Many people say that later life and retirement can be one of the most enjoyable periods in your life, not only are you older and wiser, but most importantly you have the time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Hobbies are an important part at any stage of your life, especially during retirement. They can provide you with a means of relaxation, help you pick up new skills and converse with people who have similar interests.
Hobbies, especially ones that require doing physical activities can do wonders for improving your mental and physical well-being. At the later stage of your life it can also help in preventing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and dementia.
Some of the hobbies most people pick up after they retire include travelling, joining a book club or a gym class, but there are many other options if you’re looking for some relaxing activities to do in retirement. If you’re finding yourself with too much time on your hands, why not have a look at our list of relaxing hobbies to pick up after retirement?
Crochet and Knitting
This may seem like a bit of a cliche, but there is a good reason so many seniors pick up crocheting or knitting as a pastime activity. It’s easy to learn even for absolute beginners and is fun to do as a group activity. You can start by watching a few knitting and crocheting tutorials to get a grasp of the basic techniques and before you know it, you’ll be creating beautiful handmade scarves, blankets, hats or sweaters!
Apart from the satisfaction of creating an item you’ll actually find use for, this type of activity keeps your brain actively involved. You are also using your fine motor skills to move the needles and thread about, which is great for improving your alertness and hand mobility.
You’re sure to have made many memories during your life and have piles of pictures from holidays, tickets from memorable events and different souvenirs. What a better way to keep all of those memorabilia than putting them in a scrapbook? Scrapbooking is a great way to unleash your creativity and preserve all of your travel photos and special family moments such as photos from weddings and birthdays.
This might seem like another cliche “old-person” hobby, however, gardening is great for helping you stay youthful for your age. Firstly, you get to spend time outside which can help you get your dose of Vitamin D, which aids the release of serotonin – the feel-good chemical in your brain. In addition, gardening requires patience and time, something that you have plenty of in retirement.
Looking after a bonsai tree can be a relaxing gardening activity to pick up. Bonsai trees need a lot of training and shaping that takes time, however, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your miniature thrive. It can take some time to pick up the basics but there are many specialised nurseries that can help you with advice and materials.
Caring for Pets
Keeping a pet or multiple pets is a great hobby with multiple benefits for you involved. Aside from keeping you company so you never feel lonely, caring for a pet can help you keep active, reduces your stress levels and increases the production of serotonin in your brain. There are also studies that show pets can additionally reduce blood pressure, fight depression and protect from certain heart conditions.
There are many fluffy companions to choose from. If you don’t want to commit to a pet that’s too active like a dog, you can get a cat, or a rabbit. And if you would prefer a pet that is not exactly stereotypical, and you have the space for it, then you can try keeping chicken (you can also enjoy the benefit of having fresh eggs every morning). More unusual pet options also include geckos, cockatiels or a hedgehog.
This is a hobby that’s rewarding not just for you, but for everyone around you as they get to eat tasty home baked snacks while you get to learn new recipes and build up your skills in the kitchen. Baking is relaxing and creative, and also helps you build a better relationship with food and eat a bit healthier as you know exactly what goes into your tasty home baked goods.
Everyday activities like baking are also proven to help with dementia, as it’s stimulating for the brain and calming at the same time. Baking can help trigger back memories, stimulate the senses and improve appetite.
Volunteering is another great way to fill in your spare time and get a feeling of accomplishment. There are many ways you can get involved in your community and do some volunteer work. From helping out at your local animal shelter or food-bank, to volunteering at a charity shop.
This is a great hobby for people in retirement as it provides an opportunity to socialise and speak to others and get out of the house. It also reduces stress and gives you a feeling of self-satisfaction from helping your local community.
Other Hobbies to Pick Up After Retirement
If none of the above take your fancy, there are many other hobbies you can pursue in your retirement years. Some of the more out-of the box hobbies that people choose to try in their later stage of life include skydiving, hiking or ballroom dances.
Other hobbies that many people in retirement decide to give a chance to include:
- Car Boot Sales
- Fossil Hunting
As you can see you definitely won’t be stuck for options to fill your free time in retirement. Whether you decide to become an expert gardener or Michelin-star chef, remember to have fun and enjoy your well-deserved retirement.