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.
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.
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!