So You Have Retired – Now What?

While you seem to spend your whole working life looking forward to the moment that you’re going to retire, once it has actually happened, it can be hard to think of ways to fill the days. After all, you’ve spent most of your adult life in the workplace, getting up, going out, working hard, and now all of that has come to an end, what activities can you think of to take up all your time. If you aren’t careful you could end up vegetating in front of the TV, and that can lead to boredom or even depression. When I retired, I couldn’t believe that a time that I had been looking forward to so much could be such a disappointment. Day after day of sitting at home with nothing to do bored me senseless. So I started to think of ways in which I could get a sense of purpose back into my life.

 

I decided that I had to think ahead and to plan activities to fill my days. Although some people enjoy their retirement without any pre-arranged plans in their minds, many others, like me, end up missing the lack of structure in their life. The key is to think of exciting and stimulating activities that will not only fill your time but will also give you a new lease of life. I decided to make some changes in the way I spent my days and now I’m much happier and I can’t wait for the rest of my retirement!

 

Here are my top tips for activities to enjoy during retirement that you might want to consider:

 

Take A Job

 

This might sound ridiculous since you just left a job, however many retired people miss the steady income and lifestyle that they have become used to and a little extra cash is very welcome. Also, you can try a completely different kind of job to the one you used to have. A couple of days of work a week is sure to leave you feeling more fulfilled than sitting in a chair at home. A few months after I retired, I applied for a part time job at my local supermarket. I work two days a week and it’s great. I get to meet new people and it makes me feel useful again.

 

Volunteering

volunteers

One very rewarding suggestion is to volunteer. There are many things you can do, such as mentoring in schools, assisting in your local hospital or library, working with a local group or working for a local charity. One afternoon a week, I’ve started going to my local school to read to groups of children. It’s very rewarding and I love spending time with the little ones.

 

Learn A New Sport

 

There are plenty of sports which are great for retired people, and not only will it fill your time but it could be an opportunity to meet new people and to stay fit and healthy. Golf is especially popular among retirees, however having more time on your hands gives you the chance to try something you’ve never thought of before such as fishing, tennis, cycling or even water aerobics! I decided to go to an over 60s Zumba class every Thursday morning and I’ve never had such a good laugh! Also, I feel fitter already!

 

Try A New Pastime

 

The key is to begin your hobby while you’re still at work as you can then carry on with it once you’ve retired. Craft projects are a great choice, as is gardening, DIY, puzzles or music. If you begin a hobby that involves going to a class or club you’ll have the chance to meet new people too and improve your social life. For the last few years before retirement I had started doing Sudoku puzzles and now I find time to do at least one per day. They keep my brain active, which is especially important as we get older.

 

Traveling

traveling

Travel is one of the most popular activities for retirees. Taking several trips a year is a wonderful way to spend your time, and there are ways of doing it on a budget. What about a house exchange? Or renting a camper? I get almost as much fun out of planning my next trip as I do when I’m actually away! At the moment, I’m planning my next adventure. I’ve decided that I’m going to rent a campervan and visit the Laura Ingalls trail!

 

The key to an enjoyable retirement is to stay busy, create new opportunities and to focus on the things that you love to do. You’ll soon wonder how you ever found time to go to work!

Saturday Morning Routine

For Christmas last year I was given one of the best presents I’ve ever received – a foot massager. I can’t even express to you how wonderful it was! There is nothing more relaxing than coming home at the end of a long day of shopping, working or walking and just putting your feet on a soothing massager and letting all of your cares and worries float away.

 

So, over the last few months, I developed a kind of routine – I didn’t plan it, it just sort of happened. Every Saturday morning, I would get up after a nice long lie in, make myself a cup of tea, and then sit down in the living room in my cozy chair looking out into the backyard, and put my feet on my foot massager while I read the latest mystery novel. Pure heaven!

 

Unfortunately, disaster struck a couple of weeks ago. I got up, as usual, made my morning cup of tea, got out the foot massager, picked up my favorite novel, sat on my comfy chair and…. Nothing!

 

My trusty foot massager was broken!

 

I have to admit, I was a lot more devastated than I should have been – there’s nothing so disappointing as having your routine disrupted! So, I had to get on with my Saturday without my regular foot massage, and it just wasn’t the same.

 

So, that evening, I decided that it was time to look into buying a new one. I began doing some research right here about the best kinds to get.

 

Some of the things I discovered I had to look out for were:

 

Massaging action type – the massaging action is key to choosing a foot massager since it is the way in which it loosens the muscles. Vibration machines are great for use on sore muscles which are very sensitive while Shiatsu machines kneading the muscles for a deeper experience. There are also Tui Na massage machines which lift and rub the meat as well as reflexology machines which stimulate particular areas of the foot to help other parts of the body. Some machines combine more than one type of massage for a more versatile experience.

