We all have mixed feelings when we think about retirement. While the stress relief is certainly welcome, many retirees can find themselves bored without their normal routines filling their daily schedules. The anticipation of all that time can lead us to depression and feelings of inadequacy, because we spend so many years attaching our purpose to our work life, but the reality of the situation couldn’t be further from the truth!

Retirement is a reward for our years of hard work. The free time is truly a blessing, and we should treat it as such. The challenge lies not in learning to cope with loss of our old routine, but learning to feel comfortable in building an entirely new routine. The good news is that the pressure and constraints of the work day no longer apply. It’s to time to think about what you want to do – you’ve earned it!

The best way to make the most of your retirement is to explore some new hobbies. Now is the time to learn about something you’ve always wanted to do. Here are some popular ideas to get your brain to start thinking about life after the nine to five grind:

  • Gardening: Plant care can be a much more time-consuming hobby than it seems at first glance, but it can also be among the most rewarding commitments that you can make. Given all of the possibilities for both indoor and outdoor gardening, the potential for customizing the look and feel of your home is nearly endless – and serves as a great excuse to get some fresh air when the weather is nice. Let that green thumb flourish!
  • Photography: While photography can turn into a very expensive hobby down the road, it’s cheaper and easier than ever to get started and to find out if it’s worthwhile for you. Thanks to inexpensive digital cameras and the internet, you can learn the basics on your own for free. Because it’s so easy to get into, photography is rapidly growing in popularity across the world. It’s easy to find groups and communities locally and online – a great chance to meet new people and share you art with those who will appreciate it most!
  • Volunteering: Few ventures in this life are as personally satisfying as “giving back.” Even as we age and lose our ability to perform more physically demanding tasks, there is always someone, somewhere nearby, that can use our help with something. Think about causes that mean a lot to you or just ask around the community. You’ll be surprised to discover how many ways you can truly make a difference in the lives of others.

Don’t view retirement as a burden; use it as an opportunity to enrich your life!

Michael Holley
Marketing & Outreach

Chicago Senior Living
Assisted Living in Chicago