It can be easy to associate our purpose with the things we spend most of our time doing each day throughout our lives. Whether that’s a 9-to-5 job, homemaking, or some other calling, most people have a pursuit they tie their identity to in some way. Once we reach retirement and our responsibilities change, it can feel like that identity or purpose has faded.
The truth is, your purpose isn’t fading — it’s just evolving.
For some seniors, though, finding a way to live purposefully after retirement can be challenging. One of the best ways to mitigate and counteract this challenge is finding new hobbies to pursue and enjoy regularly. Here are some ideas if you’re not sure where to start.
Top 7 Fulfilling Hobbies for Seniors
One of the best, if not most-fulfilling hobbies, is volunteering. Like former teachers, some find volunteer positions that align well with the passion and profession they enjoyed earlier in life. Others prefer to find a new way to make a difference in their community, whether working at a food bank or animal shelter or creating care packages for those in need.
2. Outdoor Activities
Gardening, hiking, water activities — there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy being outside. Even just walking outside for 20 minutes each day can provide many benefits for your body. Spending time working on a garden or going on a hike is a great way to keep your body and mind active while soaking in the sun and fresh air.
Learn a new language, listen to a history podcast, take a class on Greek mythology, or find an online course about something you’ve always wanted to learn more about. This is an excellent example of purposeful living. Your brain will thank you as you encourage it to take in new information. And think how impressed your family and friends will be when you share your newfound knowledge with them!
Whether you feel called to paint, draw, sculpt, or create art in some other medium, choose to let your creativity run free. Create art for yourself, your loved ones, or to sell at a church craft fair. No matter what you decide to do with it, the primary goal is taking the time to create it.
Jigsaw puzzles, word puzzles, number puzzles, or any other sort of puzzle are all great ways to sharpen your mind after retirement. Purposeful living means finding something intentional to do each day, and sometimes the daily crossword fills that need. When you finish a puzzle, you’ll be able to enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with it.
Have you always enjoyed beautiful images? Or maybe you’ve had a love for memories and scrapbooking. Consider picking up photography as a hobby. You could take nature photos, pictures of loved ones, or anything else you’d like to see through a camera lens. There’s so much you could learn about photography, or start with a simple smartphone camera.
7. Yoga or Dance
Think about choosing a hobby that’s movement-based. With yoga or dancing, you can prioritize your physical health along with your emotional health. Sometimes the repetitive movements can help you clear your mind, thereby easing stress.
If you’re looking for other ways to get active, check out our Wellness Wednesday video series, in which Deupree House Wellness Director Chloe Hough demonstrates how to do simple yet effective exercises at home.
Choosing a Retirement Community
These are just a few initial ideas — there are plenty of other hobbies you could choose to pursue in retirement. Believe it or not, moving to a retirement community like Cincinnati’s Deupree House can put you in a better position to pursue these hobbies.
When living at home, there are many things you’d need to worry about, like home upkeep. In a retirement community or independent living neighborhood, you’ll experience all the freedoms you’ve enjoyed without the need to take care of your home. You’ll have more time to spend on things you love, like your new hobbies.
Purposeful living doesn’t have to end when you retire. Some people find that after retiring, they fully step into their purpose. Whether you choose one of these hobbies or another that you’ve enjoyed for a while, enjoy your new free time and do something you love.