When you finish work for good and enter retirement, you have the opportunity (at last!) to devote more of your time to pursuits you enjoy. However, this new and exciting phase can also be a bit daunting, especially if work was a big part of your life and your diary is now looking a little empty.
It can take some time and effort to settle into a new routine that keeps you happy and fulfilled. There are lots of ways you can spend your time, but choosing an activity or hobby that is not only enjoyable, but also gives you a sense of purpose provides genuine motivation to get up and go each day.
So if you’re keen to find a fun and fulfilling hobby to pursue in retirement, read on for some inspiration.
1. Get Creative
Have you always wanted to be more creative but never had the time? Retirement provides the perfect opportunity! Whether you’re a total beginner or wish to develop your existing skills further, taking a class or joining a group can be a really enjoyable way to nurture your creativity and meet new people. If you’d rather go it alone, there are plenty of online and print resources available on a wide variety of topics. So even if you don’t see yourself as ‘creative’ find an activity that appeals and give it a go. It’s a great way to keep your brain healthy and you’ll enjoy a real sense of achievement when you create something original with your own hands.
Some ideas to try: painting, drawing, sewing, knitting, quilting, photography, scrapbooking, woodwork, writing.
2. Nurture Your Health
Keeping your mind and body in good shape is obviously important for your health, especially as you age. However, what may be surprising to some is that when you approach it with the right mindset it can be highly enjoyable too. With more time available, it’s now possible to make the effort to prepare and eat healthy foods, get out and be active and devote time to looking after your mind. Explore your options and try different things out until you find what works for you – then stick with it.
Some ideas to try: cooking, swimming, walking, cycling, dancing, yoga, golf, tennis, meditation, tai chi, puzzles.
3. Explore New Places
Travel is a popular pursuit in retirement, and with good reason. Whether you opt to join the band of grey nomads and their caravans, visit those overseas destinations you’ve always dreamed of or explore hidden gems in your own backyard, it can be immensely enjoyable and invigorating. Where you go will depend on your budget and interests, but with so many options both abroad and in your own state or town, you’re sure to find travel options within your reach.
Some ideas to try: caravanning, camping, weekends away, Airbnb stays, group tours, scenic tours.
4. Help Others
Volunteering in retirement not only helps others, it also gives you a sense of pride, satisfaction and joy. There are many volunteering opportunities available in a vast array of areas, so look for something that aligns with your values and matches your interests.
Some ideas to try: Meals on Wheels, Landcare, hospitals, fundraising, op shops, tutoring, community work.
5. Enjoy Nature
There are so many benefits to spending time in nature, so make the most of the opportunity and get outdoors often. Whether you join a local group, go with friends or prefer solitude, there is much to see and do. You can choose to be active, or just relax. Either way, being in nature is soothing, can help alleviate stress and will give you a real boost.
Some ideas to try: bushwalking, picnics, beach, birdwatching, gardening, fishing, boating.
6. Embrace Your Community
During our working lives it’s easy to become isolated from your local community. Making an effort to get involved in local events, groups and activities is a fun way to connect with others and make a positive contribution. Many areas have a vibrant community of people who organise events, classes, exhibitions and workshops. Try your local paper, library or community centre to find out what’s on and how you can connect with others.
Some ideas to try: community centre classes, book group, support your local sports club.
7. Learn Something New
Studying is a great way to keep your mind active and broaden your skill set and knowledge. Whether you’ve always wanted to play guitar or learn a language, there’s a course or class that can teach you.
Some ideas to try: online courses, U3A, YouTube videos, podcasts, reading.
Find Your Retirement Calling
Once you’ve reached retirement, be sure to spend your time doing the things that spark your passion. Whether you totally immerse yourself in a hobby you’ve always loved, or dabble in different areas until you find the right fit, make it a priority to find your retirement calling.
Over to You
Do you have a hobby or activity to add to the list? We’d love to hear it! Simply post a comment below.