Retirement may be the ideal period of your life to relax and smell the flowers, but it should not be an excuse to slow down to a complete standstill. In fact, research has indicated that those who keep their mind cogs whirring and their legs marching forward tend to live longer with more fulfilling years to show for it, which is why you should stay motivated and really squeeze retirement for everything it’s worth. And here is how to do that.
1. Stay Physically Active
One of the biggest temptations in the retirement world, is to sit around all day in your underwear and watch TV. While this may seem like a fun idea for a while, your body won’t thank you in the long run, as your blood flow will struggle to reach all ends of your system and your muscles will slowly begin to fall asleep.
Your goal should be roughly two and a half hours of gentle exercise a week, which is not a lot to ask. Just by keeping it slow and trying new stuff (like cycling, tennis, or even walking a dog), your will find your energy levels increasing and your endorphins flowing, making you healthier, more alert, and much happier in these golden years of your life.
However, please speak to your doctor before you try anything you’re unsure of, and keep your emergency contact and medical details on your person at all times. Remember, medical alert bracelets and necklaces can save your life!
2. Stay Socially Active
Humans are social creatures by nature, which is why retreating into a shell of retirement reclusiveness could negatively impact your mood, and even stagnante your brain. Even if you’ve never been one for casual conversation, you can still reap the benefits of communal interaction by joining local clubs, or volunteering your energy to a worthy cause.
Of course, you should not forget those who you are already close to, and devoting your newly freed up time to your loved ones could be the most rewarding part of this new chapter in your life. Pick up the phone and fill your calendar up with these exciting engagements as quickly as possible!
3. Start a Hobby
During those tiresome working years, it always felt like you had a million things you wanted to do, but never had the time to do it, right? Well, now you have the time to do it! Get a pen and paper, and start listing what those projects were. Some examples may include: learning an instrument or a new langauge, cleaning out your garage, gardening, assembling rare collectibles, photography, scrapbooks, pottery, cooking, playing chess, reading a novel a day, writing your own novel… this could go on forever!
Simply put, retirement is not an excuse to let your brain fall asleep. Aim the momentum of your working mode at the stars, and stuff your mind with skills far beyond your comfort zone.
4. Make More Money
Wait, didn’t you just leave your job? Why would you want another one? Glad you asked. Some of the answers include: to keep your keys in the ignition, to give your life more purpose, and to raise your reserve funds. Because who doesn’t want more money? Anyone?
Retirement could be the perfect time to experiment in a field completely unrelated to your previous job. For the more adventurous, why not attend a stock exchange course and give that a try? Or perhaps use your previous experience to educate eager minds? Or start a new business revolving around an idea you had many years ago? If this all sounds a little daunting, then keep it simple, by volunteering, watching people’s empty houses, or becoming a tour guide. Just be careful not to invest too much of your capital into any given project, and when in doubt, always get professional advice!
5. Plan a Holiday
Why not escape real life for a while and take a trip somewhere you’ve never been? As everyone knows, even planning a holiday can be almost exciting as the holiday itself, as you eagerly tick the days off the calendar while the big event approaches. And then explore the world as far as possible, taking hundreds of photos along the way so you can boast to your friends.
Even if this is not a feasible option or if you want to kill time in between your big trips, simply do the next best thing and probe your local area. Walk a different direction or investigate a nearby park with full intention to get a bit lost (just don’t forget the map!). Become the neighborhood expert of your suburb, until the veins on the back of your hand start to resemble the roads that surround you.
In summary? Get moving!