Senior citizens are commonly thought to be out of touch with the world and are typically associated with vast stereotypes. The older folks fight a battle through the media, our culture and our conversations that they can't contribute to society. Let's face it, the aging population are rarely respected in our society. But many seniors are enjoying the second chapter of their lives. They are reinventing themselves by going back to college, teaching classes, taking dance lessons and traveling. They are starting new businesses and expanding their horizons beyond the expectations that society puts on them.
Assisted Living Federation of America President Richard P. Grimes “Prejudicial attitudes towards seniors deny them the independence, dignity, choice and quality of life that these individuals deserve." Seniors are defying and finding there's more to retirement than cashing Social Security benefits. This is a time that they can enjoy their lives. After working for so many years, here are ways to remain young in retirement no matter what culture tries to mandate.
Start to travel more.
Travel keeps you young and most people who retire enjoy taking more trips. The Physical, Cognitive and Social Benefits of Travel is a study conducted by the Global Coalition on Aging and they found that women who vacationed every six years or less were at a higher risk for a "heart attack or coronary death compared to women who vacationed at least twice a year." They found that men who did not travel annually had a 20 percent higher risk of death from heart disease. Traveling also slows down the aging process as well, the study found. You don't have to book an expensive cruise, you can just take a weekend to get away or take a day trip somewhere.
Start a yoga program.
Yoga is good for the body and for the mind. It can lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety help maintain flexibility. The Yoga Journal reported that yoga can keep you young and healthy. It may prevent heart disease and high blood pressure. Yoga helps "cultivate acceptance, hones discipline and fortifies a sense of self," the publication shared. Yoga is gentle enough for all ages. You can do the practice at the beach or in your living room.
Start to volunteer.
Start to volunteer and share your talents. Ask yourself what can I do to make an impact on others around me? Actress Goldie Hawn said "You have to truly grasp that everybody ages. Everybody dies. There is no turning back the clock. So the question in life becomes: What are you going to do while you're here?" Volunteer opportunities can help you find new friends, learn new skills, help your self-esteem and feel youthful. Volunteering can help your health and give you something to look forward to every day. If you feel that retirement is making you fall into a funk, find volunteering opportunities that align with your passions. "Volunteering can broaden your support network, strengthen your ties to your local community and afford opportunities for you to work alongside people with common interests," Beliefnet suggested.
"Retirement is a new beginning, something that keeps you young."
Do something new.
You have a rare opportunity to find satisfaction in life by doing something new during retirement. You can start a business, start a support group, hold a Bible study, play in a band or start business workshops in the community. Use your skills in a new way. "This is an opportunity to try something new — maybe learn a new language or travel somewhere you've never been,” the Huffington Post reported. "Redirect your purpose once you retire to redefine how you spend your time." For example, a former journalist may teach communication classes or a former business executive might counsel other business owners on becoming a success.
Make new friends.
Be bold and introduce yourself to the new person in the neighborhood or during your travels. When you meet someone new try to find common interests and go from there. If they don’t become a new bestie, the experience will help you become bolder and confident. Having friends gives us a solid great support system when you’re struggling and need guidance. Building new friendships means spending time together by attending plays, musicals or having a cup coffee to just chat. Making new friendships means learning about someone and getting outside your own head.
Simplify your life.
Dealing with a house and the problems that it comes with will never go away. Consider renting or buying a condo in a community where there is a ton to do. Not only will you not have to worry about a big house that feels empty, but you will have a peace of mind. Having less interaction with a house is the best bet during retirement because of stress. Cut down on clutter and get rid of things that you really don't need. By simplifying our lives we can be free to focus on what is more important in life.
Regular exercise will help you remain healthy. Start swimming, gardening, walking, cycling and do other low-impact exercises to keep your body in shape. Exercise also will help you remain mentally sharp. A walk before work may have the same results as a cup of coffee in the morning. Exercise activates the part of the brain that will also help your memories! Go ahead, make exercise a part of your retirement to feel and look younger.
Make retirement more about receiving Social Security benefits and enduring societal stigmas. It is a time to really live life and to enjoy the freedom that comes with it. Having a purpose will keep you young during retirement and it will help you rediscover another chapter. Retirement can mean a new beginning, something that keeps you young.