Fun ideas to get the most out of your retirement lifestyle
Now that you’ve retired from the full-time workforce, you’re no doubt enjoying a little more “me time” to help you relax, clear your head, and recharge your batteries after a long career.
Yet in retirement it’s also important not to let “me time” become “lonely time”. Feeling isolated or lonely over an extended period can erode your self-confidence and sense of worth, or even lead to depression and anxiety.
That’s why (once you’ve relaxed into your retirement lifestyle!) you should look to stay active and engaged, while connecting to your local community.
The good news? Staying connected is fun! Whether it’s making new friends, keeping in touch with old ones, or just spending time with a group of like-minded people, there are many engaging and enjoyable ways to stay connected in retirement.
Here are a few of the ideas we’ve put together, based on what our Kensington Gardens resident have shared with us.
1) Get involved with your local community
Wherever you decide to retire to, chances are there’ll be many opportunities to connect in your local community.
For example, you’ll find yourself welcome at seniors clubs, your nearest community centre, the University of the Third Age (U3A), and even the local library.
And of course, if you live in a retirement estate such as Kensington Gardens, you’ll never be short of things to do. From social outings and sports activities to craft groups and exercise get-togethers, retirement estates offer many interesting ways to connect.
2) Take the opportunity to learn
Picking up a new skill or taking a class are great ways to create new connections once you’ve retired. And there’s so much opportunity – wherever you choose to live, you’ll most likely find someone close by running a class in what you want to learn; or what you never thought possible! Either way, learning something new is your chance to build social connections with like-minded people.
3) Give something back by volunteering
You won’t have to look too far to find a charity organisation in need of volunteers. Whether it’s the local tourist information centre, a charity shop, or Meals on Wheels, you’re sure to be welcomed with open arms.
You can also try approaching a volunteer organisation in your local community to let them know your skills and experience. They’ll be able to match you with charities in need of what you can bring to the table.
4) Join a group to travel somewhere new
If you’ve always travelled by yourself (or not at all) up until now, retirement is your chance to join a group tour and make some connections while you explore. Many travel companies specialise in group tours for seniors – so why not choose a destination that takes your fancy and be prepared for a memorable experience while you make lifelong friends?
5) Explore a common interest
If you’d like to expand your friendship base while exploring the activities you’re passionate about, there’s nothing like joining a local club. From book clubs to photography groups, dance clubs, film societies and fishing clubs, you’ll find many opportunities to meet with folk who share a common interest with you.
6) Become a member of a service club
Another way to ‘give something back’ is to join an organisation such as Rotary, Lions, Probus, Apex, or Zonta. You’ll not only have the chance to build connections with people in your community, you’ll also be playing your part in valuable local and international projects. And if you choose to step up and join the committee, you might find yourself busier than before you retired!
7) Make a phone call or write a letter
These days the phone definitely doesn’t ring as much as it used to; and the art of letter writing has practically disappeared! Yet they’re both still perfect ways to reach out and stay connected once you’ve retired.
Try making a schedule of times when you’ll commit to picking up the phone and reaching out to people you’ve not spoken to in ages. Similarly, you never know who would love to communicate with you via letters. Just write and ask! Writing a letter can be relaxing in itself – and when you receive one in return, you’ll get a wonderful boost that can last for days!
8) Take up sport, or get out and exercise
As we’ve spoken about before, in retirement it’s very important to keep your body moving to stay active and healthy. And of course, it’s the ideal chance to meet like-minded people doing the same thing.
Whether you enjoy lawn bowls, a gentle round of golf, aquarobics, tennis or croquet, make sure you get out and get moving. Not only will your health improve, chances are your social connections will too.
9) Go back to school
There’s no doubt that each generation can offer the others so much, simply by sharing experiences and spending some time together. What’s more, spending a few hours each week with children is sure to keep you feeling young! Check with local childcare centres or kindergartens whether they offer programs promoting connection between children and older generations.
10) Join a group just for women or men
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with occasionally seeking the company of just members of your own gender! Whether you join a men’s shed, poker group, or a women’s group such as Zonta, the CWA, or Lioness, you’ll be growing connections and keeping your mind and your hands active while you’re at it.
11) Play (or simply listen to) some music
A time-honoured way of bringing people together, playing an instrument, singing, or simply listening to music in a group is sure to help you feel connected. Do some research and see what’s on offer in your area – you’ll be sure to come away from a session feeling on top of the world!
12) Don’t wait to connect – reach out!
We have just one final thought to leave you with. Always remember, you don’t have to sit at home and wait to connect with someone!
Instead, why not look for someone else who may be feeling lonely and reach out to them? Whether that’s reading to elderly people in a nursing home, taking time to talk to someone with a disability, or simply saying g’day to the neighbours.
If you’re living in a retirement estate, you’ll always have plenty of opportunities to connect. Try hosting a cards or games night, coming up with a themed party, or just invite people to “bring a plate”. With the right attitude, you’ll never be short of company!
See how retirement estate living can help you connect
With so many facilities available to our residents (such as our community vegie garden and workshop), as well as an active and welcoming social scene, Kensington Gardens Albury and Shepparton offer you a myriad of ways to stay connected once you’re retired.
We invite you to come and see our estates for yourself. To arrange your personal tour, call Kensington Gardens today or get in touch online to book a time to come in and visit us.