Time is an unstoppable force and different people will take that differently. Some people will naturally find this thought distressing, and fear the effects of time and their own aging. However, others will find wisdom in the passage of time and come to terms with themselves in their later years. How you approach this is ultimately up to you, but it’s perhaps an oversimplification to state that they are both equally easy paths to take. That being said, you may find that you approach it with the misconception that your activities will be limited due to your age – which just isn’t true.
You’ll likely have a lot more time on your hands in your later years thanks to retirement and you might find yourself surprised at just how much free time you have, including lots of time to keep fit and agile. While you might have a pretty good idea of how you want to spend your retirement, you might find yourself among the several people who get to this stage and realise they might have to pick up some new hobbies in order to keep themselves entertained. Luckily for you, there’s no shortage of activities that you could add to your schedule. It’s a great time to try some new things and mix things up, and you may find that some of these have some positive mental health benefits.
Take Up Volunteering for a Multitude of Benefits
If you’re looking for a way of not only keeping yourself busy, but getting involved in both a long-term project and a wider community that could increase your social sphere, consider taking up volunteering. Volunteering has a multitude of benefits, both to yourself and obviously the cause that you decide to help. On top of meeting new people and making new friends, volunteering can also help you feel good about yourself by increasing your confidence and combating depression. In addition to the mental health advantages of volunteering, it can also keep you physically healthy due to the active lifestyle that it encourages.
There are a variety of charities and communities where you can offer your help, so it’s all about finding a cause that you identify with and going from there. This means that on top of all the positive aspects of volunteering that were mentioned earlier, there could be even more. For example, if your volunteering takes you outside into some green spaces then your increased exposure to sunlight and the resulting boost to your level of vitamin D could help to ward off health conditions such as dementia and arthritis. Vitamin D can also help to increase your level of happiness in general, so taking your activities outside is a good way to stay healthy over the long-term. On top of that, it just feels good to help out every now and again.
Consider Getting a Place That Suits You
If you’re looking to fill your time with your own activities, then you’ll probably be also looking to get your own space. After all, it’s much easier to live to your own calendar when you don’t have to be concerned about how it affects other people in your residence. Because of this, your gaze may turn towards getting a senior apartment or independent living solution. While these two options are very similar, independent living has more care staff present and therefore a higher access to healthcare on site, which may be more to your liking depending on your situation. Either way, much like volunteering, these living spaces also function as communities and are a great way to meet new people and forge new friendships. This also means that any new hobbies you develop can be enjoyed by several of you and having access to a wider social network might even introduce you to hobbies you didn’t even know you liked.
Senior living can serve well as both a place you can be independent but also as somewhere you can easily get help if you think you need it, allowing you to be comfortable while still firmly independent. If you are someone who is in need of a bit more care then independent living can be seen as a preferable alternative, in which case it could serve as a good middle-ground between what came before and an assisted living residence. The benefits between the two are pretty even, so it’s really a matter of preference.
Explore the Vast Sea of Hobbies at Your Disposal
While more physical and specific activities such as volunteering can take up a large bulk of your time and could even become your main focus going forward, you’re still going to have a lot of free time on your hands that you’ll likely want to fill with smaller hobbies. These smaller hobbies could really be anything that you’ve either been interested in prior, or something entirely new that you’ve always wanted to try. One of the simplest hobbies you can take up, which also doubles as a very healthy addition to your lifestyle, is walking. Walking is a hobby that you can integrate neatly into your day-to-day routine – it allows you to explore your surrounding environment, and does wonders for your physical and mental health, as well as provide several other benefits.
With all of these physical activities under your belt, you’ll no doubt be looking for something slightly calmer that you can practice at home. It is never too late to learn a new craft and activities such as crochet, knitting, sewing and cross-stitch can all be surprisingly therapeutic – while producing home-made decorations for your new abode. In fact, if you find yourself enamored with the creative field, then another avenue for you to explore is that of painting. Whether you are an amateur or someone who is familiar with the artist’s utensils, the world of painting can offer something new for you. For example, consider creating your own beautiful watercolor cards to send to your loved ones on special occasions, as both a cherished gift and a way to show off your newfound hobbies.
There are several other options of course, from jigsaws to stamp collecting – you’ve got plenty of time to find what suits you.