You’ve worked hard to reach retirement; now, it’s time to enjoy the benefits. What better way to fill those formerly nine-to-five hours than to spend time doing things that are less about being productive and more about pleasure. If you need some reasons to take up a hobby, Duvall Dental Center has got you covered. Keep on reading to find out why retirement hobbies are vital for seniors.
Keep old age at bay.
Few things make you feel older than you really are than not having a sense of purpose. For almost four or five decades, you’ve woken up most mornings, got in your car, and drove off to work, a place where your presence was not only noticed but valued. You kept on smiling through the late nights, the numerous out-of-town trips, and the missed little league games and ballet recitals. Then, out of nowhere (or so it seems), you now have more time on your hands and very little to do with it. It’s easy to start questioning whether your skills were truly invaluable. Even with the bright, beautiful smile you got from Duvall Dental Center, every day, it gets harder and harder to lift the corners of your mouth and show off your gorgeous teeth.
Whether your retirement hobby involves restoring classic cars or crocheting, having an activity that you truly enjoy can help ease the transition into retirement and keep old age at bay. Taking part in something that’s only for you and your happiness may put the spring back in your step and (hopefully) restore your sense of purpose.
Use your wisdom and skills for something you’ve “always wanted to do.”
As George Bernard Shaw put it, “Youth is wasted on the young.” But old age is never wasted on retirees. As you grow older, you gain enough wisdom to understand that happiness is always within your reach. You just have to make the best of every moment, in the moment. It falls on you to make your golden years as — ahem — golden as you can.
In our early adult years, it’s sometimes tough to try new things, what with raising a family, taking night classes, and the extra hours at work you take on to advance in your career. Now, you have plenty of time on your hands to do the things you love. Would Tiger Woods weep if he ever saw your golf swing in your younger years? Or do you secretly believe you could be the next Mozart of our time if only you practiced more? Great! That’s what all the preparation for retirement was for, and now, you have the financial stability and time to try new things until you find something that sets your heart on fire once more.
Learn something new!
Not only will hobbies help you maintain your mental and physical well-being, but you’ll also get the chance to learn something new. Human beings are always looking for the next challenge, and tackling new activities can help you find one. Particularly if you’re feeling bored or stagnant in your routine, identifying tasks you enjoy that spark a smile can help get you out of your comfort zone. So, why not try horseback riding, zip-lining, or white water rafting? Heck, it doesn’t even have to be a physically demanding hobby. Mentally stimulating activities, like crossword puzzles or chess tournaments, are also great ways to boost your endorphins.
Get some stress relief.
Who said stress ends once you hang up your hat? Hobbies are a healthy and productive way for seniors to distract themselves from the worries of everyday life. To keep your blood pressure down, take part in activities that bring you joy. Do you have a sweet tooth? Learn to make mouth-watering baked goods. Enjoy solitude and silence? Consider going on a fishing trip or trying your hand at gardening and bird-watching. The goal here is to identify the things you look forward to and tie them to an activity, shifting your mind’s focus from your troubles to the pleasurable task at hand.
Hobbies promote healthy living.
Hobbies are nice to have at any age, but when you’re older, taking part in activities you love also comes with great health benefits. Whether it’s strumming a guitar or giving old knick-knacks a makeover, simply participating in such tasks on a regular basis can give your immune system a much-needed boost. To be clear, becoming more active is great for everyone, but if you find yourself constantly battling a cold or suffering from a reduced range of motion, a hobby may just be what you need to restore your health to its former glory, even just a little.
After retiring, what are you going to do with all that free time? The opportunities are endless. Beginning a new hobby—or revisiting one that you used to love—helps support healthy aging for the mind, body, and soul.
Staying active not only improves your physical health, but it also improves your mental health as well. Purposeful activities add a sense of well-being and happiness, increase resiliency, and improve creativity and memory. They also help you connect with those around you and offer the opportunity to spend quality time with family.
Here are some of the best outdoor and indoor hobbies for seniors:
- Genealogy – Looking into your family lineage will teach you about the past while laying a foundation your family’s future.
- Writing – Writing is a versatile hobby that can fit anyone. Have an idea for a best-selling novel? Prefer writing poetry? Or perhaps you’re thinking of writing a column for a local newspaper? Grab a pen and paper and start capturing your thoughts.
- Learn a new language – It may be true that it’s difficult to learn a new language later in life, pero no es imposible. (In Spanish, that means “but it’s not impossible.”) Learning this skill gives your brain a good workout.
- Ballroom dancing – If you’re an avid fan of “Dancing with the Stars,” you’ve probably had a dream or two about floating around the dance floor. Tango, foxtrot, samba, Viennese waltz—the disco ball’s the limit. Grab your dancing shoes, partner up, and cha cha cha. Dancing will help you stay active, improve coordination, and bring a smile to your face.
- Calligraphy – Calligraphy may seem like an intimidating version of lettering, but with so many different styles, everyone can have fun with it. Grab a pen, brush, or other lettering tool, and start experimenting.
- Yoga – Yoga seems so relaxing until you see someone twisted up like a pretzel. Then stress and doubt creep in. However, yoga is accessible for all ages, body types, and physical skills. The basis of yoga is focusing on your breath and being more mindful. A good instructor will be able to offer adaptations of poses that are accessible for you but still target the muscles you’re trying to stretch and strengthen.
- Play games – Improve your skills with an old favorite or learn a new game! Challenge friends or family or take some “me time” to challenge yourself.
- Computer classes – Because technology evolves so rapidly, learning how to use a computer and different programs can be intimidating at any age. Yet knowing how to use various applications helps you stay in touch with loved ones, learn about the world, and explore creative endeavors. There are a wide range of classes based on skill level and interest, so find one that’s right for you.
- Swimming – Swimming is a fun activity to do on your own or with others. It’s good for your physical and mental health.
- Gardening – Gardening is a calming, almost meditative activity that helps reduce stress. And, in the end, you get something tangible from it. You can grow flowers, veggies, succulents, and more!
- Join a book club – Book clubs are a great way to read more and make friends. If your senior living community doesn’t have one, offer to start one. You can select books based on a specific genre, such as biographies, science fiction, or even cookbooks.
Many people have seen friends and loved ones affected by the harsh reality of dementia. While there are no cures yet, hobbies are one way to reduce its onset. Read this next to learn more ways you can lower your risk: How to Lower Your Risk of Dementia
By David Lasman – “Ask Medicare Dave” | President – Senior Healthcare Team
wwww.SeniorHealthcareTeam.com | 866-333-7340
Selecting the right healthcare plan through Medicare can be overwhelming and downright stressful. Senior Healthcare Team is a nationwide resource that provides guidance and support about Medicare to seniors at no cost to them and helps them to choose the most suitable insurance plan tailored to their specific needs and budget. Our goal is to educate and empower our clients to make the best decisions regarding their healthcare and clear up the confusion of Medicare. At Senior Healthcare Team, we aren’t partial to any one insurance company. Our loyalty is to our clients and our mission is to provide them with the best healthcare options at the very lowest cost.