Many of us imagine retirement to be a chapter of our lives filled with relaxation, free schedules and the opportunity to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.
However, many older adults with this expectation are often disappointed when their lifestyle doesn’t make them as happy as they thought it would. So why doesn’t golfing, reading or doing our favorite things every day make us happy?
The reason lies in the difference between pleasure and meaningful engagement. Our favorite pastimes may be pleasurable, but that feeling only lasts so long, fading shortly into our retirement.
Longer-lasting joy comes from doing things that not only truly engage our minds, but also provide meaning. For example, reading may be a pleasurable activity, but joining a book club and sharing ideas with others can be more engaging. Leading a book club or planning a Reading Day at your local school offers additional meaning.
If you’re searching for more than just pleasure in your retirement, exploring new interests can lead you to a more engaging, meaningful and fulfilling lifestyle. Here are just a few reasons to try something new:
1. You Have the Time – Retirement may be the first time in a long while that you’ve had the schedule to accommodate a new interest. You have the time to learn about a topic, practice new skills, search for local experts or resources and truly dive into something that isn’t required of you.
2. New Connections – Almost any hobby or area of interest can involve others. Especially when you’re first learning about something, connecting with other people who share that interest can promote greater engagement and the likelihood you’ll continue pursuing it.
Plus, life is more meaningful when we share it with friends. Engaging with others is beneficial, whether you and a friend or partner start something new or your new hobby leads you to new social connections.
3. Stimulate the Mind – Experts on senior health and wellness agree that learning something new or even banishing boredom is great for cognitive well-being. Keeping the mind active and stimulated helps to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or similar illnesses. Additionally, losing yourself in an engaging hobby or activity can be extremely satisfying.
4. Find Fulfillment – Maybe your current hobbies or interests haven’t provided the meaningful lifestyle you’re searching for. If that’s the case, exploring new things can help you discover a purpose for this chapter of your life.
Ask yourself what’s missing in your day-to-day routine and create a list of hobbies that could fill that need. Do you wish you could work with children? Volunteer at your church or school. Do you miss the sense of value and routine you had in your career? Then find a fun part-time job or think about starting your own business.
At Diakon Senior Living Services, we believe it’s never too late to try something new. When the possibilities for meaningful living and a fulfilling retirement are waiting, why not chase your dreams? The opportunities for making your golden years shine are endless. All you need to do is start exploring.
Senior Living Sales Advisor
Diakon Senior Living