7 Essentials to a Happy Retirement

Retirement is not an endpoint. It’s a change point, full of possibility – a new beginning; a time to redesign and reinvent your life – and do it your way! How will you get the most out of each and every day? Here are 7 essentials to a happy retirement:

See possibility not limiting beliefs

Abandon Limiting Beliefs

"If we can see past preconceived limitations then the possibilities are endless," proclaimed Amy Purdy. She got the highest score on week one of Dancing with the Stars, despite dancing on not one, but two prosthetic legs! She didn’t let a major handicap stop her and it didn’t. Nor should you. Being a little like Amy is essential for a happy retirement. In other words, abandon any limiting beliefs you have about yourself or retirement. Also, put aside what others say and listen to that inner voice cheering you on, inspiring you to get out there. Finally, take chances and do all those things you were told were impossible!

Get out of there and try new things! Filling your days with activities that are fulfilling and stimulating is essential for a happy retirement. In other words, build a library of hobbies you absolutely love doing. They should be both active and passive, indoors and out, solo and in groups. Hobbies provide both physical exercise and mental stimulation – which have been shown to benefit mood, sleep, brain function, self-esteem and overall quality of life.
Not sure what you like? Go to a hobby store and try something new! Or google the word “hobbies” and see what possibilities come up and light a spark in you.

7 essentials to a happy retirement: Develop Some Hobbies

Develop Some Hobbies

7 essentials to a happy retirement: share your wisdom

Share Your Wisdom

You have acquired so much skill and experience over the years! So why are you hiding them? Share your gifts with the world. There are people out there that would benefit so much from those talents in you that you take for granted as ordinary. One possibility is to volunteer in an organization whose cause you care about. Another possibility is to become a museum or tour guide. Get involved in your municipal council. Mentor young kids.
Think about how can you repurpose your skills. You have acquired a lot of wisdom over the years – get out there and share it! Helping others contributes a lot to a happy retirement.

Have you ever dreamed of doing something, but not taken action on it because your inner critic says “Don’t be silly”? Let's change that and see possibilities instead of walls! Take a lesson from the old donkey, who fell into a dried out well. The farmer had no idea how to get him out, so he decided to bury him right there. Well, the donkey saw the shovels of dirt coming in and cried out as he realized what was happening. Then he suddenly stopped, shook off each shovel of dirt and used it to take a step up. You should have seen the farmer’s face when the donkey appeared at the top of the well and trotted off!
So decide what you want to do, break it into doable steps, then do something toward it every day. You'll see how purposeful and happy retirement starts to feel!

Happy retirement needs meaningful goals

Set Meaningful Goals

Happy retirement with cool people

Meet Cool People

Social connections are another essential to a happy retirement. Work provided a social network of people with a common interest. For some, it was their predominant network next to immediate family. When you retire, that work-related social network is gone. That often leaves a big hole in your life in terms of sharing ideas and feeling a sense of belonging.
The solution? Get out of the house! Volunteer, develop hobbies that will enable you make new friends based on that common interest, or join a community group or gym. There are lots of possibilities for becoming part of a new social circle.

Doing everything you want to do means staying healthy and good food is definitely one of the 7 essentials to a happy retirement. Recently, there are a lot of superfoods around that have made the news. But can a hockey team win the game with one superstar surrounded by a team of poor players? Unlikely. It’s the entire team effort together that wins the game. So it is with food.
The pattern of eating associated with the lowest rates of chronic diseases and the highest life expectancies is the Mediterranean diet, which is actually not a diet at all, but a pattern of eating that focuses on fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, olive oil, legumes and small portions of protein, mostly from fish and chicken.

Possibility for good food

Eat Good Food

See the possibility of being physically active

Be Physically Active

Now that you’re not at work, there’s absolutely no excuse for sitting in a chair all day. Sitting still and resting all day is actually bad for your health! Regular exercise has been found to have a positive effect on your brain, bones, muscles, balance and mood and is an essential part of a happy retirement. You don’t even need to become a gym rat.
Just walking every day is beneficial; as is a stationary bicycle for indoor days. Mix that with some stretching, or maybe an activity like yoga, pilates, dance, or a sport, and movement changes from a chore to an enjoyable part of your lifestyle.
Your body is the vehicle in which you live – and physical activity is one of the best ways to care for it.