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!

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!