Many of us will one day decide that we do not want to continue to do what we are currently doing. We may want to “retire from our current job” and begin a new senior lifestyle. It could alternatively be that you have just retired from your previous job or that you have decided to change the pace of your workload so that you can have more time to embark on other new activities. Whatever the reasons, the fact is that now with this “new lifestyle” you will have more “free time” to “explore new adventures”. All this is rather exciting and can cause you to feel a bit apprehensive as you wonder what to expect from this new lifestyle. That is quite normal. Firstly we must be aware that it does not matter whether you are 40 or 50 or 60 or even 70 years old. This new lifestyle can start at whatever age that you decide you want a change of pace from whatever job that you were previously doing. This “change of pace” in your lifestyle will have both physical and psychological effects on you, either positively or negatively.
In this article, I will share with you 5 reasons why it is important to have hobbies for seniors. When a senior embarks on a new lifestyle, the change of pace that comes with the new lifestyle can have both physical and psychological impacts on the person. It is therefore important that seniors must understand these impacts and know the reasons why they must consider having some hobbies in their new lifestyle.
So let’s look at the 5 reasons why hobbies for seniors are so important.
1. Remember The Mind Never Stops Working
The most important impact that the change of pace of lifestyle after retirement can have is on the mind of the senior. It is not uncommon that after retirement, the retiree usually will have a slower lifestyle. This will mean lesser regular routines compared with time when he or she was still “working”. But the Mind Never Stops Working!
This change in routine can sometimes lead to depression. Depression prevents you from enjoying life like what you used to. But its effects go far beyond mood. It also impacts your energy, sleep, appetite, and physical health and even sexual drive. However, depression is not an inevitable part of aging or lifestyle change.
Sometimes, the new retiree will struggle with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness after retirement. Or they may find it harder and harder to get through the day. If you suddenly feel like this, you’re not alone.
Depression is a common problem for adults who have just embarked on their new lifestyle but have not really mentally prepared themselves. The symptoms of depression can affect every aspect of your life, including your energy, appetite, sleep, and interest in work, hobbies, and relationships and sex.
Unfortunately, all too many depressed seniors fail to recognize the symptoms of depression, or don’t take the steps to get the help they need.
Whether you’re 50 or 80, you don’t have to live with depression. Senior depression can be overcome with the adoption of the right mindset and getting actively involved in hobbies that interest and excite you and can make you feel better and live a happy and vibrant life. As you grow older, you face significant life changes that can put you at risk for depression. Even for seniors who are a fairly good physical health condition can feel depress for the following reasons:
The feeling of loneliness and isolation – Living alone; a dwindling social circle due to deaths or relocation; decreased mobility due to illness or loss of driving privileges.
The feeling of reduced sense of purpose – Feelings of loss of purpose or loss of identity due to retirement or physical limitations on activities.
And of course, fears – Fear of death or dying, anxiety over financial problems or health issues.
It’s a myth to think that after a certain age you can’t learn new skills, try new activities, or make fresh lifestyle changes. The truth is that the human brain never stop working and is always changing, so older adults are just as capable as younger people of learning new things and adapting to new ideas. Overcoming depression often involves finding new hobbies that you enjoy and preferably with these new hobbies you become socially active and feel connected to your community and loved ones. Hobbies such as learning to play a musical instrument like the piano or guitar or even magic tricks are great hobbies for seniors to pick up and these hobbies are great “antidotes” for depression. By immersing yourself into learning these new skills, your mind will once again become active and you will feel a sense of pride and achievement as you slowly notice yourself becoming more and more accomplished at these new hobbies. And the great thing is that there is no external time schedule to worry about. You set your time frame and you can feel the joy of success at your own pace.
2. The Body Needs Caring Too.
When a senior embarks on the new lifestyle, this change of pace of living also have a physical effect on his or her well-being. It is not uncommon that before retirement, a person daily work routine can be quite fast paved and demanding. His or her work routine can cause the body to be actively involved physically including active use of the limbs and other parts of the body. But the sudden change of pace with the new lifestyle may result in a big reduction of physical bodily activity.
Physical activity has powerful mood-boosting effects. In fact, research suggests it may be just as effective as antidepressants in relieving depression. The best part is that the benefits come without side effects. You don’t have to hit the gym to reap the rewards.
Many hobbies for seniors can not only provide new skills to the seniors but can also be a great source of physical exercise. Learning and playing various types of games like golf or tennis. If you have being already playing such games then continue to be engaged in such activities this will definitely be great for your well being as you embark on this new lifestyle.
If you are physically challenged or have not been that active physically while you were “working” then there are many new hobbies that can be great at both giving you fun and excitement learning it and at the same time be good for your physical well being. One of these hobbies for seniors is of course learning Tai Chi. Tai Chi is a great hobby to pick up irrespective of your age or physical fitness level. This hobby will help you improve your health and well being tremendously.
