Everybody dreams of a happy retirement. After a lifetime of hard work, long hours, and workplace uncertainty and stress, retirement can offer us the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of life that we seldom have time for during our working years. Yet retirees can also find themselves bored, lonely, uncertain how to spend their days, perhaps even yearning again for the agonizing rush hour commutes that we all look forward to leaving behind.
It does not have to be this way. While we all recognize that life offers us no guarantees, our chances for a happy retirement can be greatly improved if we plan well. Here are some tips we can all use to make our retirement more fulfilling and enjoyable:
While good health is often a matter of luck, we can increase our odds by following some simple steps. First, make healthy eating choices. We may no longer be as physically active as we were in our working days, so avoiding over-eating is important (1). We should try to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables, practice moderation with red meat and alcohol, and if we’re still smoking, now is a great time to quit. Physical exercise, too, is important, which bring us to our next tip:
We don’t have to turn into daredevil snowboarders or lycra-clad cyclists to enjoy the great outdoors and stay fit (2). Almost every town or city is within easy reach of a nature retreat, where we can enjoy fresh air and the simple pleasure of walking, whether for 10 minutes or 2 hours, at whatever pace we enjoy. It’s relaxing, it’s rejuvenating, and we don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership to get started. For those with physical handicaps, some nature retreats also offer accessible trails or boardwalks.
Get Involved in Activities that Provide a Sense of Purpose:
For some, life purposes can be found in volunteering at a hospital, or church, or social service agency; for others, it can be spending quality time with a grandchild or getting involved in a political campaign. Many of these activities can be readily found nearby, and can offer us the opportunity to help others in purposeful ways, and make new friends, with just a couple of hours each week. Many retirees try a mix of activities, for example volunteering at both a hospital and also at a social service agency, before settling on the one that best fits their sense of purpose. Others combine volunteering with the traveling life:
Yes, travel (3). Some of us dream of exploring North America by RV or Europe by train, others of moving to a relaxing community by the water or in the mountains. If this is your goal, and your health and finances permit, then enjoy it! And if volunteering suits you, get involved as volunteer in a new place can connect you with locals who may become new friends.
Following these suggestions can help make retirement the success that we all deserve. You’ve earned it!
(1) www.helpguide.org : Eating Well as Your Age
(2) blogs.naturalnews.com : Four Crucial Steps for Creating a Sustainable Garden
(3) www.thailandretirementhelpers.com : A Traveling Life of Me