Retired And Inspired: Making The Most Of Your Free Time

Shutterstock / Robert Kneschke © retired

Whether you’ve recently retired or have been retired for a while now, you’ll know that filling your time with entertaining activities is just as important as making the most of your well-earned rest.

Staying motivated in retirement can be quite a challenge, so you need to be proactive!

Keeping yourself inspired also has some surprising health and wellbeing benefits, including improving your mood and lowering your risk of mental health conditions (for example anxiety and depression).

Rebecca Bailey, Activities Co-ordinator from Bupa Care Services, has all the tips you need to make the most of your new-found free time.

Set yourself some goals

Whether it’s learning a new sport or reading something new, it’s good to have something to work towards.

Simple — and achievable — goals help to maintain a positive mindset and set out your purpose.

Start by writing your new goals down in a journal and outline the steps you need to take to achieve your goal — it will help you to stay motivated and keep you inspired.

Explore your surroundings

Never have we appreciated our gardens, parks and the outdoors as much as the last couple of years.

Being outside and spending time in nature is so important for our sense of wellbeing. It can increase your happiness, improve your mood, and boost relaxation.

More importantly, it may give you a greater satisfaction with life.

Now you’ve more time to explore new areas, why not go on a local nature walk, or plan a stargazing trip for yourself and your loved ones?

There are also lots of ways you can bring nature into your home, too, such as investing in some indoor plants and using a photo of your favourite natural place as your screensaver on your phone.

Stay fit and healthy

Staying physically active plays a critical role in keeping both your brain and body healthy as you get older and may even help you to look and feel younger.

As we continue to age, we might notice our body parts feeling stiffer.

Simple stretching and muscle strengthening exercises at least twice a week should improve your balance, flexibility, and core strength.

When building up your physical strength, remember that giving your body time to rest and recover is just as important as being active.

Finally, make sure you stay hydrated and eat a healthy, balanced diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Learn a new skill

Whether it’s drawing, singing, playing music, writing, baking, dancing, or gardening, having a creative outlet can work wonders for your mind.

Repetitive activities like drawing, knitting and painting can help to flood your brain with dopamine, the feel-good chemical that helps to motivate us.

Studies have also found that some activities can help people express or manage their emotions in a positive and productive way.

Stuck for ideas and need a creative nudge? You could try painting, learning a new language, consider writing a book, or playing a new musical instrument.

Create a retirement bucket list

Bucket lists can be a great way of focusing on what you really want out of life and motivating yourself to go after it.

Travelling abroad, living abroad, and visiting places nearer to home are some of the most popular additions to bucket lists, but there is so much more to consider.

For example, spending more time with your loved ones, or learning the history of a place you love.

Creating a bucket list can be an exciting experience. Why not share your retirement bucket list with your close friends and loved ones?

For more health and wellbeing tips 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.