9 New Hobbies to Discover in Retirement
Aug 13, 2019
If you’re like many recently retired people, you’ve been looking forward to all the free time that retirement will afford you for years; or if you’re like many who have been retired for a while, you might be finding it slightly difficult to fill up all that free time once work is out of the picture. Finding a new hobby (or three!) can be just the answer, and luckily, there’s no shortage of engaging, fun and fulfilling hobbies perfectly suited to those looking to stay active during retirement.
The sky is truly the limit when it comes to what hobbies you can take up. If you’ve always had a passion for making dollhouse furniture or reading Plato in the original ancient Greek, use your new-found time to explore these interests even more. However, if you need a little help finding a new passion to make your retirement years more exciting, here are nine great ideas for hobbies that are perfectly suited to matured adults.
1. Travel the World, or Explore Close to Home
The lack of work commitments or children at home who need your attention make retirement the perfect chance to travel the world. Whether you’ve always dreamed of jetting off to Europe to see the canals of Venice or you prefer to explore the great outdoors in your new RV, the world truly is your oyster. New locales that you could never find the time to get to when you were younger are now at your fingertips. Even revisiting a beloved vacation destination from earlier in your life can offer you a fun and unique perspective.
As you weigh your travel options, keep in mind that taking a trip doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. Exploring close to home can often be extremely affordable if you go on a road trip, and even traveling aboard can be surprisingly inexpensive if you can be flexible with your travel dates (which, of course, is easier in retirement!).
2. Volunteer for a Cause That’s Important to You
Giving back to the community is a priority for many people; however, work and childcare often supersede volunteering for many years. That’s what makes retirement the ideal time to begin volunteering for an organization whose goals match your own. One of the best parts about volunteering in retirement is that it can take up as much or as little of your time as you’d like. Whether you’re looking to volunteer once a week at your local library or hospital or you’d like to participate at the local children’s center or church every day, opportunities abound to help you give back and enrich your community.
If you aren’t sure where to start when looking for new volunteer opportunities, try reaching out to local nonprofits, churches and other charitable organizations. These groups are typically well-equipped to find an opportunity that matches your skills.
3. Get (or Stay) Active
While retirement offers you plenty of time for well-earned relaxation, that doesn’t mean that you have to be sedentary all the time. Getting in shape (or staying in shape) can provide you with the opportunity to stave off boredom while you enjoy all of the health benefits that exercise can provide. Since exercise can take on many forms, you have a wide variety of choices to pick from, ensuring that you can find something that makes you feel happy and healthy.
Low-impact exercise routines such as daily morning walks or afternoon swims can be fun without being too taxing, while disciplines such as yoga or tai chi can have the added benefit of stress relief. If you’re up for it, however, you don’t have to confine yourself to daily walks. Hiking, kayaking or cycling are all great options for those who like to stay active.
4. Take Up a New Craft or Build Upon Your Existing Artistic Skills
Whether you’ve been knitting all your life, or you haven’t held a paintbrush in your hand since middle school, retirement is the perfect time to get a little artsy and crafty. You can pick up a new creative endeavor that you’ve always wanted to try but have never found the time for, or you can hone your artistic skills and try out new techniques in a craft you’re very familiar with.
One of the best parts about taking up arts and crafts in retirement is that the opportunities are almost endless. From needlecrafts like quilting, embroidering, knitting and crocheting to traditional artistic pursuits like drawing, painting or photography, there’s an arts and crafts hobby to match almost every interest. You can even get really creative and explore more unusual crafts such as stained glass, basket-weaving, jewelry design, pottery or woodworking.
5. Join a Social Club
It can be harder to maintain friendships and social groups as you get older, which is why joining a club or association can be an excellent choice for those searching for a community in retirement. Such clubs can offer social interaction alongside fun activities to keep you active and engaged. There are many national organizations with local chapters such as the Red Hat Society, a group aimed at women over 50. Smaller local clubs such as book groups or weekly card playing clubs are also a wonderful choice.
Keep in mind that if you can’t find a social club that matches your interests, there’s nothing stopping you from starting your own and connecting with other like-minded folks. Retirement communities also present a great opportunity for staying socially active in retirement. Many locations have programs and activities for individuals to come together and socialize.
6. Learn How to Ballroom Dance, or Audition for a Community Theater Production
Like arts and crafts, taking up a performing arts-related hobby can be an excellent diversion in retirement. That can be as simple as taking a ballroom dance class or as involved as auditioning for your local community theater production. Whether you have experience on stage or not, your retirement years are an excellent time to try out your hand under the lights.
Of course, not everyone likes to be the center of attention- and that’s okay! Enjoy the performing arts but feel too self-conscious to get up on stage yourself? You can still make a hobby out of your passion! Volunteer to run lights or take tickets for your community theater group instead of trying out as an actor or create a club for your friends to take in a show on a regular basis.
7. Put Your Pen to Paper (Literally or Figuratively)
Like so many other things on this list, writing a book can take a lot of time that you may not have had- until now. Put your pen to paper (or your fingers to the keyboard, if you prefer) and get writing! There’s no one form that your new writing hobby has to take, either. Do you have an idea for a novel that you’ve been playing around with for years? Now’s the perfect time to let it flow out of you. Thinking a lot about your life’s experiences? Channel that into a memoir. If you enjoy cooking, compiling your family’s recipes into a cookbook can be a wonderful way to preserve years of good food. From poetry to plays, writing can be a wonderful way to fill your time in retirement.
8. Study a Foreign Language
Picking up a new language can be challenging, and it often requires a lot of time and commitment- something that you may have in spades in retirement. Taking up learning a language as a hobby is wonderful because there are so many potential benefits. Planning a long overdue trip to Rome? There’s no better time than the present to learn Italian. Want to read Les Misérables in the original French? In retirement, you have the chance to do so! Even just learning a language for its own sake can be valuable as it helps keep your mind sharp and focused.
9. Take a Class in a New Subject, or Teach a Class in a Subject You Know Well
It’s never too late to learn something new. Whether you really want to dive in and get your diploma or graduate degree, or just want to take classes for fun to learn more about an interesting subject, learning can be one of the most fulfilling retirement pursuits.
You can also flip this around and use your retirement years as an opportunity to teach others what you’ve learned in life. That can mean holding informal classes on one of your long-standing hobbies such as baking or knitting or looking into adult education programs that might have need for your unique talents.
At Grand Tapestry at Quail Springs, our 55+ community is designed to help adults enjoy active living in retirement. Our central location in Oklahoma City allows our residents to freely enjoy their hobbies, pursue their passions and embark on new adventures- all while enjoying comfort, convenience and security in a resort-style setting. If you’re ready to give up the hassles of homeownership and just enjoy your retirement years, please contact us today to learn more about our senior apartments.