Importance of Retirement Hobbies


  Pursuing hobbies

You might ponder over the question, “Why should I pursue a retirement hobby?” A sudden halt in the whirlpool of activities all your life has left you with nothing much to do, and as they say, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” For those of you who want to take up a second career after retirement, you’ll undoubtedly have your hands full. But what if you decide you’ve had enough of those deadlines, endless meetings and presentations? You still need to plan what to do with your free time.

In the words of Phyllis McGinley, “A hobby a day keeps the doldrums away.” Boredom and depression set in after retirement, and research shows that seniors who participate in group activities are less prone to the common problems faced by retirees-depression and health problems. They also live longer lives than people who are not associated with like-minded friends and acquaintances. In short, staying socially active in some kind of group activity helps you stay happy, make new friends, and also helps you utilize your time in a productive and satisfying manner.

You might want to choose a hobby which does not involve group activities, like reading, watching TV, meditating or gardening. Each of these hobbies is interesting and liberating in its own way, and you might enjoy spending time with yourself. But, after a point of time, pursuing only these hobbies can get boring, as these do not allow much social interaction. As long as you can exchange ideas, do things together and discuss mutually interesting topics with other people, your retirement hobby will help you fill up your days, explore new territories, and keep you socially active and happy. “Book reading,” for instance does not have to be a loner hobby. You could always join a book reading club or a library, exchange books with other book lovers and indulge in rewarding and refreshing discussions.

In fact there are many “reading groups” on the internet made up of members who are avid readers. You may even join one of these “book reading communities” and get to share your ideas with like-minded people. It has also been proved that hobbies which challenge your grey matter, delay or at least minimize the effects of “brain-whittling” diseases like Alzheimer’s. Reading, writing poetry and theater are some of the things you could develop into your hobbies, which will entail a lot of socializing with like-minded people and will also help keep your brain active. To quote George Santayana, “the wisest mind has something yet to learn.” You could also join an art class and take up drawing, painting and sculpture-if you want to try your hand at the “arts.”