 

Size – I need the massager to be large enough to fit my feet, but I also need to store it conveniently, so I need the model to be compact.

 

Extra features – many massagers include features such as heating elements which can help to prevent cramps and to loosen the muscles. Some offer a facility to adjust the intensity of the massage while others have calf massagers and others use water to invigorate the feet.

 

In the end, I narrowed it down to just two models from Massagers Pro:

 

Brookstone Shiatsu Foot Massager With Heat

Brookstone Shiatsu Foot Massager With Heat

This is a high-end product which has a focus on reflexology style massage. Measuring 13” x 17” x 9”, it is compact enough to use in my home, and it is also very portable having a carrying handle as well as an inbuilt cord wrap. Even better, it’s possible to remove the material which lines the feet using the zippers so that it can be cleaned for better hygiene. The controls are user-friendly and are well placed for easy adjustments.

 

Providing massage for the sides, top and soles of the feet, it offers a much more complete experience, with automatic rollers which knead the feet deeply, working on particular pressure points for stimulating blood flow. It also features air compression massage which has a squeezing sensation to ease tension in the muscles. The integral heat settings also help in relaxing the muscles. With 3 different programs to choose from, this is a versatile model, although the downside is that it isn’t very comfortable for anyone with wide or large feet.

 

OSIM uPhoria Warm

OSIM uPhoria Warm

This versatile, high-end model has 8 programs and 5 different massage actions. It is packed with great features including the ability to perform tui na massage which combats aching muscles while increasing circulation and alleviating pain. There is a roller massage for the soles of the feet and a vibration action for improving circulation. There is also an inbuilt heat option. The different programs allow for different massages for different purposes including a high heels program, a toning program, and energize program, a sleep program, a relax program, a sports recovery program, the senior program and the reflexology program. Unfortunately, the downside of this model is that it is quite complicated to use and is also quite bulky so may be too big for my home.

 

In the end, I decided to go for the Brookstone model. Its portability and compact size swayed me in its favor. I can’t wait for next Saturday to arrive so I can get back into my routine! Next time I’m also going to get a massage chair! I’ve been looking at the ones here: http://massagers.pro/best-chair.

Fight Aging with Foods

Although it’s impossible to actually stop the aging process, I’ve been looking into ways of slowing that process down. I may have retired, but I don’t want to be past it just yet! I’ve been doing some research into what I can do to maintain good health as I get older and I’ve discovered that food is one of the keys to fighting aging.

 

Feeding my body nutritious food has really helped me to feel and to look better. We often remember to take care of the outside of our bodies by having a relaxing foot massage to de-stress for example, or applying moisturizer to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines, but taking care of the inside is equally, if not more important.

 

I can see when I look in the mirror how my body has changed over the years. Skin sags where it never did before, and everything is heading south! But I can also feel the difference in how it works too. Food doesn’t taste as good as it used to and chewing with my dentures can be a real pain, literally, and that’s just some of the things I’ve experienced.

 

While I know what I should be eating – lots of fruit and veg, some lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats and a lot less salt, I haven’t always stuck to the guidelines. Nevertheless, I’ve been doing some research about what I should be including in my diet to fight aging and here is what I’ve discovered.

 

Water

water

Lots of water. I find it difficult to drink enough, but apparently, many older people are dehydrated and that makes it hard to think clearly, to tolerate heat and to fight off fatigue. Now, I carry a water bottle everywhere with me and keep topping it up throughout the day.

 

Blueberries

 

All berries are full of antioxidants which are great for minimizing the cell damage that results in premature aging. I try to eat a handful with my breakfast, either with yogurt or on their own.

 

Fiber

 

I used to suffer from constipation quite regularly, but now I’ve included more fiber in my diet that’s no longer a problem. I eat more whole grains, legumes and vegetables now, and as an added bonus I’ve found that my blood pressure and my cholesterol levels are lower so my heart is healthier. Since fiber also helps in controlling blood sugars, hopefully, I won’t develop diabetes.

 

Oily Fish

 

Salmon, sardines and mackerel are all great for preventing strokes and heart disease since they are full of Omega 3 fatty acids. I eat two portions a week.

 

Olive Oil

olive oil

Instead of using butter and vegetable oil for cooking, I’ve switched to olive oil since apparently, it can reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body.

 

Yogurt

 

Many older people are at risk of bone loss, but the calcium in dairy products help to prevent the problem. I try to eat a pot of yogurt each day for breakfast.

 

Red Wine

 

Yes, my new regime isn’t all dull! I can have a glass of red wine a day since it may lower bad cholesterol while easing blood pressure and lessening blood clots. Who said being healthy is boring!