One way to get out of your rut is by taking up something you always wanted to learn. It can be a new language, a musical instrument, an exciting historical topic or a dance form. Take your pick according to your interests and capabilities. Once you start learning, you will need to practice at home. In the case of becoming an expert on a topic you may have the opportunity speak to others. Practicing what you are learning or sharing it with others will leave less free time to feel bored. Having things to do in retirement will keep you active and engaged in life.
It is also said that our surroundings affect our brain, which can affect our mood and health. And where do we spend most of our time in retirement? For the majority of us, it is probably at home. Make some changes to your house. Buy some new curtains, a bedspread or different colors of throw pillows for example. At my house, my husband teases me that it doesn’t matter where he puts the new (fill in the blank) because I will move it or change it in a week.
And try to get outside more, even if it is just to sit in your back or front yard.
If you find that you are bored, no matter your age, there are plenty of things to do in retirement that will get the juices flowing.
Here are 25 things to do in retirement if you are bored:
1. Everybody is born with certain creativity. All it takes is some efforts to develop this ability and stimulation of the brain. A simple, fun thing to do is scribble something on a piece of paper. Look at it and imagine what it could be. Then draw it. You have to keep the scribble…just make it into something else. For instance, if you draw a circle, turn it into Mickey Mouse, or the circular window in a ship. This is also fun to do with grandkids. One makes the scribble for the other one to make a drawing.
2. Visit your photo album. You know… the one sitting in the back of the closet. Take a walk down memory lane. If it is in disarray think of cleaning it up and adding creative tags to tell the viewer who is in the photo, what you were doing when the photo was taken. There are tons of things you can buy at craft stores that will make your album fun to look at.
3. If you have a plain white t-shirt around grab it and make your own signature creation.
4 . Good with words? Write a song. If you play an instrument create your own sound track from something you wrote. This activity is very time consuming and it will definitely be a lot of fun for those who enjoy music.
5. Love the sound of wind chimes? Make one yourself. All you need is a bangle, a couple of thin pipes, some fishing line of thread and a few trinkets. Also, another great gift idea that you will have fun creating. (article continues next column)
6. Time to get in shape? Take a morning or afternoon walk. Exercise to a workout DVE. Find an aerobics class, learn yoga to help you to stay in shape.
7. You can try your hand at making ice sculptures the next time you get bored at home. Instead of using giant blocks of ice, you can use small cubes. Use a chisel and a hammer to test your ability as a sculptor.
8. What can be more creative than writing a poem or short story? Go online and enter them into free writing contests.
9. Make a birdhouse. Look online for inspiration, but here are a few ideas I can think of off the top of my head: Paint over and enlarge the hole of an empty coke can. Turn an old lamp into a birdhouse. Look around your house for items you no longer use, or go to a garage sale and look for interesting objects you can use to make a creative home for your feathered friends. Hang them outside or use as décor inside.
10. Make your own soap. It’s challenging but you can look online for a list of things you’ll need to create your own personalized soap! A great stocking stuffer…or if you really get into it, sell it online or at craft fairs.
11. Grab a camera and go for a walk, go to the park or downtown and click away. If you find that you enjoy it, join a camera club and make friends with other people who love photography. When you get some great shots (and you will) make greeting and thank you cards as gifts for friends and family!
12. Get out your video recorder (rent or borrow one if you don’t have one). Set it on a tripod and film the story of your life. Edit it, add some music and send it to your family. If you don’t want to video yourself then write your life story with plenty of stories and family genealogy. Your grandchildren and great grandchildren will love it.
13. Make distinctive jewelry from old pieces you no longer wear, or go to garage sales/flea markets etc and find cheap re-sale jewelry to cannibalize for something new and exciting.
14. Try your hand at gardening . The fresh air and sunlight will do wonders for your mood and it is also healthy to get outdoors. Don’t have a big yard? Buy a few pots. Plant tomatoes or other veggies and flowers that do well in smaller containers.
15. You can start preparing for holiday parties and throw a few yourself. How about planning for Independence Day (4th of July), make a Halloween mask, or a new Christmas ornament for next year. Pick an event and get creative.
16. Come up with a fun and creative concept and make your own board game. Write down all the instructions and rules on a piece of paper, cover a piece of cardboard with heavy white paper, design the board and get all your friends to try it out.
17. If you live near a beach, drive over and look for tumbled glass. It’s all the rage today. Sell it online or make your own jewelry.
18. Learn how to tell fortunes by reading palms, learn numerology and invite your friends over to tell them their future.
19. Take a dance class. If you can’t afford it, buy a DVD and invite a friend to dance with at your home. Better yet, invite a few friends over. Push the furniture to the walls and dance the night away .
20. Grab a walking stick and head to the desert, beach or forest and enjoy the outdoors. If you are an early riser find a spot to watch the sun rise, or go in the afternoon and watch it set. When it is warmer outside, sit outside and watch the stars.
21. Like to fish? My brother spend hours tying flies. He uses them when he vacations near Yellowstone and sells them to friends. He’s quite the expert and he loves it.
22. When I was bored as a teenager my mother could always think of things for me to do. She isn’t around to tell you what to do now but when was the last time you cleaned out your closet, washed your car? (Bet you can think of something that’s more fun now can’t you?!)
23. Get out the cookbook and make cookies. Call a few friends and ask them to make their favorites and share them over coffee or tea the next day.
24. Pull a rabbit out of a hat! Yes, learn how to do magic. Grandkids will be enthralled with your magic tricks.
25. Good with words? Write a song. If you play an instrument create your own sound track from something you wrote. This activity is very time consuming and it will definitely be a lot of fun for those who enjoy music.