Retirement isn’t all about resting and relaxing (although that may be a big part of it).
The end of structured work can mean that you have a lot of extra time to now focus on yourself, whether that means taking more of an interest in your health, pursuing your hobbies, or fostering a deeper connection with your local community.
Below are 7 tips for taking care of yourself really well into retirement, both physically and mentally.
1. Learn how to cook healthy meals
Sure, maybe you had to rely on convenience foods and take out pretty often while you were working due to lack of free time.
But, in retirement, you likely have a few extra hours which you can devote to learning how to prepare simple, healthy, delicious meals for you and your family.
Learning how to cook well isn’t just a way to make sure you always have delicious food around, it can save money, impress your friends, be a fun hobby, and help keep you healthy by relying on processed fast foods less.
2. See a doctor about all health issues that bother you
Of course, you always went to a doctor when you were hurt or feeling ill, but everyone has a few of those nagging personal or cosmetic health issues that they seem to just deal with.
Whether you have some leftover acne scars from your teenage years, you have some dark spots popping up, your hair isn’t what it used to be, or you are having sexual health issues, there are prescription medications that can help you feel better about yourself and regain your confidence over these common concerns.
If you feel uncomfortable bringing these concerns up to your usual doctor, you can have telemedicine visits online to help address potentially delicate issues like hair loss, dermatology concerns, or sexual issues.
3. Develop an active hobby
Regular exercise is extremely important to your overall health, wellbeing, and your mental health.
But, you don’t want exercise to feel like a chore (or you will probably do it less).
So, look into developing a hobby that includes moderate activity that you know you will want to keep doing.
Take up gardening, get a dog that requires daily walks, or get into swimming if you have a pool or live close to the beach.
4.Get involved in a local club or meet-up
Now that the working portion of your adult life is in the past, you may start realizing just how many of your interactions and friendships came from your job.
Hanging out with friends and acquaintances regularly is good for your mental health and overall wellbeing, and can help you live a long and fulfilling life.
Your retirement can be a chance to start getting in with a whole new group of people, whether you meet them by joining a bowling league, book club, or neighborhood committee, fostering new friendships can help keep your retirement years fresh and exciting.
5. Stay on a sleep schedule
Sure, you can stay up all night now if you want to, or sleep until noon, but throwing your schedule out of whack can put a damper on your day and make it hard to get things done.
Even though you don’t have a day job to get to in the morning, keep yourself on a regular sleep schedule and still go through your favorite morning routine each day.
6. Always be learning something new
Just because you are done with work, and your boss isn’t on your back to learn the new skills needed for your position, it doesn’t mean you need to stop learning.
In fact, making sure you are always learning something new can be a great way to inject some excitement into your life, while being great for your overall morale and mental health.
Think about the things that you were always interested in but never had the time to delve into.
Pick up sewing or knitting, painting, learning a new language, or just how to keep that tricky sourdough-starter alive.
Make goals for yourself
Not all goals are work-related, in fact, you can easily have the biggest achievements of your life in your retired years.
Volunteer with a charity working towards helping a group or cause you are passionate about, try to win an award in your town for the best flowers, or aim to be on the board of the homeowners association for your neighborhood.
Setting goals for yourself will help structure your retired life and make it a whole lot more enjoyable.