The idea of retirement is a wonderful one. You finally have time to do all the things you’ve always wanted to do. Travel, learning new hobbies and volunteering are now within your grasp.
However, the reality of retirement can sometimes be quite different. In fact, some retirees report they feel lonely, depressed, or even isolated after retirement.
This is especially true for people who’ve spent their entire lives working in jobs they love. They now find themselves struggling to find meaning in their new, empty days.
Sure, It’s easy to feel lonely and isolated when you retire. It might feel as if your world has been turned upside down.
The good news is that there are many things to do after retirement. Staying busy and making the most of this transformational time is key.
You might be asking yourself questions such as:
“What do retired people do?”
“What sort of activities can I find to stay busy?”
Fear not, because we’ve put together a great list of activities for retirees to avoid getting lonely! There’s a whole new world just waiting for you. Follow our tips below on how to avoid getting lonely when you retire.
Activities for Retirees That’ll Keep Loneliness at Bay
Many people dread the idea of getting older, because they believe it means the beginning of the end. They think that life stops being fun and interesting. Often this sort of thinking gets people bored, depressed, and lonely.
But, the truth is that there are many ways for seniors to enjoy themselves and have a fulfilling retirement. The key is to find new hobbies and activities that will keep you feeling youthful and engaged with your community.
Get A Planner
Keeping a daily planner handy will help you to plan out your days and weeks. It keeps your upcoming events organized so you won’t skip a beat.
Choose from traditional paper planners or even a large wall calendar to put up. Tech savvy users can always access the digital calendar built into their devices.
Join A Club
A good way to meet people is to join a club. These groups will bring you lots of social opportunities. Making new friends and experimenting with different activities that you wouldn’t have done alone is the goal here.
There are clubs for everything from pets, cars, music, movies and for many other hobbies.
Join A Gym
If you’re looking for a way to have some fun with other seniors, then consider joining a gym. You can get a membership that will give you access to the facilities for a few hours each day.
You can also join the gym as a member and then meet up with other seniors on specific days for more structured activities.
For many people, retirement is a time to do all the things you never had time to do when you were working. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a lot more free time to spend time with your family. You can go on trips, learn how to paint or play the piano, and pursue hobbies.
Join A Group Exercise Class
The biggest problem we have above age 55 is not that we’re bored, but that we’re lonely.
Meet new friends and get together with like-minded people sharing common interests with you. Group exercise classes can be a low-cost way to firm up and be part of a team..
Move Near Family
Having family who live nearby can be a great way to keep in touch. Plus, it can also be a big help for retirees to have a place they can call home. Having family nearby can make the transition from working full-time to retirement much easier to adjust to.
Don’t Move Out Away From It All
Changing where you want to live at any time can be one of the biggest perks of retirement, but moving away from your hometown can also make you feel isolated.
Friends and family members can become harder to reach. Activities that once provided you with a sense of belonging will be harder to find.
Take All-Inclusive Vacations
Vacations are so much more fun when you’re retired and you can find a good deal. All-inclusive vacation deals are the best way to get away from your day-to-day life. You can just relax and have fun.
The biggest allure of an all-inclusive trip is the convenience. You provide your own meals, but everything else is covered by your resort. Most times this includes drinks, activities and even souvenirs.
Use Social Media Wisely
Social media is always a really fun way to connect with friends and new people. You can look up old friends and keep up with your regular ones. Joining social groups can be quite fun.
When meeting new people online, don’t give out too much personal information. Scammers and thieves make it their mission to con the elderly out of their hard earned money.
Find A Hobby
As they say, it’s important to keep busy when you retire. While you might be tempted to sit around and watch TV all day, don’t do it. Doing so for too long can leave you feeling bored and depressed.
An outdoor activity is a perfect hobby. Walking, gardening or anything else is better than vegging out to your TV.
Volunteer opportunities are always out there. Look into volunteering for a local community organization. Some groups are in need of volunteers on a daily or weekly basis.
This makes it easy to fit volunteering into your schedule. Volunteering can also be a fantastic way to meet new people young and old.
Cook and Eat Right
The question of “what to eat” when you retire is one of those topics that is fraught with controversy. Some claim that eating a certain diet, or certain diet foods will help you live longer and avoid getting sick. Be careful of “extreme” diets and speak with your doctor or a nutritionist about your needs.
Besides determining what to eat, learning recipes, joining in-person or online cooking classes, and cooking with friends can be extremely enjoyable.
Get Preventive Medical Care
The next time you go for a medical checkup, ask your physician about preventative medical care. Basically about how you can best prevent illness and disease.
The number one thing your doctor can offer you is preventive medical care and advice. Regularly scheduled checkups can help prevent serious ailments from developing in the first place.
Tackling Loneliness In Retirement
According to the U.S. Census report, the 2020 population of those 65 years and older was expected to be 72,920,132. An AARP study shows that nearly 2/3 of Americans over the age of 50 years old will experience loneliness. Loneliness can cause issues such as mental and physical problems.
The way to tackle loneliness is to fight it head on:
- Stay social and positive.
- Keep an active interest in things.
- Talk to people. Volunteer to help people.
What loneliness does to a person?
Loneliness affects every person differently. Short term loneliness is something nearly every person on the planet experiences. It’s not a big deal. Long term or chronic loneliness can cause symptoms such as prolonged depression and social isolation.
People suffering from loneliness have extreme difficulty connecting with others. They feel as if there’s no one to discuss things with.
Can loneliness make you mentally ill?
Loneliness over a long term period can cause mental illnesses. Depression, sleep disorders, anxiety and more can be caused by long term loneliness.
Because we are all individuals, it’s difficult to figure out what exactly triggers chronic loneliness. Even people who live with others can feel this way. Many living with family members have reported a “disconnect” with their spouses, siblings and others.
What happens when you don’t get enough social interaction?
All sorts of small and big changes happen when you don’t get enough social interaction. You start to feel vulnerable and paranoid in crowds. This happens because your brain is producing stress hormones unnaturally.
Of course, all of that stress can cause insomnia, preventing you from getting a proper night’s sleep. A lack of social interaction has even proven to cause stomach problems.
The end of a long working career can be a time of great joy and excitement. The last few years of ones working life is the time to plan for a new phase which should ideally minimize loneliness in retirement.
Feelings of loneliness are with all of us sometimes. However, try some of the ideas above to avoid loneliness. And if initially you aren’t successful, keep trying new things until you find activities, hobbies and social functions that can improve your happiness in retirement.