R is for Retirement.
Dreams of an idyllic lifestyle of relaxation and happiness suddenly evaporate unless you take certain precautions.
For me, retirement was something old people did. So when the time arrived for my husband to retire from full-time ministry, it was a challenging time for me. Although I no longer nursed, I still wrote, and I didn’t feel ready to stop that. So I have never actually retired.
After my husband retired, we moved to a retirement village in Port Elizabeth, a beautiful seaside city on the coast of South Africa. I looked forward to the time with mixed feelings. Would we now get old, because we were no longer earning an income? How would we cope doing nothing?
Well, of course, given our personalities, that didn’t happen. We are as busy as ever. The great thing about retirement is you can say no! You are no longer under obligation to meet the demands of a busy company or boss.
Beware of these temptations:
However, I soon realized there were certain dangers to watch out for if we wanted to stay well physically as well as mentally.
- There was no sense of commitment to a bigger cause. We were no longer working long hours so could lie in and become lazy and inactive.
- The risk of living in isolation. We had never lived in Port Elizabeth. Although we had family within a few years they had all passed on (despite two of them being younger than us). So the risk of being cut off from social interaction was real.
- The temptation to no longer learn new things. Apart from challenges like learning to live on a pension, what else was there to learn? I have seen countless retired people fall into this trap. They sit with their newspaper, perhaps at least doing the crossword, or they take up bridge. But what are they learning?
There are so many ways to help improve your life, improve your mind, during retirement. Read more here:#atoz Click To TweetTips for a beneficial retirement:
Here are nine ways to ensure your time in retirement is beneficial and your life and mind both stay active as long as possible. Many of them have already been discussed in this series.
Build a social network of friends (offline) with whom you can enjoy fellowship.
Join a church or another organization you believe in and get involved.
Nourish your body through eating well including antioxidant-rich foods.
Avoid regular braaiss (barbecue) or charred meat.
Boost your diet with a good multivitamin/mineral and if necessary additional vitamin D and omega 3.
Exercise plenty and get sufficient sleep.
Allow at least 12 hours between the last meal of the day and breakfast.
Keep learning. Teach yourself a new musical instrument or a new language. Learn chess or take up model building.
- Have an annual checkup and ask your doctor to monitor your blood levels.