Here’s how your retirement can be fun... seriously!
It’s true – your retirement really can be the best time of your life. And when you stop to think about it... why wouldn’t it be fun?
You’ve downsized into a more manageable home, you’re enjoying all the activities available in a retirement village, your children have all moved out and are self-sufficient, and you’ve still got your health (and a little money tucked away).
Once your time is your own to spend, you’ll find there are many ways to stay happy and continue to lead a healthy, fulfilling retirement lifestyle. Here are just a few of our ideas.
1) Let’s get physical!
Now that you’re no longer working full time, it’s the perfect opportunity to put some energy into keeping fit and healthy.
Why not sign up for salsa classes, learn yoga (your body will thank you) or take up swimming or lawn bowls? Walking is one of the best forms of exercise – and with South East Queensland’s beautiful weather and stunning scenery, one of the most enjoyable too.
Whatever you do to keep your body moving, remember that exercise shouldn’t be a chore. So see what’s happening in your retirement village, at the community centre, or in the local park. Many classes are held outdoors, such as Tai Chi or stretching.
And if you haven’t already, why not go and find out what “this gym thing” is all about – you might just like it! Oh and do check with your doctor first before tackling anything that’s out of your ordinary.
2) Stay connected socially
Being socially active and engaged in your community helps keep you healthy, both mentally and physically. People with strong social networks tend to be more active, feel happier, and are more supported.
It’s easy for naturally outgoing people to gravitate towards others. They easily find groups and enjoy social time together. If you’re happy with your own company on the other hand, it’s easy to just hole yourself away at home. Yet we all need some human contact – even if it’s just a few close friends for a weekly cuppa catch up or chat on the phone.
Did you know that the over 60’s are the fastest growing group heading to Facebook for social connection? It’s actually not surprising. There’s no better way to keep up with what your friends and family are doing, and it’s easy to learn. Most libraries run classes, or perhaps a patient friend or family member can help.
Try and make time for a broad range of social connections – not just sitting home behind a computer screen – especially if you’re on your own. Stretch yourself to get out and meet a few people. We’re all in this together, so we may as well enjoy some company!
3) Your grey matter matters
It turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks! Retirement is a great time to learn something new.
Think of a skill you’ve always wanted to learn or improve on – whether that’s photography, painting, carpentry or playing the ukulele! It may be something you enjoyed as a child, or that has been a hobby throughout your life.
If you’re not sure where your passion lies, why not have a look through the offerings in your retirement village, local community centre, library, or TAFE? Cooking classes are always popular... and they’re practical too. You can also pick up plenty of skills online through sites like YouTube or Udemy. Even learning how to navigate your way around a computer will give your brain a workout.
Once you get started, you’ll find your daily achievements will bring you much happiness... and perhaps occasional hilarity. Either way, if you’re out and about you’re bound to meet new friends who share your interests. That’s always a good thing.
4) Get help building your peace-of-mind
It’s natural to experience anxious feelings from time to time – and these can become more pronounced as we journey through life. It’s hard to be happy when you have genuine worries or concerns about the future, and you’re more likely to withdraw from the world.
Your concerns are very real to you, so don’t keep them to yourself. Seek out support from someone you trust. It may be a close friend, your church minister or a counsellor. There are many services available for you to talk through your challenges and fears.
Everyone deserves to be happy. Once the clouds clear, you’ll start feeling the sunshine again.
5) Create a sense of purpose
We all need to feel valued – and that’s still true once you’ve left the workforce, your children are taking care of themselves, and there’s nothing left to ‘fix’ on the house. Now is the time to plan ahead and give yourself something to look forward to.
Whether you’re creating your own “bucket list” or putting together a simple list of goals, choose activities that will give you a sense of achievement once you’ve ticked them off. And remember, this isn’t all the ‘chores’ you have to do... this is the fun stuff!
You don’t have to wait for those ‘big’ moments on your list either. Simply taking five minutes every morning to write down the most important things you want to accomplish that day can give you a huge happiness boost. If you don’t get them all done, just carry them over ‘til tomorrow.
6) Stay healthy on the inside
You’re bound to feel on top of the world when your body is healthy. We’re not about to give you healthy eating advice – you can find that in abundance from professional sources. It just deserved a mention in our nine tips, as it’s extremely important.
Remember too that being healthy doesn’t always equate to being happy – just as being unhealthy doesn’t mean you’re unhappy. You’re sure to know people who are quite ill yet remain positive and joyful – as well as those who will stub their toe and complain for a month!
Here’s the secret: the choice is yours. If you want to be happy, choose happy!
7) Think about helping others
There are a myriad of wonderful ways to get involved in your community at any age. Charities and local groups are always on the lookout for volunteers.
Think about the type of people you’d like to spend time with, the environment you’d want to be in, and of course the skills you have to offer (or alternatively, the new skills you’d like to pick up).
You might like to think beyond the usual into places that may not ordinarily look or ask for volunteers. For example, many child care centres are starting programs where their young ones learn from the ‘oldies’ – and vice versa.
You may also find opportunities closer to home to help – such as lending a hand to a neighbour, reading to someone whose eyesight is failing, or teaching your ‘craft’ to a grandchild. All are bound to bring joy.
8) Take the best medicine
The healing power of laughter is undeniable. Some of the ideas and activities above will provide you opportunities to laugh – even if it’s at yourself! Laughter brings you happiness, gives your immune system a boost, and gives you an instant, glowing ‘facelift’ as a bonus!
Everyone has a particular funny bone, so find the activities that will bring on the laughter for you. Movies are ideal, karaoke a sure-fire winner, and jokes (whether you’re good at telling them or not) are bound to bring on the giggles.
9) Share your gratitude
Expressing your gratitude every morning is a positive way to start the day. You could also create a ‘book of blessings’ and make one entry every night before you turn off the light. It’s easy – just think of one thing you are grateful for that day. You’ll probably find you have many to choose from!
It doesn’t have to be something grand. There are many people in the world that would be grateful for the clean water, roof over your head, and the cosy pair of slippers that you enjoy each day.
Find out how Renaissance residents stay happy and healthy
If you’d like to discover a retirement village that can help you achieve all these points above, we invite you to visit Renaissance yourself.
Our Information Days are a wonderful introduction to the Renaissance lifestyle, in just the sort of relaxed and welcoming environment you’ll experience when you choose to move in.
We’ll help you find the information you need to make the right decision for your needs.
Call Renaissance today on (07) 3820 7700 to find out more about our Victoria Point retirement village, or fill out the simple form here.