We spend most of our working lives dreaming about the utter bliss of retirement. The idea no longer having to get up at the crack of dawn and head off through the lifeless sea of commuters to a job which saps the energy out of us is what gets most of us through our forty-odd years in the workforce. We dream of lazy morning and long days with no responsibilities and nothing to do. But for many, the reality isn’t exactly what they hoped it would be.
Whilst it was lovely to imagine doing nothing all day long, when you actually have nothing to, you quickly feel restless, bored and perhaps even a little depressed. Sound familiar? Well, fear not, because we have six fantastic ways to help you fill your days and feel a sense of direction and progress once more.
Join a club
What better way to embrace your new lifestyle than by meeting likeminded people in a similar situation? Joining a club allows you to do exactly. Whether it’s a shuffleboard club in Sydney, a chess club, a walking group, a book club or a barefoot bowls team, joining a club gives you a weekly commitment to look forward to. And as an added bonus, it can also be a great way to get physically active whilst also building a new social network.
Always wanted to give back to the community but didn’t quite have the time or energy to do that on top of your day job? Well, now is the perfect time to help other people. Whether you work in a soup kitchen, teach English to refugees or help out the elderly within the community, there are countless ways you can get involved and make a genuine difference.
Volunteering can help get you out of the house and feeling good about yourself. It can also create a sense of purpose that can significantly benefit your mental health. So basically, you’ll be improving your own life as well as the lives of others in the community. It’s a win-win.
Master a new skill
Learning something new or mastering a new skill gives us a huge sense of achievement and productivity which could be missing now that you don’t have to work every day. Whether it’s learning a new language, taking a beginner surf lesson or mastering the art of Taekwondo, taking on a new challenge can give you a renewed sense of purpose in life.
Get a dog
This of course may not be suitable for everyone. It depends on the space you have at home as well as your physical health and ability to care for another living thing. But if circumstances allow, a dog offers both companionship and a reason to get up and out of the house every day.
Take a daily walk
Taking a daily stroll can benefit you both physically and mentally. It’s a great way to get your daily dose of fresh air as well as socialise and see others in your local area. You don’t have to walk for miles and miles on tough terrain to get the benefits from walking, you simply need to get out and about, even if it’s just ten minutes every day.
Embrace the downtime
It’s easy to get carried away with filling your days to feel a sense of purpose, but sometimes, it’s good to simply enjoy doing nothing. After all, you’ve worked your entire life in order to be able to retire, so remember to take some time out to enjoy and relax. Whether it’s reading a book in peace for an hour in the afternoons or having a nice cold drink in the garden, sometimes there’s nothing better than enjoying the simple things in peace and quiet.
Retirement can be a wonderful chapter in your life but if you find yourself feeling lonely or bored, don’t be afraid to get out & about and try new things. Be proactive and join local clubs or take a class. And of course, remember every now and again to sit back and enjoy the fact that you can do anything you want, even if that’s absolutely nothing at all!