Exercise is key to a healthy mind and body. Go for a daily walk or swim, do Tai Chi in a beautiful garden, join a senior exercise class at a gym or community centre. If you have physical limitations, try chair exercises or gentle water aerobics. Using light hand weights to condition your muscles is also great.
Staying connected to other people is a mood booster. People with strong family or social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. Visit regularly with family, friends and neighbours. Go to the movies, an art gallery or sports game, or have them over for dinner. Living in a retirement community also lends itself to making new friends and being social.
Now you have more free time, have you considered volunteering? Giving back is a great way to enrich your life and meet new people. VMCH currently has over 500 volunteers who contribute significantly to supporting and enhancing the experiences and opportunities offered to the people we care for. To find out more, call 1800 036 377.
Use technology to stay in touch
Schedule regular phone calls to catch up with loved ones, and try FaceTime or Skype for a video call. If you have a computer, iPad or smart phone, join a social media platform like Facebook to connect with and even meet people online.
Learn something new
Challenge your brain and have fun by taking a class at your local University of the 3rd Age (U3A), community centre, or TAFE. There are also 1000s of online courses you can do from the comfort of your own home. From cooking to computers to craft, there will be a class out there for you.
Do crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, scrabble and games like Sudoku to stimulate your mind. Join a bridge or chess club. Watch ‘question and answer’ game shows on TV, and play along with the contestants. Try playing WII (video games) with your children, grandchildren or friends – it’s surprisingly fun and easy.
Make a spiritual connection
Being part of a community that worships together can add meaning to your life and uplift your spirit. Join a local church, or simply discover more about your own beliefs and spiritual journey through reading and prayer. Both prayer and meditation can strengthen your emotional health, and give you a sense of inner peace.
Do what makes you happy
Think about the activities that make you feel good and do them often! It might be something that you used to do in the past – like travelling or painting or fishing – but let go when you had a busy professional and family life. Retirement is the ideal time to focus on yourself and do the things that gives you a sense of personal satisfaction or happiness.