The Senior

8 Tips for embracing life after retirement: Enhancing health & happiness

Keep your happiness and health in top order in retirement. Picture Shutterstock
Keep your happiness and health in top order in retirement. Picture Shutterstock

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Retirement living may seem like spending long, dull days in solitude, but it's possible for elderly folks to enjoy their post-retirement life with the right outlook.

Think of retirement living as a new chapter of your life. It's the time that you're finally free from the chains of work and can now focus on personal growth, hobbies, and making connections.

With that said, some people may not know what to do with this newfound free time-and you could fall into this dilemma too.

Should you spend each waking moment filled with activities and socialisation? How do you stay preoccupied throughout the day and not suffer from boredom? What are ways you can feel content with life after retirement?

If you find yourself asking these questions, then you're in the right place. This article will lay out some tips to help you navigate retirement living and keep your happiness and health in top order.

Let's dive into these eight retirement tips!

1. Prepare a routine

The moment you enter your retirement stage, you'll start to feel uneasy from the lack of structure in your day-to-day life. This can cause you to become sedentary and fall into a cycle of bad habits.

Such a case happens to the best of us. And while it's common, it's certainly not the ideal way of living your older years.

To counter this, consider establishing a routine as soon as you enter the retirement phase of your life. Know what to do as soon as you wake up, keep tabs of events throughout the week and plot them in your calendar, and repeat.

You don't have to follow this routine extremely rigidly (unless it's medical related-then you absolutely have to), but having a semblance of what to do during what times can help keep you from losing the day.

Furthermore, establishing routines can also help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially if you choose to incorporate good habits in your day-to-day life. So don't miss out on this oft-overlooked habit!

2. Meet your social needs

When you get older, your social circle starts becoming smaller and smaller. Friends will come and go, you no longer see your co-workers, and even your children may start to focus on building and caring for their children and households.

If you live at home, your routine may not expose you to as much socialisation as you would like. Because of this, it's really easy to feel lonely and develop depression from the lack of everyday interactions.

This is why you need to make it a priority to stay connected to your existing social network as much as possible. Go on weekly calls with your family and friends. Consider going out to a park or social event and interact with the locals there. Join community groups in your aged care facility or outside.

Doing all these things can help you feel less isolated from the world, making retirement age much more lively and fun.

3. Get regular health assessments

Getting older is synonymous with increased risk of health problems. Coronary heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, sleep apnea are some of the few common health problems that can afflict people later in life.

It's important to keep your health in good standing to ensure the contentment of your daily life. Many aged care facilities have care nurses that help ensure that you're living well and good-and on top of your medications.

If you're living at home, be sure to be proactive about your health needs. Take your medications as prescribed and inform doctors about developments in your health status.

Talking with a doctor is made easy nowadays with the proliferation of telehealth apps in smartphones and tablets-so there's no excuse not to get valid medical advice from a licensed professional.

In most cases, you can only get prescriptions to treat underlying health conditions through these assessments.

For instance, sleep apnea sufferers can only be prescribed a fitting CPAP mask with a doctor's approval. So don't miss out on your regular doctor check-ups. You can see what CPAP masks are available by following this link.

4. Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly

When you're older, your body often reflects your past dietary and exercising habits. If you've been treating your body well during the early stages of your life, then you'll likely reap the benefits of it during your retirement stage.

If not, well, it's much harder but still attainable to live a happy and healthy life.

To ensure that you keep your health above standard (or to correct your former bad habits), then it's essential to eat healthily and exercise regularly. Eat a good mix of food rich with vitamins and nutrients to keep your body in top shape.

Lean meats, veggies, fruits, complex carbohydrates, seafood, and legumes (in healthy portions) should do the trick to keep you in shape.

Besides watching your diet, exercising and doing sports are also essential to keep your physical body in top shape.

Engaging in light activities like brisk walking for at least 150 minutes a week is a good start for elderly people. But if you can incorporate slightly more strenuous activities like tai chi, swimming, yoga, and sports-that's even better to get your heart pumping and muscles strengthened.

5. Engage in fun hobbies

Now that you're got more free time, use it to have fun guilt-free! Whether you read books, tend to an indoor garden set-up, or fish from time to time, you now have the time and (hopefully) energy to do these things anytime you want.

If you don't have hobbies that you enjoy, you can consider picking up new ones that interest you. Ask yourself what you like to do and what makes you feel fulfilled. Search up a list of hobbies online and list the ones that interest you.

Then, turn these ideas into reality and feel the joy from doing so!

6. Volunteer and do charity work

Another great and fulfilling way to spend your retirement years is by volunteering and giving back to your community.

While some people don't like the idea of handing out free labour, this pathway can be fun for people who do enjoy giving their time to meaningful causes.

For instance, if your community hosts weekend parkruns, then you can consider volunteering for them every weekend. This is a great way to feel fulfilled and also meet like-minded people.

If there's an advocacy that you support, look up charities that cater to these advocacies and consider applying as a volunteer with them. By doing so, you can help create a feeling of fulfilment through meaningful work.

7. Commune with nature

If you feel like you want to switch up your usual routine, consider heading out into natural spaces near your area.

Whether you plan to go solo or with friends, communing with nature is a great way to decompress from daily life and improve your mental health.

There are many ways you can enjoy nature. You can head out to a beach or go on a trail walk. If those places are too far, then a local stroll in a botanical garden or local park would be good too.

8. Practise a gratefulness mindset

Even if you're doing all the above habits, it can be all for naught if you hold a sour attitude towards them.

Your frame of mind dictates how you feel about your life. If you hold negative thoughts towards retirement, then chances are these habits won't really combat the root cause of your internal struggles.

However, if you practise gratefulness and are optimistic about your daily living, then you can enjoy your retirement at a higher level.

To cut a long message short, be grateful for living. To improve your sense of gratitude, consider writing things you're grateful for every day in a personal journal. You can also consider reflecting on these things during down periods.

This way, you can focus on the brighter side of life and seize the day more often.