Many people speak of retirement as the golden years; after decades of hard work, you can finally hang your hat up and devote more time to your family and your hobbies. The world is your oyster and you have all the time in the world to enjoy it. But, for many people, this time in life can pose many challenges. No longer having to work may leave people feeling a bit lost and without a sense of purpose; physical and mental health can suffer, with some studies finding that retired people were more likely to suffer health problems, such as heart attacks and strokes.
Maintain a Social Network
Retirement can have a big impact on social relations. You may not interact with as many people if you are no longer heading to the office every day. Friends and colleagues who were once a part of your daily routine are people you may not see much of, or at all, once you leave your job. Maintaining a strong social network is key to a healthy retirement. You might even consider moving to a community with fellow retirees; there are many elder retirement options available with a range of amenities and activities available to suit your needs and wants.
Embrace the New
How many times do you hear people talk about all the things they want to do, but they just do not have the time? Well, now that you are retired, that excuse will not cut it; you have nothing but time. Keeping busy is key to a happy retirement, and there is no shortage of ways to fill your time. Not only will you feel better mentally, you will keep your mind sharp, which can help ward off age-related memory issues. Set specific goals for yourself and devote time to achieving them. Learn something new, whether it is a language or a skill—intellectual stimulation is a basic human need, and meeting it will be good for your overall well-being. Think of causes you feel particularly passionate about and volunteer your time.
Nurture Your Creativity
Engaging the right side of your brain, the ‘’creative side’’ is a good way to keep your brain healthy. Creative self-expression is also good for the body and soul. Creativity can take any form, whether it is designing a garden plot to writing a blog. These activities may help you discover a passion or talent that you never even knew was there.
It is no secret that as we age, our health can decline, but this idea that we are just meant to completely fall apart is not accurate in my book. Now more than ever, it is important that you take care of your body as best you can. Exercise is paramount for healthy bones, a healthy mind and keeping blood pressure and cholesterol in check, two problems that tend to worsen during this stage of life. Weight-bearing exercise is particularly important for women to prevent or stabilize osteoporosis. Get enough sleep; not only is it important for healthy cognitive function, it is vital for physical health. Strong associations between lack of sleep and weight gain have been clearly established. Make stress reduction techniques a regular part of your day—meditation is a highly worthwhile one as it has been found to improve mental and physical health on numerous fronts.