Life after retirement can be an ideal time to continue hobbies or discover new interests. Regardless of your path, it’s important to find what works best for you because hobbies can positively impact your physical and mental health.
Some older adults may find it difficult to pursue things they enjoy due to limited mobility, transportation challenges, and isolation. Fortunately, there are simple ways you can stay engaged in hobbies. We’ll explore those ways and discuss the benefits in this blog curated by The Bristal Assisted Living.
4 Benefits of Hobbies for Seniors
Participating in meaningful activities that create a sense of purpose can benefit your health. Here are four ways hobbies can positively affect your health and well-being:
1. Improve mental health
Finding an activity that brings you joy and a sense of purpose can help reduce loneliness and increase feelings of happiness. Meaningful activities, like volunteering at a school, crafting, or writing, may also lower your risk of depression.
2. Boost brain health
Engaging in hobbies, particularly new activities that promote lifelong learning, like learning a new language or playing an instrument, can help improve memory and strengthen cognitive skills.
3. Decrease risk of chronic conditions
Enjoying hobbies that keep you physically active, like gardening or hiking, can lower your risk for serious health conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and dementia.
4. Increase social connections
Many hobbies, including card games, traveling, or music, involve being around others. Staying connected to others, especially those with similar interests, can help reduce loneliness and social isolation.
Related: Benefits of staying socially active + 5 ideas to build relationships >>
Ways to Continue or Explore New Hobbies
Take some time to think about what you enjoyed doing the most in your younger years. Are you ready to pick up where you left off? Or, perhaps you’d like to explore a new interest?
Once you narrow down your ideas, you might wonder where to begin. Incorporating new or past hobbies into your daily routine might be easier than you think. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Connect with a nearby senior center.
Find a senior center near you that offers activities, classes, or special events that interest you. You’ll have the opportunity to engage in lifelong learning through past or new hobbies and also meet friends in the process.
2. Volunteer your time for something you’re passionate about.
Think about things that you are passionate about, then reach out to non-profit organizations to offer your time and talents. You might volunteer in a school classroom or library, serve meals in a homeless shelter, or spend time with animals in a local rescue.
3. Start a stress-relieving habit.
What things do you enjoy that also help calm you and reduce any stress you may be experiencing? Add these habits to your routine to give you something to look forward to each day. Relaxing activities might include reading, baking, watching the sunset, or practicing gratitude and mindfulness.
4. Invite your friends to join you.
Invite friends to join you for puzzles, card games, or painting. You might also consider exploring nature together through hikes, birdwatching, or photography.
Life Enrichment Opportunities in Senior Living Communities
Senior living communities offer older adults the opportunity to pursue existing hobbies, as well as explore new interests. Members of the community’s recreation team plan activities – with resident input – that include activities, outings, and special events.
Residents can choose what activities they are interested in, and enjoy the convenience of on-site amenities, like art studios, fitness centers, cinemas, libraries, and scheduled transportation services.
Celebrate Who You Are at The Bristal
If you’re considering senior living for yourself or a loved one, we invite you to explore life at The Bristal Assisted Living. We offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care services in the Tri-State region. Residents here experience a blend of independence, safety, and personal enrichment.
The Bristal nurtures lifelong passions and helps discover new ones through our signature programs:
- The Bristal Helping Hands
- BBU: The Bristal Better U