Hopefully, when you look out at your future retirement, you see some big events that you’re excited to enjoy once the pandemic is behind us. But what about all those days in between? How are you planning to spend your time when you’re not travelling to your granddaughter’s wedding, cruising around the Mediterranean, or touring the National Parks?
Retirees who struggle to fill their days with meaningful activity risk more than just boredom. Use these strategies to find and develop hobbies that will get your heart pumping and keep your gears turning.
- Exercise socially.
The activities that you enjoy doing with your friends and family are a great place to look for new retirement hobbies. You’ll enjoy your friendly foursome or tennis with your spouse even more if you take some lessons and work on developing your game. You could also round up some neighbors for a morning walking group. Mixing social activity with healthy activity is a great way to build an accountability network that will nudge you out the door on those days when your couch feels extra comfy.
- Keep your mind working.
Whether you loved your job or just tolerated it, working exercised your mind in ways you might have taken for granted. It’s important that retirees find ways to replace that daily learning, problem solving, and social interaction.
Outside of online chess with your son or going to the theatre with friends (when allowed), give yourself some space to explore your individual interests. Take an online class to learn a new skill or brush up on an old one, like your French lessons from school. Explore the online and in-house range at your local library. Stroll through parks and museums and see where your mind takes you. Set up your easel in that spare bedroom. Create an office space where you can work on your novel or develop the business plan for the company you’ve always wanted to start.
- Track your progress.
Ready to take your hobbies and your health up a notch?
Go beyond doing and start improving. Time your morning runs and pretty soon you’ll be pushing yourself from one personal best to the next. Use a smartwatch or phone app to track your daily movement and sleep cycles. Buy a dedicated notebook that you use to journal about your hobby every day, reflecting on progress you’ve made and challenges you’re facing.
- Build your ideal week in retirement.
Many retirees go through a period of trial and error early in retirement. You might throw yourself into a weekend hobby and find it just doesn’t hold your interest like it used to. Following your whims and curiosities might lead you to some exciting new activities that become part of your daily health, recreation, and social routines.
The most successful retirees we work with never stop exploring. But they also dedicate time to the activities that they’re most passionate about. Finding a balance between giving yourself room to grow and committing time to the hobbies that enrich your mind and body is just one of the challenges of retirement.