Why Is Having a Sense of Purpose Important After Retirement?

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Why Is Having a Sense of Purpose Important After Retirement?

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adobestock_289877859Living a purposeful life is crucial for so many of us on both a conscious and subconscious level. Many people find their purpose in things like their job or other daily activities. When they retire, they might begin to lose that feeling of purposeful living. 

It’s easy to let that purpose fade away, but it can be detrimental to older adults. We’re built to need a purpose, and it’s even more critical for seniors who have retired.

The Benefits of Developing Your Sense of Purpose 

Improve Your Quality of Life

Having a sense of purpose makes you think about your life as something bigger than just you. Whether you’re volunteering and working with others, helping those around you, or simply doing something you love each day, it’s essential to bring purpose into your life. When you find something bigger to live for, you’re more likely to wake up and live with intention and energy. Working toward a big goal amplifies your sense of purpose and gives meaning to your life.

Improve Your Health

Research has found that people with a strong sense of purpose were more likely to age positively. Purposeful living helps increase positive hormones, lowers blood pressure, and fights depression. In some cases, if what you’re doing uses your cognitive abilities, purposeful living can even help combat dementia and other memory issues. On a basic level, seniors who engage in purposeful living are more likely to take advantage of preventive medicine, which helps protect their health on many levels.

Navigate the Change

If your children will soon be leaving home and retirement is quickly approaching, you might be feeling a mix of emotions. There’s likely excitement and wonder of what will come in this next chapter of your life. But, you might also be feeling some anxiety or sadness surrounding these significant changes. Rather than letting these feelings control you, it’s time to find a new purpose for this next stage of your life.

Chances are you’re about to have far more free time than you’ve experienced in quite a while. If you could do anything with your days, what would it be? Would you want to read or travel? Volunteer with children at a school? Work at a gardening store sharing the knowledge you’ve picked up over the years? Take some time to think about what you want to do with your life.

No matter what you choose, it’s vital to have a sense of purpose because you’re more likely to take care of yourself. Seniors who enjoy purposeful living have a greater likelihood of exercising, practicing basic hygiene, and visit the doctor.

A Retirement Community Can Help

You might be thinking that you’d love to spend time volunteering, working, or doing a host of other things, but you’d also like to enjoy some free time. Meanwhile, your to-do list grew over the past ten years, and you feel compelled to complete that, too. That’s where an independent living retirement community can help you live your purpose.

First, in a retirement community, you no longer have to worry about home maintenance. If you enjoy gardening, you can certainly do so. However, if you’d rather not spend time working outside, you don’t need to. For many people, this can free up more time to fulfill their life’s purpose.

If you know you’d like to be more involved but aren’t sure where to start; a retirement community can be a great help. From activities with other residents to volunteer programs, there’s no shortage of things to do. You can easily find purpose in your daily life in an independent living retirement community.

Having a sense of purpose is vital for all of us to work for something greater than ourselves and have a reason to take better care of ourselves. When we experience life changes, it can be easy to lose that sense of purpose. Instead, it’s simply time to find a new one.

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Kristin Davenport
By
May 13, 2021
Kristin Davenport is the Director of Communications for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Kristin leads ERS’s efforts to share stories that delight and inspire through social media, online content, annual reports, magazines, newsletters, public relations, and events. Kristin earned her BFA in graphic design from Wittenberg University. She joined ERS after a 25-year career as a visual journalist and creative director in Cincinnati. Kristin is passionate about making Cincinnati a dementia-inclusive city. She is a Lead SAIDO Learning Supporter and a member of the ‘Refresh Your Soul’ conference planning team at ERS. Kristin and her husband Alex, live in Lebanon, Ohio with their 2 daughters. She also serves as a Trustee and the President of the Lebanon Food Pantry and is a board member for ArtScape Lebanon.

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