you have the time, do the things that stimulate your mind, keep you active, and make you feel alive.
- Stay grateful. When you are focused on gratitude, it’s hard to feel any negative emotions. Look for things to be grateful for, and you’ll find that you’re happier and less negative. Try keeping a gratitude journal, sitting down every day to write something positive in your notebook.
- Find ways to give back. Doing things for other people feels good, whether that means volunteering for a worthwhile cause, making a charitable donation, or just doing something nice for someone. There’s scientific and anecdotal evidence to support the idea that giving back has positive effects on depression, life satisfaction, and overall well-being.
- Set goals for yourself. Don’t let retirement strip you of your sense of purpose! Instead, set specific, measurable, and achievable goals for yourself, to give focus to your days.
- Acclimate to retirement. Sometimes, people retire before they’re ready. Rather than doing that, why not retire in stages, easing into it by stepping back little by little until you’re ready to fully retire? Some people go part-time before retiring, or they retire and do consultancy work. Gradually easing into retirement can help you adjust to your change in lifestyle and make it a less jarring transition.
- Consider a new job. On the other hand, you could use retirement to begin a new career! Maybe you have a business idea you’ve always thought about pursuing, or maybe there’s an industry that’s always interested you. If you can get a job doing something interesting and enjoyable, it can help you find a renewed sense of purpose, while also alleviating financial concerns.
- Do some traveling. It’s not surprising to learn that nearly 60 percent of Americans want to travel during retirement. Are you among them? Go for it! Traveling can be life-changing, and it’s been shown to relieve stress, boost creativity, enhance happiness, and decrease the risk of depression.
- Connect with nature. Spending time in nature improves your physical health, boosts your emotional health, and reduces negative feelings like stress, fear, and anger. Blood pressure, muscle tension, and heart rate drop just because you’re in natural surroundings, breathing fresh air. To get even more benefit from your time in the great outdoors, spend it getting some exercise with friends. You’ll reap the benefits of nature, exercise, and social interaction, all at the same time.
A Wonderful Place to Enjoy Your Retirement
If you’re looking for the perfect place for a happy retirement, you need look no further than Parkwood Heights, where we prioritize the health and happiness of our residents. We want them to live life to the fullest, as they enjoy all the amenities that make Parkwood a great place to live their best lives. A lovely community in which to spend your retirement, Parkwood Heights is located just minutes from Victor, Fairport, Farmington, and Canandaigua. Our picturesque, 122-acre senior living campus affords many opportunities to enjoy your time with friends and family, while enjoying our scenic setting. Call (315) 986-9100 to learn more about all that we have to offer, or check out our website and reach out if you have any questions.