For most of our adult lives our time is consumed with work and chores. We spend most of our waking hours at a job. Whether it’s sitting at a desk, serving customers or building houses, our time is consumed with producing for other people. Then on the weekends it’s time to do all the things we don’t get paid for — cleaning house, mowing the lawn, washing the car. Did you ever find yourself at a party where someone asked you what you like to do in your free time, and you drew a blank?
That all changes after retirement. All of a sudden, the sky’s the limit when it comes to time for yourself. It’s the perfect time to indulge in some of those hobbies you always dreamed of doing when you were younger, or even to pick up something you had worked on as a kid.
There are many benefits to learning a new hobby as an older adult. Most obvious is it gives you something to pass the time. But did you know there are health benefits as well? Learning something new keep your brain active, which can help delay symptoms of dementia and depression. Hobbies also provide an opportunity for socializing with others, and depending on what you choose to do, you could even get some exercise in as well!
If you’re looking for a new challenge to help you make the most of your days, here are a few ideas to try.
Learn a New Language. You might never visit Paris, but learning to speak French not only helps you feel like you’ve visited a new country, it can also help improve your mind. Studies have found that seniors who learn a second language delayed the symptoms of dementia by 5 years.
Take up Quilting. Maybe you don’t need to sew your own clothes anymore, but sewing can be great stress relief thanks to the repetitive motion. Quilting brings the added benefit of sharpening your mind as you figure out the placement for geometric shapes and color patterns. And of course, there’s the social aspect as well! Join up with others at the Forsyth Piecers and Quilters Guild.
Play Cards. Bridge, pinochle, canasta — whatever your favorite card came is, there’s sure to be a group of people in the area ready to start up a regular table. Check out the offerings at Forsyth County’s Senior Services, and keep those brain cells busy by counting cards and making sets all while sharing gossip and yummy snacks.
Learn Tai Chi. This ancient Chinese tradition is a graceful form of exercise that is finding a resurgence in our area. It’s a great way to reduce stress while getting a low-impact workout. You could also benefit from senior yoga, Zumba classes, water aerobics, or any type of low-impact exercise that will get you moving on a regular basis.
Grow a Garden. Plant some tomatoes and green beans out in your yard or keep things simple with a few pots of herbs on your kitchen window — learning what makes plants thrive and doing what’s necessary to keep them alive is a great hobby. It’s also fun because you can eat the results of your labor!
If you’re interested in learning more about the services provided by Piedmont HomeHealth, call us today at (336) 724-1197 for a consultation. We provide convenient, compassionate care for families in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and throughout the Piedmont Triad region.