Depression, loneliness, and cognitive decline are all, unfortunately, common in retirement. We quite suddenly go from having routines and plenty to do, being around people all day, and having to use our brains for complex tasks, to being home alone with little to do. It’s no wonder many of us find the transition from worker to retiree difficult. While most of us will make an effort to stay physically healthy as we age, staying mentally fit and protecting your mind and mental health is equally important. Here are some ways that you can do it.
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Spend Time with Friends
Spending time with friends isn’t always as easy when we retire, even though we have more free time. You won’t see your friends at work anymore, and your other friends may still be working and have other commitments, so even though you are free, you might have to make more of an effort to see friends and get out of the house.
But it is an excellent time to make new friends by joining groups and visiting local libraries and classes, and a chance to reach out to people you may have lost contact with over your working life.
Learn New Skills
Learning new things gives your brain an excellent workout, and challenges different parts of it. Things like languages can be a great idea, but trying new puzzles, visiting different places, and taking online courses are all effective.
Consider a Big Move
Loneliness is a key cause of depression, memory loss, and other mental health issues in retirees, especially those without a partner, or without family close by. Moving into assisted living with memory care St. Louis can be the ideal solution. It’s a chance to be part of a busy community, make friends and deal with any memory issues you may be experiencing.
Start a New Hobby
A hobby is a great way to learn something new, make new friends, reduce stress, and explore what you like and dislike now that you’ve got more time to actually try things. Ask your friends and family about their hobbies and look online for classes and groups in your local area.
Read a Variety of Materials
Reading is one of the easiest ways to challenge your mind. It can also be great escapism and a chance to reduce stress. But for the best results, you should try to step out of your comfort zone. Read different genres, articles you wouldn’t usually, and other materials to get yourself thinking in new ways.
Getting outdoors is great for your physical and mental health. Long walks out in nature will help you to clear your mind, give you plenty to see and experience, and reduce your stress levels. It will also boost your heart rate and circulation, which can reduce the risks of many different illnesses.
Challenge Yourself to be Mentally Active
Every day, challenge yourself to be mentally active with a puzzle, a debate, or anything else that gets you thinking. Like physical exercise, mental activity should be practiced regularly for the best results.
Taking steps to stay mentally healthy and fit gives you a chance to enjoy all that retirement has to bring, without worrying about your memory or other cognitive issues.