Yoga is another good hobby to pick up. Besides being good for you general health, certain types of Yoga can also help in weight loss, which is especially great for senior’s ladies who are always considering how to lose more weight and keep a young looking figure.
3. You Cannot Be An Island
One of the biggest change that a senior or retiree will face in the new lifestyle is the sudden drop of social contact and interaction. While you are “working”, you are usually not aware that during the “normal working hours” from 9a.m. to 5p.m. you are usually quite active communicating and integrating with other human beings. With this new lifestyle, most seniors or retirees suddenly find themselves “cut-off” from the usual daily social interaction. Such a change can also sometimes cause depression. So connection with others is very important. Getting the proper social contact and communication that you need, plays a big role in preventing depression. Finding some ideal hobbies for seniors can make a big difference in helping seniors go out to socialize actively and provide the necessary level of human contact to prevent the on-set of early depression. Of course learning and playing games by joining clubs like tennis clubs or golf clubs will be great to start socializing again. It is proven that picking up a hobby like learning magic tricks or playing the piano is a great confidence booster in getting a senior back into socializing be it with other seniors in a neighborhood center or meeting up with old friends and buddies who are also now starting their new lifestyle.
4. Be Careful Of What You Eat
Yes that’s right. One of the biggest challenges when you embark on your new lifestyle will be the change in your food and eating routine. Prior to retirement, usually a person will have a fairly regular eating regime. May be a light breakfast before leaving for work. A quick lunch in the office and then dinner at home with the spouse and the rest of the family. But once you have retired, you no longer follow such a regular meals routine.
So what has that got to do with the need to have a hobby? Well as the saying goes, “you are what you eat!” So to ensure that you are able to have an enjoyable and fulfilling new lifestyle, you must make sure that you are healthy and fit and to do that it is good that you pick up some good hobbies that will teach you or encourage you to be able to maintain a healthy fitness and diet routine. Also if you find the interest, then you should pick up cooking skills as a new hobby if you are not already cooking regularly. Many cooking programs online and offline not only teach you how to cook delicious and mouth-watering dishes, but also teach you about the nutritional and health benefits of the various kinds of fruits and vegetables. You can easily learn to cook Italian dishes, Japanese dishes, make Smoothies or even bake Cupcakes and start a home business.
So, not only be careful what you eat but also you can make it an enjoyable, healthy and rewarding hobby learning about food and cooking.
5. Self-development And Family Relationships
Another very important element to note after retirement is that seniors very often are not aware of the fact that he or she needs to continue to provide resources for self-development and improvement. Remember, the mind never stops working. Many retirees very quickly fall into a state of despair shortly after entering retirement because they begin to feel a lack of self worthiness as they “lose” the feeling of “importance” that came with the job that they were doing. It does not matter what position they were in when they retired. When they were a clerk or a cashier they had a daily role to play in the company and that gave them a sense of pride and worthiness in society.
Some seniors may need to address other matters relating to personal matters like sex and love issues. Fortunately there are many resources available online that can provide help 24 hours a day. All you need is a bit of searching online.
So when a senior enters into the new lifestyle after retirement, it is very important that he or she must find a way to continue to embark on self-development. Learn a new skill for example carpentry or learn a new language. Have a proactive approach to ensure that you seek out to acquire a new skill or engage in some course or program on self-development as soon as possible after you have decided to be part of the senior’s new lifestyle. Seeking out new hobbies targeted on self-development can do this. You can develop yourself physically through learning new skills and even new exercise programs, improve mentally by getting involved in Chess playing groups and also grow spiritually through getting involved in spiritual development activities.
Many seniors also forget that when they retire, their new lifestyle also affects other members of the family, especially their spouses and their gown up children and even grand children. It is very important that they are aware of this and make proactive effort to ensure that their new lifestyle routines are a welcome positive experience to the rest of the family. Make real efforts to contributing to the welfare and condition of the home including the house keeping and gardening where applicable. If you have some interest, this phase of your life is the best time to pick up some cooking skills. Make it one of the new hobbies to learn. If you are a man then imagine how thrilled your wife will be to find you cooking an authentic Italian dinner at home for you and your spouse and the rest of the family. Ladies can pick up new handicraft hobbies or playing some musical instrument. You must be aware that your new lifestyle may affect the rest of your family so you must make it as pleasant and memorable time as possible of your life and theirs too.
So the above are 5 important reasons why seniors need hobbies. Hobbies for seniors will provide the necessary “antidotes” to many of the potential challenges that seniors will face so that they can have a truly enjoyable and rewarding new lifestyle.
Happy living the new lifestyle!!
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