Julie Morris, regular guest blogger, shared today’s post. I appreciate her willingness to share with you all, especially as admin tasks related to my private practice have had to take precedence over blogging lately. I hope you all find this helpful!
As you age, you may feel as though your quality of life stagnates or even gets worse when you don’t actively look for ways to improve your physical and mental health. While people of all ages find benefit in hobby activities, exercise, and lifestyle improvements, retirees and other seniors can greatly improve their lives by investing in one or more of the following tips, courtesy of Resiliency Mental Health.
1. Find A New Hobby
If you’ve just retired or you’ve spent most of your life engaging in work, you may feel restless, bored, and even useless. The reality is that you’re transitioning to a new phase of life in which you have the time to pursue your dreams, hobbies, and plans you may have put off in your youth. Start by making a list of hobbies that you can pursue without breaking the bank and pick one off your list. If it doesn’t work for you or inspire passion, move on to the next one until you find something to fill your time.
Perhaps work was truly your passion. If so, start a new business to stay fulfilled after retirement. Research what you’ll need to get started and run your business in the digital age including a website, social media, and a relevant marketing campaign. Don’t forget to register your business, perhaps as a limited liability company, to separate it as an entity and to gain important tax advantages. You’ll save money by filing online, but you can ask an attorney for help looking over your paperwork, too. Be sure to do some research into how to start an LLC in your specific area.
2. Take Control of Your Health
You may be struggling with arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, or blood pressure issues. According to the Mayo Clinic, even the normal aches and pains and cognitive issues that accompany aging can interfere greatly with your life. Review your medical plan with your physician and make it a point to adhere to any medication changes or supplement regimens to stay as healthy as possible.
Even if you’ve never exercised regularly before, a new routine can greatly benefit you at 60, 70, or 80 years of age. Begin with exercises that aren’t too difficult and build up from there. Yoga, tai chi, swimming, and walking are great starting points that are gentle and won’t put a lot of pressure on your joints.
3. Adopt a Pet
There are countless benefits to adopting a pet, especially for seniors, ranging from reduced feelings of isolation to improved physical fitness. A pet can help you stay active and feel needed, and they aren’t necessarily that much work, either. One thing you might want to do, though, is invest in an escape-proof harness for your dog to take the stress out of walks.
4. Become Acquainted with Your Mental Health
A lot has changed in the mental health landscape over the past few decades, and it might be drastically different than what you grew up with. People speak more freely about mental health issues now, and it’s not as stigmatized. Perhaps you experienced postpartum depression as a new mother in the 1960s and you never got help for it, or maybe you just realized that you might be autistic after your grandchild was diagnosed with ASD.
Learning more about your mental health will only help you live a fuller life. Don’t be afraid to visit a mental health counselor or even speak with your regular doctor about these issues. They can point you in the right direction of resources and additional help.
Your “golden years” don’t have to be boring. Pursue what interests you, whether it’s starting a business, tackling a list of hobbies, or endeavoring to boost your health, and you’ll surely find fulfillment along the way.
Dr. Marschall created Resiliency Mental Health to provide resources for therapists and anyone who wants to learn more about mental health. Call 605-774-1754.