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11 Ways to Find Happiness in Retirement

Denise’s Viewpoint

Retirement is defined as an action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work. Or, the withdrawal of a jury from the courtroom to decide a verdict. I am not a fan of the word ‘retirement’ because both definitions sound so ending. I prefer Recreate, Reenergize or my favorite, Repurpose.

We repurpose everything to achieve something better from something that was already good and needed before. Why can’t we decide to have a new purpose? One that we recreate from our talents, career, work, hobbies and/or interests?

At Craft LifeStyle Management we work with our clients for who they are at the moment. We did not cause or create the life they had when coming under our care. Some clients have accomplished amazing things in the second chapter of their lives by finding new purpose and energy. Others have health issues and openly share they wish they’d have done more in life when they were physically able to. We also have clients who’ve chosen to rest, causing much atrophy to their minds and bodies. Sadly, they often think this time in their lives has no meaning.

The choices we make are ours. What we choose to do will determine how we live and our purpose in this stage of life. There is not a wrong or a right way. There are simply choices that belong to us.

Many think that when they retire, they are done. Thus, they withdraw. If this is what you choose, that is your choice. Maybe you don’t want to do anything more than hold down the recliner. Your health will deteriorate much sooner, but again, this is your choice.

We are at the age where many of our friends are dealing with this topic. It is invigorating to see what most of our friends are choosing in retirement. Things like joining gyms or other activities they never had time for prior to retirement.

Plan ahead for retirement. Make meaningful choices. Choices that are right for you.

Ways to ensure your post-career years are filled with purpose and fulfillment.

Find Meaningful Ways to Volunteer. Seek a cause you’re super passionate about and volunteer a couple times a month. It’s a very satisfying feeling giving back. BONUS: You may connect with a new social group-fellow volunteers.

Keep your brain working. Find something to stimulate your brain: Games on the computer, card or board games, sewing, writing, reading, photography, playing a musical instrument, trying a new recipe, learning a foreign language, etc.

Be social and reconnect with family and friends, including your spouse or partner. It may have been challenging to consistently connect when you worked full time. Heck. Live on the edge. Go out on a weeknight now and do your household shopping together mid-day, mid-week. Also, you are guaranteed an increase to your happiness by spending time playing and telling stories with your grandchildren. Take time to mend and renew valued relationships. Perhaps set up a weekly online chat with long-lost college, child or work friends. Reconnect.

Update your home. Does your house reflect the current you? If not, maybe it’s time to refresh your space with a new paint color or change up the furniture. This is a perfect time to declutter each room. This takes time but at the end you will feel proud of your updated space and more comfortable living there as it now reflects the present-day you.

Travel. Be adventurous. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Learn something new by exploring new places, even if these are in your own community and state. Set a goal. Maybe visit all major league baseball stadiums or all national parks. Create a bucket or “no regrets list” and then start crossing items off the list as you complete them.

Renew or discover hobbies & interests. Maybe there’s something from your younger years that’s been dormant. Now is the time to re-engage and see if you still enjoy this hobby. Or, find a new one. Take an online course to test it out. Dig into your family history or write your own memoire.

Get moving. Regardless of age, exercise is always a mood booster. Staying active is important for all aspects of your health: physically, mentally and socially. Set a daily step count for your walks, attend regular exercise classes, and go swimming. Just do something active daily.

Research relocation. A growing trend is relocating for retirement. Make sure you’re clear about what makes you happy and that your finances allow this. Will happiness come from a warm climate, an urban landscape or something else? Do you desire to be near family, including grandchildren? Make a careful plan to boost your retirement happiness.

Simplify and limit distractions. Reflect on what matters most. Prioritize what is really important to you and limit worry, frustration and distractions affecting your sense of peace. Focus on the present by fully engaging in and enjoying the moment.

Stay positive. By now you know problems and health challenges arise. But you also have the life experience to navigate through these with confidence and grace. Happiness comes from this seasoned experience and understanding that things are not always going to be perfect or to your liking. There’s maturity in accepting the outcome anyway.

Seek help. Retirement offers a newfound sense of freedom and flexibility but also the realization that you may not be able to do everything on your own. Asking for help may allow you to stay in your own home, keep doing activities you enjoy and connecting with others. Don’t be too proud to seek assistance.

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