Seniors outside movie theater

5 Ways to Live Your Best Life in Retirement

Retirement isn’t just a time to be finished with the workplace – it’s about getting to know yourself and doing what you can to be the best version of yourself that you can be. The question is, where do you start? Well, that part is up to you. There are plenty of opportunities to reinvent your lifestyle as you age; if you’re having trouble, we’re here to help. Here are 5 ways you can live your best life in retirement: 1: Put a Focus on Your Health As an older adult, it’s more important now than it has ever been in the past to take care of your mind and body. And while you don’t necessarily need to sign up for a gym membership, you should definitely consider doing everything you can to be as healthy and active as possible. But why? Well, naturally as we age, our body begins to change. You’ve likely already dealt with a regression in your flexibility and overall strength at some point over the last few decades, and that’s to be expected. However, it’s not the only change happening in your body. Along with the decrease in muscle mass, our metabolism naturally slows with age, making consistent exercise that much more important to focus on. Additionally, exercise has been shown to help fight depression, especially in seniors, as well as reduce stress overall. Even more important than the amount of physical activity you get are the types of vitamins and nutrients that you’re putting into your body on a daily basis. For example, older adults need more calcium and vitamin D than they may have when they were younger in order to maintain strong bone health. Similarly, other nutrients like potassium and fiber are important for reducing your risk to things like high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. The most important thing to know is that health looks different for everybody. So if you haven’t already, consider setting up an appointment with your primary care doctor so that they can discuss what you should or shouldn’t be including in your personal daily regimen. 2: Be Socially Active In our lifetimes, we meet so many different people through work or business that bring joy to our lives every day — so much so that you’re never really alone. And that shouldn’t change while in retirement. According to Healthline, over 13 million seniors lived alone in 2017 – a number that shows the staggering amount of people who are leaving themselves prone to social isolation. And as plenty of studies have shown over the last decade or so, loneliness is less-than-ideal for a person’s mental and physical well-being, especially as you age. The thing to remember is that humans have a natural tendency to be social, and part of living your best life is about getting out of the house and being with the people who make you happiest. That doesn’t mean you need to make fancy plans or have extravagant destinations to visit – sometimes all it takes is a picnic table or park bench and some worthwhile company. 3: Enjoy The Freedom You’ve probably spent most of your life on the schedules of others, in some way or another. Whether it was going to work and being on the clock, or making yourself available to drive one of your children to an afterschool activity of some sort, you’ve likely spent a large portion of your adulthood catering to the needs of others. That changes in retirement. This is officially your time, and a chance to live as freely as you choose. If that’s going for a run at 1 in the afternoon or following your favorite sports team across the country for the weekday game, it’s ultimately up to you. And that’s the point. The liberating feeling that comes with having nothing to do can be a powerful one. It’s one that you should not take for granted or become complacent about though. If you find yourself sitting on the couch or doing the same thing as you did before you retired, you might just be doing it all wrong. 4: Find a New (or Old) Hobby We’ve all got some sort of activity or craft we’re passionate about – one that life has likely gotten in the way of at some point or another. Maybe you had to stop because of work, or maybe it was the lack of time that comes with adulthood or trying to build a family. Whatever the case may be, retirement is an opportunity to rekindle passions from the past and give them a fresh start. Or, if you have some new idea or hobby you’re looking to pursue, now’s the time to take a stab at it and give it everything you have. While some may wallow in the idea of having so much free time, it should instead be looked at as an opportunity to indulge yourself without the anxiety of feeling unproductive. Many retirees find themselves traveling to new states or countries, using this moment in their life as a chance to explore all the places they never had the chance to when they were younger. Other more time-consuming hobbies like painting or gardening are popular, and give folks something they can nurture and focus on at their own pace. Whatever you choose to do, don’t box yourself in. Be experimental in your search, and prepared to try new things. You don’t need to be an expert at your craft, especially at the very beginning. Just enjoy the process of learning from mistakes and try to have fun! 5: Get Involved in Something That Fulfills You Outside of a personal hobby or activity you may want to pursue, there are also organizations and clubs that can provide fulfilling means of giving back to the community that you call home. Whether it’s a group in your neighborhood or an afterschool program down the street, there are probably lots of philanthropic organizations in your area that are looking for volunteers to give them a hand. Once you’re out of work or away from your kids, it can be hard to find something worth putting your time into that gives you a chance to feel like you’re building something. From a local food drive to a community clean-up crew, there are likely a boatload of initiatives going on just a stone’s throw away from your front door that give you a chance to work towards something bigger with a larger team. Aside from the benefit to your community, it’s also a great way to meet others in your area that might be passionate about the same things you are. Those friends you meet through a club or group could blossom into relationships that carry on outside of it. After all, having a shared interest is one the easiest ways to meet new people. So while finding something that’s fulfilling to you is part of being the best version of yourself, it’s not just limited to things you can do for yourself. By giving back, you get an opportunity to help your community and the individuals that live there. One More Way: Moving To a Senior Living Community As a place where all of these ideas come together, modern senior living communities are specifically designed to help you live your best life in retirement. Between the on-campus activities, health and wellness centers, and of course, a whole neighborhood of others who have retired just like yourself, it’s easy to see why living in a retirement community is a perfect match for those trying to live life to the fullest. If you’re already on the hunt for senior living, be sure to take a look at Searstone Retirement Community, located here in Cary, NC. You can find out more about us by taking a closer look at our website here, or by calling one of our team members at 919.234.0339. We’ll be happy to assist you with any questions you may have about the community or about your retirement living plans.