Author: Lola Ojomo

Your Social Life Doesn’t Stop When You Retire!

Although retirees and older people are particularly vulnerable to social isolation, many recent reports show that retirees are more active in their social life than they were whilst they were working. But how can you make sure that you make the most of your newly found free time?

Well, we’re here to dismiss the stereotypical suggestions of day centres and garden centres as your primary options. Instead, we want to outline some different options that might just make a big difference to your happiness and health. Read on below to discover four of our favourite solutions for an active and exciting social life after retirement…

Active Clubs

Dance clubs, walking groups, yoga, badminton… these activities get you up, out and roaming about. Active exercise has huge benefits for both physical and mental health.

By joining a group, you’re bound to meet other people with similar interests and bond over helping each other out during activities. Many activities such as the ones listed above welcome participation from people of all ages, which gives you the opportunity to interact and befriend not only people of the same age but younger people, too. A cross-generational friendship can be of great benefit for the older person and younger person alike - you’re both sure to learn a lot from one another. 

And should you have issues with mobility or a concern as to whether you’ll be able to participate, many active groups go to serious lengths to accommodate and include all people. Just give your local group a call or send them an email to discuss your needs with them.

Volunteering 

Although retirement can sound appealing as a concept, when it comes to the reality, many older people aren’t ready to give up work altogether. This is where volunteering can really help to fill the gaps in your free time. If you can find a charity that you’re interested in supporting then you can make a real impact on the charity and your own life by lending a hand. There are all kinds of roles available, from staffing charity shops to fundraising.  

It’s also a great way to interact socially with other people as you’re likely to get the opportunity to work with a group of people of all different ages, backgrounds, interests, all united under one cause. 

Should you have specific skills or qualifications, then you might want to see how you can volunteer your professional expertise to help not only charities but your local area. Some businesses also appreciate having part-time advisors. You may not be paid or paid very much for this, but it gives you a way to use your skills in a valued way and this can enhance important feelings of self-worth.

Group Holidays

Want to see more of the world now that you’re retired? Well of course you can organise your trips by yourself, which, if you’re an independent traveller or know exactly what you want to do and where you want to go, can be an excellent way to handle things. However, if you’re worried about going somewhere alone or if you just like the idea of all of the organisation being handled for you, then group holidays are a great solution. 

These holidays are hassle free. This is a huge benefit when going somewhere where you may not have the energy to cope with situations where you don’t speak the language, are unfamiliar with transport systems and can’t haul your luggage around yourself. With all logistics handled for you, you can focus on just enjoying yourself.

Another element of group holidays is the companionship. You can meet new friends and share your amazing new experiences together as you travel. 

Many companies also specialise in particular interests, such as art, architecture or history. So be it India, Italy or Peru, you can go wherever takes your fancy! Modern iterations of tour holidays don’t leave you stuck on a coach with short stop offs but instead include plenty of free time for you to explore and include supportive, engaging guides who are incredibly knowledgeable. So you often get to know so much more about the place you’re visiting and might even get to see places that are a little more off the beaten track, too. 

There are also holiday companies that specialise in helping those who are less mobile or disabled to explore and enjoy holidays as much as any fully able person. There are loads of companies out there and you can easily give them a call or check them out online - a particularly useful method should you want to see how people have rated their experiences with said company before you book with them.

Learn New Things

Be it a language, a sport or hobby, or completing a college or university course, retirement is a wonderful time to start learning new things. It is hugely beneficial for your brain and your health and it gives you a fantastic opportunity to engage in topics that you’ve always been interested in or ones that you’ve only just discovered.  

Learning new things can open up all kinds of new avenues, too. If you’re learning a language, perhaps you’ll go on to spend more time in a different country, or even use your language skills to befriend people who speak that language in your local area. Learning sports often means meeting new friends while keeping fit - a real encouragement to persevere. Engaging in a new hobby could reveal a talent you never knew you had. And doing a degree or other qualification could have all kinds of possibilities.