Prior to retirement, our brains are abuzz with activity. We are constantly thinking about our careers, managing daily chores and family life, and what is happening next. When we retire, it is an opportunity for us to finally relax and stop thinking so hard. Our to-do list gets shorter and the time for leisure activities grow (or at least that’s the idea!). While being able to rest our brains and relax is one of the great benefits of aging, resting it too much can lead to dementia and depression. Here, we will discuss a few ways to help keep your brain active well after retirement.

Read your book list.

Whether you have a stack of books you’ve purchased over the years that you just haven’t gotten a chance to read yet or you have always wanted to read all the classics and could never find the time, now is the time! Retirement is the best time to catch up on all the reading you didn’t have time for when you were younger and busy reading textbooks and books to your children. Reading is also the perfect way to use your imagination and keep you feeling younger. You can purchase books, get a library card, or attend local book swaps. If you need accommodations for poor vision, you can get large print books or invest in a Kindle to make reading an activity you can still enjoy. If you can’t see very well still, audiobooks are a relaxing way to read as well.

Learn a new skill.

Retirement is the perfect time to learn a new skill or hobby because you are armed with a lifetime of knowledge and experience. If you take on the challenge to learn a new skill, learn something you have always wanted to. Your community rec center will have a whole catalog of classes if you want to try a few things. Take a dance class or learn to golf. If you are physically limited, join a craft class or learn to play an instrument. Local community colleges offer free or reduced tuition for seniors so you can take the classes you always wanted to. Learning a new skill in retirement affords you the time to be able to master your new craft.

Volunteer your time.

When we are busy working or raising a family, our minds are firing on all cylinders, there is no reason that you can’t continue that into retirement. Volunteer your time doing something you love. You can offer to babysit your grandchildren and do activities with them. Or, you can get hired as a volunteer at your local hospital. Being a needed part of your community helps to keep your mind, and body, active.

Widen your social group.

When we feel a part of a group — needed and included — we tend to say more active and engaged. We keep up with current events and are engaged in activities. If your pre-retirement years were too busy to afford you the social life you would have liked, now is the time to widen your social circle. You can invest more time in your family or you can make new friends. Take as many opportunities as are available to get involved and widen your social circle.

Your brain is like a muscle, if you don’t use it, you may begin to lose it. It is important to keep your mind sharp to ward off depressions and dementia. If you or your loved one is struggling with adjusting to retirement, give us a call at A Place For Seniors. We can help you locate local resources that meet your specific needs.