What follows is a guest post from Mariana Ashley, an expert in online educational opportunities. Becoming bored during what should be a satisfying retirement is something that doesn't need to happen. Mariana presents some viable options.
Curing Retirement Boredom Through Continuing Education
While retirement can be a beautiful experience for some, it can be an absolute miserable experience for others—especially those who aren't really sure what to do with their new free time and miss both their line of work and co-workers. But just because you're retired doesn't mean that you have to spend your days bored. There are plenty of fulfilling activities that can keep both your mind and your body active, not to mention you don't have to tap into your savings to enjoy them. That said, to discover some new ways that you can fill the void by becoming a lifelong learner continue reading below.
Return to School. By far one of the easiest ways to keep yourself entertained (as well as keep your brain fresh to fight the chances of developing dementia) is to become a student again. You can become a formal student and enroll in classes at your local community college and be taught by an instructor.
You can become a self-learner and check out one of the many free online courses available through MIT, Utah State, or Notre Dame just to name a few. A Google search can lead you to others. This is the perfect time to finally master a foreign language, learn how to build a computer from scratch, or get more in-tune with economics so you can better manage your retirement finances.
Join/Create a Book Club. Another great way to keep yourself busy, as well as contribute to your mission of becoming a lifelong learner, is to join or create a book club. Selecting a new and interesting book each month and then discussing it over coffee or snacks with former co-workers, neighbors, or even family members (such as older grandchildren) is a great way to stay social and keep the mind sharp too. If you're having trouble finding a book club to join or struggling with finding members, you might want to check with your local library or bookstore—often times they host book clubs within their facilities once a month.
Work on Fitness. Since you're getting older, it may be wise to use your new free time to start learning more about your body and the various ways you can keep it strong to help reduce complications that are often associated with age. Do your own research and start reading health and nutrition magazines, join a fitness health club, hire a professional trainer, or start making an effort to get more exercise in your daily life whether that's via light jogging, biking, swimming, or even gardening.
Apply Your Skills. Lastly, if you have a set of useful skills and don't want to lose them or merely want to be able to share those skills with the world then you can also consider offering those skills pro-bono or through volunteerism. For example, if you were a former teacher you can tutor a struggling student. If you were in the building or construction industry, you can volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. If you worked in the food service industry you may be able to help prep food for the homeless. The list can theoretically go on and on.
[Bob says] I'd add one additional option under her heading of returning to school: Life Long Learning courses. Locally, Arizona State University is affiliated with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Nationwide, more than 115 university-affiliated Osher Institutes, from Maine to Hawaii, work to provide a diverse repertoire of intellectually stimulating non-credit short courses, lectures, and workshops for mature adults seeking to expand and share their knowledge while meeting new friends and forming new social networks
Mariana Ashley is freelance education writer who specializes in online schools in Alabama. However, she loves to cover all education-related topics including news and trends as well as how education can help improve the lives of the older generation. She welcomes your feedback.
Note: after Mariana submitted this post I received a press release about the NoHo Senior Arts Colony, now leasing in North Hollywood. It is a senior living community that concentrates on the arts, with art classes for residents, and even has an on-site theater where the Road Theatre Company will be performing. To my knowledge this has never been done at a apartment community before, especially with this type of focus. This is just an example of another way to fight boredom and keep your brain active. I think it is a great idea. More info is available here.