When people settle into retirement, it can be a struggle to establish a new routine where work and other family obligations are no longer necessary or the focus. After all, these are the “golden years” where you should feel empowered to use your time however you’d like. You spent most of your life looking forward to this moment, so it would be a shame to let it slip by without making the most of it!
How can you find the balance between establishing a routine in retirement while still keeping things exciting day-to-day? Keep reading for tips that are helpful to retirees of all ages and abilities!
Aim for creating a schedule that has both structure and flexibility.
Having structure in your schedule will allow you to find purpose in each new day. This helps to ensure your basic needs are met, like eating, physical activity, and downtime. However, the goal is not to create a rigid schedule that locks you into any certain routine. The beauty of retirement is that you can go with the flow much more easily than when you had a demanding career or a growing family. Find the balance between a healthy routine and flexibility to seize the moment.
Allow your schedule to evolve with your interests and abilities.
Throughout retirement, your wants, needs, and interests will shift. What you enjoyed doing several years ago, may not be the right fit for you now. It’s important to find a routine that ebbs and flows with the life changes you’ll experience in retirement. This also gives you the freedom to explore new hobbies and come into new seasons of life.
Strike a balance of time with others and time alone.
Life is better spent when it’s in community with others. In retirement, you may not naturally have the day-to-day interactions you once did when you have children living in your home or went into an office each day. Alone time is a good thing, but you don’t want it to be so much that you start to actually feel alone. Balance your schedule with time spent outdoors, in public spaces, and with others. And seek time to be alone to recharge. Balance is the key to anything in life!
Revisit your routine every few weeks or months.
If you find that you’re feeling stuck in a routine or it’s no longer meeting your needs, be proactive about seeking change. You are the master of your own schedule for the most part! Never be afraid to mix things up and try something different just because you can. If it doesn’t feel like the right fit, you can always change it back or go with something different. Have fun exploring new schedules and routines throughout this chapter of life.
Reach out to others when you need some variety!
And finally, be sure to reach out to family and friends when you feel like you need something new to your normal schedule. Maybe you set a monthly date for when you’ll meet up for lunch. Or maybe it’s asking someone to join you on your daily walk. You can also expand your circle beyond family and friends and reach out to local organizations that may need volunteers. This is a great way to meet new people while helping out your community!
If you or someone you know is entering into retirement, the best thing you can do is to be intentional about your time. Think ahead to how you’ll be most happy spending your time in one, five, even ten years – and then make a plan!