Easy Ways To Make The Most Of Your Retirement

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Retirement can be one of the most enjoyable parts of our lives — we’re able to pick up new hobbies, explore the world, or simply have more quality time with our family.

Covid-19 may have put a hold on some of our bigger bucket-list retirement plans. But there are still some fun ways to make the most of the situation!

We recently spoke with Bupa’s Specialist Nurse Adviser Fatmata Kamara, who shared her fun ways to enjoy retirement during lockdown.

Wind down gently

Retirement means we’ve got lots of free time to do the things we love, without the pressure of work.

To ease your transition from working life to retirement, try to gradually reduce your workload and responsibilities. You could do this by cutting back on your commute by working from home more or reducing your hours.

It’s important to have a good work-life balance, especially as you get closer to your retirement date.

Whether you’re working from home or the office, pack away your things after your finish and avoid checking emails out of your working hours. Try and set three clear tasks for your working day — this can help you gradually hand over anything important before you leave.

Get creative at home

We’re spending a lot more time at home, but this doesn’t have to be tedious.

Instead, get creative and think about some fun ways to enjoy your time; from learning to play an instrument to making your own jewellery, there’s lots of creative hobbies you could take on.

If you’re really missing travel, you might even want to start learning a new language.

There are some real benefits to our health and wellbeing when we pick up a hobby, too: it can increase happiness, reduce anxiety, boost your mood and increase brain function.

Exercise your mind

Keep your mind engaged through some simple exercises, like jigsaws, puzzles or games.

There are some surprising benefits to our favourite pastimes. Some studies have found that people who did mentally stimulating activities throughout life — particularly brain training-style problem solving — had sharper minds in old age.

Embrace the outdoors

Never before have we appreciated our gardens, local parks and the outdoors so much than we have over these last few months!

With or without lockdown, our love for the outdoors should continue. There’s a heap of health benefits for spending time outside, such as boosting relaxation and encouraging you to be active.

If you do have a garden, make the most of it, even if you’re a beginner.

Gardening is a great hobby to pick up during your retirement. It’s also a fun way to stay active, as you get older.

Give back to your community

Volunteering in your local area can be a fulfilling way to help others in your community, while also keeping yourself active and expanding your social circle.

A quick search online can bring up local volunteering opportunities, many of which can still be done with social distancing measures in place.

Keep in touch

It can be easy to lose touch with your work friends, especially after you’ve retired.

But it’s really important to keep in touch as much as possible, because friends can boost our mood by being there for us in good times and bad, whether it’s virtually or socially distanced.

Why not set up a virtual game night, or head outdoors for a socially distanced walk when you’re all free?

For more health and wellbeing advice from “The People’s Friend”, click here.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.